Los Angeles Through a Chinese Lens: Part 1

Photo courtesy of Renee Silverman, Flickr

With over 13 million permanent residents within its metropolitan area and another 42 million annual visitors, Los Angeles is a monolithic mystery, a massive collection of urban neighborhoods with rich histories and a diverse ethnic makeup.

L.A. can be many things to many people, each of us witnessing this beautiful sprawl from the shores of the Pacific Ocean to the base of the San Gabriel Mountains from our own lens. And, as part of this new series, Discover Los Angeles will bring you the stories of L.A.’s academic imports, international students from Mainland China, living and learning in Los Angeles.


L’hôtel de 171 chambres Hampton Inn & Suites LAX El Segundo fera ses débuts sur Sepulveda Boulevard, près de la frontière sud de l'aéroport international de Los Angeles.

Property of Discover Los Angeles
Susanna Niu | Photo by Dan Shapiro

Susanna Niu (牛承程), 23, comes to Los Angeles from Dandong, China, a city on the North Korean border in Liaoning Province. Currently studying public diplomacy at USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, Susanna previously lived in New York City while pursuing her undergraduate degree, but now calls L.A. home, at least for another two years. A cosmopolitan city girl at heart, Susanna is adjusting well to life in L.A., and is eager to share her experiences with Discover Los Angeles, and ready to offer some dining tips with would-be visitors.

Property of Discover Los Angeles
Patrick Shi | Photo by Dan Shapiro

Hailing from Shanghai’s Chongming Island, Patrick Shi (施沛洋), 23, came to L.A. 18 months ago to study strategic public relations at the University of Southern California. Having never visited the United States prior to enrolling, Patrick has experienced what can only be described as culture shock. But he’s adapted fairly well to life on the West Coast, venturing out more and more as his English improves.

Property of Discover Los Angeles
Maggie Hui | Photo by Dan Shapiro

Another Shanghai native, Maggie Hui (惠江雯), 23, previously spent a semester in Richmond, Kentucky as an undergrad, but she much prefers the beaches of Santa Monica to the Bluegrass State. Maggie is currently in her final semester at USC and deciding what to do next. And whether she chooses to return to her homeland or extend her stay in the U.S. a little longer, Maggie will be discovering Los Angeles during the coming months, sharing some of her favorite venues, attractions, and destinations.

Property of Discover Los Angeles
William Chen and Jenny Xu | Photo by Dan Shapiro

William Chen (陈振麟), 23, and Jenny Xu (徐婧), 24, met as undergraduate students at Guangzhou’s Sun Yat Sen University, and decided to move to L.A. together in 2013 to enroll at USC.

Originally from Guangzhou, William spent some time in L.A. in 2012 on a semester abroad, while Jenny, who hails from Taiyuan in Shanxi Province, did a few months in Santa Barbara. Well-acclimated to life in California and Los Angeles, the two have a curious and inquisitive nature about American life, and are constantly exploring new and interesting sites around L.A.

The stories continue in Los Angeles Through a Chinese Lens: Part 2.