Chinese Students

The University of Minnesota has been an international institution since its earliest days, educating children of immigrants and offering foreign languages. Since as early as 1874, the University has welcomed outstanding international researchers and students to campus while sharing the best of Minnesota with the world. International students bring their unique backgrounds and viewpoints to university classroom, curriculum, and campus life, providing all students the opportunity to explore global perspectives.

The First Chinese Students

Wen Ping Pan

The first Chinese student, Pan Wen Ping


The first three students from China—Pan Wen Ping, Pan Wen Huen, and Kwong Yih Kum—enrolled at the University of Minnesota in 1914. They attended the St. John’s University in Shanghai and Tsinghua College in Beijing in China. Pan Wen Huen earned a bachelor of science degrees in chemistry in 1918 and metallurgical engineering in 1919. He settled in northern Minnesota after graduating and worked for a mining company for 40 years, retiring in 1959. Kwong graduated in 1918 with a bachelor of science in mining and returned to China.


Student Organizations Build Community

Chinese Students and Scholars Association

The University of Minnesota Chinese Students and Scholars Association,established in 1984,was one of the largest student organizations on campus in 2013.

Chinese Student Banquet in 1955

in 1955, the Chinese students’ club hosted a banquet for its members.


The first three Chinese students, along with others, established the Chinese Students’ Club in 1915. By then, the University was home to more students from China and the club was able to recruit 14 members to join. The student organizations for Chinese students or those interested in topics related to China.