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Global Gateway student shines as co-host of the Chinese New Year Festival


The DePaul Lunar New Year celebration showcased the talents of DePaul students and our surrounding community.  Throughout the celebration, the audience was delighted with singers, a zither player, a lion dance and a traditional dance troupe.  Acting as Masters of Ceremony throughout the evening were four talented DePaul students speaking both English and Chinese. One of these students, Ziyu (Eric) Song (MS-Finance) found his way to DePaul through the Global Gateway Program (GGP). 

The GGP is a program designed for students who are academically qualified to be DePaul students and whose English proficiency is below the minimum required for admission.  Students take English courses through DePaul’s English Language Academy (ELA) as well as academic coursework to develop their English skills, acclimate to the US and become part of the DePaul community.  Eric started with the GGP in Winter of 2019, and is now in his second successful term as a degree seeking student in the MS Finance degree.

Eric applied to DePaul because he knew that DePaul has a good business school with outstanding professors. Eric comes from Jiangsu, on the east coast of China, a leading province in finance.  He came to the US to study and gain experience in the finance industry so he can return home and start his own business. Eric started in the GGP because he knew his English was not strong enough to start in the degree program.  By taking 12 hours per week of English classes on top of his academic course load, Eric was able to develop his language skills while earning credits toward his finance degree.

When asked about his favorite class, Eric said that it was GSB 500 US Business Practice and Culture taught by Dr. Nick Thomas.  Here, Eric learned about the different business practices and expectations in the US. “Dr. Nick made it interesting and fun!” After completing his initial GGP classes, Eric said he felt ready to start in his degree program.  He still uses the resources he learned about in the GGP like the Writing Center, so that he continues to improve his writing. 

So how did Eric come to be the MC at the Lunar New Year Celebration?  Last year, he sang at the celebration, and continued to be involved with the Chinese Student and Scholar Association, a student organization here at DePaul.  As he worked with this student organization, he participated in their other events and was selected to MC for the new year gala! 

Eric found DePaul in Chicago, travelled from the other side of the world to get here, got involved with student life, improved his English, and is now flourishing as part of the DePaul community.  The GGP helped Eric to be successful. As he noted​, “The GGP helps you meet the professors, and new friends. DePaul is downtown, so we can easily travel with teachers and classmates to experience the city.”​