By: Hunter Boschert
Dr. Rain Wuyu Liu is an assistant professor in the School of Communication at Bellarmine. She lived in Kuming, the capital city of Yunnan, China. Kuming is the largest city in the Yunnan province. It is famously known for having 26 out of the 55 minority ethnicities in China. Each minority is represented well and each culture’s uniqueness shines through based on the part of the city. Kuming is known as the “Spring City” because its perfect southwest location brings warm weather throughout the entire year.
Liu received her undergraduate degree in English with a concentration in English translation and interpretation at Southwest University in Chongqing, China. She received her master’s degree in public relations at the University of Miami and her doctorate in communications from Michigan State University.
Q: What classes do you teach?
A: I teach undergraduate intercultural communication and public relations. At the graduate level, I teach intercultural communication and research methods.
Q: What is your favorite Bellarmine event?
A: I brought my golden retriever, Sweety, to the “Finals are Ruff” event and a Pioneer event in Frazier. My other golden retriever, Paul, is going to get to come next time.
Q: What do you miss most about home?
A: Food and friends. I moved to the U.S. by myself and all of my other friends from China that came to school in the U.S. have since graduated and moved back.
Q: What is your favorite U.S. city?
A: I travel for food. The city I would like to travel to and visit but come back home from at the end of the day would be L.A. or New York. It is a lot easier for Chinese people to fit in there because of the large populations, infrastructure, restaurants, markets, and professional services.
My favorite city to live in, though, is Louisville. The cost of living is low, traffic is not bad and it is a great town for foodies. I would like to see some more authentic Chinese restaurants and markets, though.
Q: Why did you choose to come to the United States?
A: I was planning on going to the U.K., but then I became a really good friends with a Peace Corps worker. He told me that my personality would fit better in the U.S. and I needed to come to the U.S. I think he steered me in the right direction. I really like the U.S.
Q: Is the U.S. what you expected it to be like?
A: Well, I lived in Miami at first, and that was very different from the original expectation because Miami is a very rich city with a lot of diversity. I wasn’t expecting as much diversity, but once again I was in Miami. When I moved to Michigan, I think I experienced what I thought America would be like to a greater extent. The only thing about Michigan is its economic state has not fully recovered with the fall of the Detroit automakers, and it seemed like a lot of fellow classmates at the university had to work a lot to make it during school. I never expected American students to work three or four part-time jobs while going to school.
Q: What is the strangest social custom you have noticed?
A: How long it takes for anything to get done. I purchased a house and have since then been remodeling it. It took almost two and a half months to get countertops made and installed. In China they would have been installed in two days, maximum. The waiting is something I have had to get used to.
Q: What is your favorite American food?
A: Breakfast is amazing. My favorite breakfast food is probably omelets with spinach, all kinds of meat and mushrooms.
Q: What food do you miss from home?
A: Hot pot. When ordering Hot Pot you first select your soup: a clear broth, spicy chili broth or both. Small amounts of hydroxy alpha sanshool (sichuan peppercorns) are added and that produces an effect much like a small electric current making your tongue fizz and numb. The final step to ordering is selecting the meat you want cooked in the broth, which can vary from duck intestine to Chinese sausage.
Q: Do you plan on staying in Louisville?
A: I think so. I really like my job here and remodeling the house I feel like I have an attachment here.