By Lee Seedorff
International Student and Scholar Services is pleased to announce the first recipients of the new International Parent of the Year award.
Mr. Chu Qian and Mrs. Chu Shaoying are the parents of Yiwen, currently a sophomore studying Art and Secondary Education.
Chu Qian, Yiwen, and Chu Shaoying
The Chu family live in Jiaxing, China, a city 30 minutes away from Shanghai or Hangzhou by train. Mr. Chu was a math teacher after graduating from Zhejiang Teacher’s University. He then studied international finance for a year and later went to work in the Agricultural Bank of China, Jiaxing Branch, first in the international settlement department and then in loan risk analysis as well as other areas.
Mrs. Chu was an English teacher in a high school for 12 years after graduating from Hanzhou University (which is now merged with Zhejiang University). She later worked in import and export sales in a factory exporting silk clothing to foreign customers. She now runs a private company exporting clothes to a Danish corporation.
Making the decision to send a son or daughter to the other side of the world, into a new and very different cultural and academic setting, is not easy. Staying active in that student’s life when she is almost 7000 miles away can be particularly challenging. Video chat programs that are accessible in China are available to help maintain a closer connection.
The Chus were able to accompany Yiwen to her first semester at the University of Iowa in fall 2013 and attended orientation, including a special session for parents, before returning to China. They also remained connected with ISSS during Yiwen’s first year. We were fortunate to meet them again as they returned to get Yiwen settled in for her second year of college this August 2014, and became the first “veteran” parents to come back to a parent orientation session. Mrs. Chu was able to share a great deal of helpful advice and suggestions for over 40 new parents in attendance.
We congratulate Mr. and Mrs. Chu for their high level of support for Yiwen, and look forward to announcing the next International Parent of the Year award in early 2015.