“Jerry” Chen is an international student from Sichuan Province, which has a population of about 81 million people. That is bigger than the United States’ 15 largest cities combined.
Chen’s first name is Tianyu, but because so many people have trouble pronouncing his name, he goes by Jerry.
Chen is a 20-year-old business administration major. He spent two years in school at China West Normal University, which is a partner school of Bluffton.
“There are more than 30,000 students in my Chinese school,” Chen said.
Chen arrived in the United States for the first time Aug. 13. He speaks with his family on a regular basis through different social media. He is an only child but has many cousins.
Being so far from home has reminded him of his responsibilities.
“Being so far away from home will make you know your responsibilities and objectives clearly,” he said.
According to Chen, food is the biggest difference between China and the United States.
“Foods are different, but fortunately I accept them,” he said. “The buildings are always higher there also.”
He has also noticed a difference in the education styles.
“I am impressed by the American education style, which is effective and scientific,” Chen said.
Like many students on campus, Chen paid close attention to the presidential campaign.
“It’s hard to see,” he said. “But I see freedom and democracy.”
He said he also enjoys the enthusiasm and friendliness of Americans.
Chen has enjoyed his time at Bluffton as a member of the men’s soccer team. He said he likes all of his professors.
“All of my professors are nice,” he said. “They help me a lot.”
Some of Chen’s hobbies include playing soccer, painting and playing the guitar. Among Chen’s long-term goals: become either a professional manager or a professor.
“I’d share a lot of things with [my classmates], though my English is not good,” Chen said.