The Friedmans' Story

Our son, Ryan, is currently studying at NYU Shanghai. He chose this school because he has always had a fascination for Asian culture. He spent his junior year in high school in Beijing at an American High School within a Chinese High School. He lived with a host family and fell in love with China. When it came time for college, we heard about NYU Shanghai when we visited NYU in New York. When it came time to submit applications, Ryan told us “I’ve applied to a bunch of colleges, and I’ve also applied to NYU Shanghai. I think I may want to return to China.” We were so surprised that he wanted to return, but we supported his choice.

Ryan turned down a lot of excellent colleges in the US for the opportunity to go back to China. Once he heard that he had been accepted at NYU, he didn’t want any other school. At that point he hadn’t even seen the NYU Shanghai campus, but he told us “I want to go back.  I’m not sure where it is leading, but I know this is my path.”

Now he’s in Shanghai, and we’re in Houston, but with the blessing of modern technology we talk to him over Skype every week or so. We can tell he loves being at NYU Shanghai because he is smiling from ear to ear every time we talk to him. Even though we miss him terribly, and it’s not easy to visit him, we’re thrilled for experience because we know he’s just where he is meant to be.

We visited NYU-Shanghai during Ryan’s freshman year and learned more about the school. We came to understand the uniqueness of this school’s mission. We like the concept of a half Chinese, half international student body.  Ryan has developed friendships with students from around the world that will last a lifetime.  

​Both of us believe strongly that we live and work in a world community. We feel everyone should give what they can to the community that nourishes them – whether it’s cash for people who can afford it, or sweat of the brow for people who can’t. We all need to give back. It is rewarding. We’re very excited to be a part of the NYU Shanghai Parents Council. Though we didn’t have any strings in mind when we made our gift, we hope it will be used for scholarships to help qualified students, because we know how life-changing a school like NYU Shanghai can be.

The faculty and staff at NYU Shanghai are working diligently to ensure that it is a top-notch university. We were able to meet the Dean of Academics at NYU Shanghai, several faculty members, who were very impressive. All of the people we’ve met in the development office were bright, capable, articulate, and passionate. We were also pleased to see the beautiful building when we visited Ryan on campus, and we look forward to seeing the new dormitory. Everyone at NYU was happy to answer our questions and spend time with us.  We can’t wait to go back to Shanghai – it’s a fabulous city, and the presence of NYU makes it even better!

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