Exchange student happy to experience new culture


International student Ying “Sarah” Shi is working on learning English. She is also working on earning a Master of Business Administration.

Jessica Link


International student Ying “Sarah” Shi, sophomore mass communication major, recognizes big differences between the culture at Missouri Southern and her hometown of Yantain, in the Shandong Province of eastern China, but she believes the differences are becoming less acute as globalization blurs the barriers. 

Like many exchange students, Shi is using her semester in Joplin to continue broadening those horizons by stepping outside her comfort zone and learning a new language.

“I keep a tight schedule and I am mentally independent,” she said. “English is still a barrier for me, but I will work on it. I have confidence in myself.”

Shi was born Aug. 2, 1992. Both her parent’s work; her father is in real estate, and mother in retail. 

Shi is focused on academics and plans to continue her education by earning an master of business administration. She was chosen for the international exchange program because of her good TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) test scores. 

She would like to earn internships and eventually get married, but she has no plans as to where she will live once she graduates from college.

Shi’s hobbies include working out at the gym and enjoys spending time with friends, hanging out and exploring new places. Some more of her hobbies include playing the piano, reading, shopping, playing table tennis, or simply sleeping. While Shi doesn’t watch television, she does enjoy films, especially romantic comedies. 

Food, especially that of her hometown, is the thing she misses most, but admits she doesn’t cook. Her favorite food is fish.

Shi said that food is one of the biggest differences she has noticed between the United States and China. 

Shi said her best skill is playing the piano and handling numbers. She explained that numbers make sense to her; she believes people either excel at math or language.

Shi said the students and other people on campus have been friendly and nice. 

“They offer to help me a lot,” she said.