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#MyMessage — Cathy Sun

Meet Cathy Sun, an undeclared freshman in Whitman, from China.

Cathy Sun, an undeclared freshman at the Whitman School of Management, was born in Guangzhou, China, and moved to Shanghai when she was 3 years old. But Sun wasn’t exactly raised in the Chinese culture. She spent most of her life growing up in northern Germany, where the family relocated because of her father’s job.

When Sun thinks of home, she remembers both China and Germany. Shanghai is home to her family, her friends and her mother’s home-cooked meals. She remembers China for the people, she says, but Germany was her childhood.

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Sun recalls fond memories of sledding down snow-covered hills in Horn, Germany, just eight kilometers outside the main city of Hamburg, and visiting strawberry farms in the summertime.

When she moved to Horn, Sun didn’t know any German except “yes” and “thank you.” Because she moved to Germany at the start of kindergarten, it didn’t take her long to assimilate to her new home and language. In fact, she said, she went back to China for a few months after the fourth grade because her father was afraid she was forgetting how to speak her native language.

Sun stayed in Germany until the ninth grade, when she and her family returned to Shanghai. She had a difficult experience fully transitioning back into Chinese culture.

“I didn’t really feel like I was Chinese,” she said.

Sun graduated from an international school before arriving at Syracuse University. She enjoys being a student in America because the environment, she says, reminds her of Germany.

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