There and Back Again
For a Chinese couple, all roads led home.
by Tim Athan
From the February, 2020 issue
Jiaqi traveled halfway around the world to pursue a master's degree in biostatistics at the U-M. Xuzhou travelled just as far to pursue a PhD in mechanical engineering. (We're not using their last names to preserve some privacy.) They met in a North Campus library, discovered they were both new arrivals from China, and soon fell in love.
China is big, so they were astonished to discover that they were from the same city, Taiyuan, in northern Shanxi province. Taiyuan has more than four million people, so it was even more astonishing when they discovered they had attended the same high school and graduated in the same class.
They now plan to marry, so over winter break they returned to Taiyuan to meet each other's families. Getting everyone together wasn't hard: It turns out they grew up just five blocks apart. "It's cute!" Xuzhou says. "It's romantic!"
[Originally published in February, 2020.]
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