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International News | September 22, 2021

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ICB Student Interns at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

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Chinese Student Accesses Opportunities at CU Denver

Zhong “Ryan” Li, a senior at the University of Colorado Denver who is majoring in economics and minoring in political science, has become a celebrity among his fellow students and professors. Last summer he had the opportunity to intern at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation where he learned to apply abstract knowledge from his classroom into to practical work experience. In conjunction with the HelpMeSee Charity Organization, whose mission is to make the miracle of sight possible for every blind child and adult in the world, Ryan helped his colleagues to translate meeting records and to write financial reports. He currently works as a student assistant for Kuan-yi “Rose” Chang, PhD, Assistant Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Li’s friends, who usually call him Ryan, have plenty of good things to say about his outstanding efforts and enthusiasm. “Ryan is pretty sharp. He has a kind of magnetic field that makes you want to become friends with him, ” commented one fellow student.

“I like making friends because everyone has shining points in their personalities,” said Li. “I am glad to learn from them and share my life with them. My friends broaden my world and make my life colorful.”

In 2013, Li decided to continue the International College Beijing (ICB) program on the Denver campus because wanted to experience something “new and different”. Serving as a model to other universities worldwide, the ICB program offers economics, communication, and dual degrees to Chinese students; these allow for study on both the Denver and Beijing campuses. This year, the University of Colorado Denver and China Agricultural University are celebrating the 20th anniversary of this successful partnership, one of the first joint programs of its kind to be approved by the Chinese Ministry of Education.

As an international student, Li has been conquering all the difficulties of studying abroad. His hard work has paid off. “In Denver everyone participates more in class. Professors encourage different ideas and thoughts. No one will hesitate to give you applause when you do a good job. People come from different backgrounds, but we have friendly relationships. My senior year at CU Denver has taught me how to get used to the new environment, how to better understand Americans, and how to balance different aspects of my life. All of my successes can be attributed to my high quality education.”

Along with majoring in economics, Li chose political science as his minor due to his interest in the field of diplomacy. He thinks that gaining knowledge about political systems can help him to better understand global economics.

Li has been leading a Chinese study program, which provides other students with a chance to study the Chinese language. He helps students find Chinese study partners and works at building cultural bridges between students.

With graduation coming up next year, Li is excited about furthering his studies through a graduate program in a new school. At the same time, he is reluctant to leave Denver because of the professors, good friends, and special memories he found here.

“I will cherish my last year here. Thank you all for giving me so much help and support!”

By Yiying Liu

Learn More

To read more information about China and about International College Beijing, visit online:

To learn about the ICB Graduate Fellowship, visit: