Meet Yanshu- New United States Citizen!

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July 20, 2017
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Yanshu’s smile gets even brighter, if that’s possible, when she talks about becoming a U.S. citizen in June. “I was really excited. The classes at International House helped me very much, especially the part about American history. It really helps people to understand this country.”

She moved to the U.S. from China in 2005 and says the most important reason she wanted to be a citizen is for “freedom, people’s rights. You can vote for president, Congress, mayor, and you think they will protect your rights.”

Yanshu, who lives in South Carolina and is married to John, a naturalized U.S. citizen, teaches traditional Chinese dance and culture, “bringing American and Chinese students together.”

There were some adjustments to American culture. “In China we invite friends to restaurants a lot. There are no separate checks. The host pays for everyone, even 15 or 20 people.”

How often Americans say “Thank you,” was another cultural change. “In the American culture, people speak out to appreciate help,” she said. “But in China, you do something, like giving little gifts, or maybe a phone call to ask about the family to show you care. Americans say the words ‘thank you’ a lot more.”

In the American tradition, Yanshu, a new citizen as of July 3, does have something to say to her tutors, Ryan and Sandy, and to all those who helped her along the way: “Thank you.”