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and Alumni

to Qingdao,

In 2004, international undergraduate students at Stony Brook were a rarity. Since the majority of SBU students are from New York, in order to give them a more global experience, the University planned to increase international undergrad enrollment to 5%. For the first time, the University began outreach to China.

In 2006, forty students came either as degree candidates or into IEC, the Intensive English Center. That brought the total of Chinese international undergrads to sixty. The Office of Admissions hosted a dinner reception in the Wang Center and Provost McGrath closed his greeting to them saying, "When you go home and tell everyone about your experiences here, you are the best ambassadors Stony Brook could ever have."

Fast forward to 2011 and being Stony Brook ambassadors is just what Yunfan Wang and Emma Yu did at the Qingdao College Fair on June 26th. Sysea Liu, Shandong Province Co-Chair of the SB China Alumni Chapter, had hosted Associate Dean of International Admissions Yu-wan Wang in April to introduce her to Qingdao high school principals and members of the media. This time Sysea asked Yunfan to come down from Beijing, and QD resident Emma Yue Yu, to join her for the QD College Fair.

Qingdao is rated as one of the 10 best cities in China to live in. Situated on the East Coast on a protected ocean bay, like Honolulu its skyscrapers overlook sandy beaches.  The fair was sponsored by some of the most famous and influential media in Shandong and all the respected colleges and universities in China were represented at it. It reportedly attracted 30,000 parents and students. Shandong is one of China's most populous provinces, equal in population to California, Florida, New York, and Texas combined.

"As Co-Chair," said Sysea, "I want to take every chance I have to show SUNY Stony Brook in Shandong Province. Given the size of this fair, it was a very good opportunity to let more and more excellent students and parents know Stony Brook University well." 

As Provost McGrath had said, current students are the best ambassadors. Yunfan just graduated from SB in May with a double major in Applied Math and Business. She is staying on at SB to get her M.A. in Applied Math in CEAS, SBU's College of Engineering. Sysea and Yunfan's father, Zhiwen, had been graduate students in CEAS together for a special Advanced Information Management Program created by Charles B. Wang and President Jiang Zemin.

Emma just graduated too, from IEC, and will begin her freshmen year this fall. She agreed they were good ambassadors. She said, "The parents and high school students who came to us understand the advantages of Stony Brook after we explained them. There are many differences between American colleges and Chinese colleges, and those are what we told them about."

Until a few years ago, all students in China heard the name SUNY Stony Brook starting in 7th grade. Their first physics course starts then and until 2010, China's only Nobel prize winner, Prof. C.N. Yang, taught at Stony Brook for thirty-three years. Although he has retired to China, students can still see a recording he made on the SBU International Admissions web page.

Emma hopes they were successful and there will be more students from Qingdao with her in coming years. Stony Brook hopes so too!

by Ja Young, Alumni Editor
Event: 26 June 2011, Qingdao, Shandong, China

2006 article on the Admissions Office dinner for Chinese students:


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