Syracuse Chinese Fellowship Makes Students Feel Welcomed
Around 200 international students arrived in Syracuse this year and they needed to be picked up. “Who is available to volunteer so I can set up a schedule?” is a common question heard every August at the Syracuse Chinese Fellowship.
The Fellowship is a place where international students can find a piece of home with authentic Chinese cooking and good company. For those who attend the Friday night Bible study, they find more than a just gathering place; they find family. Around 100 students and families gather together every Friday evening to find community, to share common interests, and to express their longing for home. The fellowship helps fill that void for them.
Ting Wang, a first-year Environmental Engineering student at Syracuse University’s College of Engineering and Computer Science, said she is a member of the Syracuse Chinese Fellowship because it’s like a family. “The real Chinese food makes me feel at home,” she said.
The fellowship also helps students meet new friends and see parts of Central New York they might not have otherwise been exposed to.
“It’s like a family. The real Chinese food makes me feel at home.”
The Syracuse Chinese Fellowship began in the 70’s as a place to study the Bible, and it has grown as the needs of the international population increased. The group organizes pick ups and hosts welcome parties for incoming international students. Throughout the year, the fellowship also helps acclimate their members to Central New York by exposing them to all CNY has to offer, in addition to the cold. They have taken the groups to the Great New York State Fair, apple and pumpkin picking, the Rosamond Gifford Zoo, canoeing, hiking, and more. As more international students are calling Syracuse home, the Syracuse Chinese Fellowship has expanded it’s offerings from events and outings to also helping it’s members improve their English.
All of the fellowship activities are coordinated by only a few people; specifically Dan Feng, Eugene Liu, and a couple of graduate student volunteers. These volunteers come together because they believe in the cause that the Syracuse Chinese Fellowship stands for. They know that the international student population in Syracuse needs a place to feel welcomed, safe and heard while they are away from home. For the coordinators of the fellowship, it is not about religion; it’s about the relationship with God, others, and yourself.
Eugene acknowledges that running the Syracuse Chinese Fellowship “has been a challenge because [they] receive so many requests and lack volunteers due to the growing number of students,” he said. “However, by serving others in the fellowship, it helps me grow stronger in my faith.”
The international students second home is open to everyone.
Fellowship Hours of Operation:
Time: Fridays, 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Address: 709 James Street, Syracuse
Tel : (315)214-7372