Friday, June 30, 2017

Leadership lived: Love of music brings international student to UIS

Music has been a part of Yu Shao’s life since she was six-years-old. That’s when she first started playing the Guzheng, a traditional Chinese instrument with thousands of years of history.

“I love the voice, I love the tune so much,” she said. “It’s a 21 string instrument. It gives you a lot of flexibility to create your own music or focus on the composer’s music to express yourself.”

Shao says it was her love of music that brought her to the University of Illinois Springfield where she is majoring in accountancy and is a Camerata Music Scholar. She regularly sings with the UIS Chorus and plays in small ensembles.

Shao is vice president of the Student Accounting Society and helps other international students adjust to campus life as a student worker for the Office of International Student Services. She answers student questions over the phone and by email and helps plan important events.

“I highly recommend UIS to the international students because our campus is super fun,” she said. “We have a lot of traditional activities that are fun for the international student to get involved in, such as Springfest and the International Student Festival.”

Shao admits that it was a challenging transition to leave China and come to the United States. However, she says she now feels at home at UIS.

“My English was poor when I came here, but I got enrolled in Intensive English Program classes for one semester and it really helped me to get involved in American culture and to get to know more about English,” she said.

Following graduation from UIS, Shao would like to stay in the United States and pursue her master’s degree and find a job in the business field.

“I think the biggest things I’ve learned from UIS is take advantage of any challenges,” she said. “I believe that if a thing doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you at all.”

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