Of more than 2000 over-seas students across the UK, our very own Yu Huai Zhang has been named 'International Student of the Year'. More familiar by his English name, Neo was awarded the title for demonstrating "the power of positive thinking and involvement in wide-ranging activities outside the academic arena".
Having detailed his experience of life in Northern Ireland in a letter to his father in China he explained that the decision to study at Queen's has "paved my way to a bright future allowing me to shine". Neo has played an active part in the Union during his four years studying Management in Belfast and ran for President during the recent sabbatical elections.
The award is a recognition of the many achievements Neo has had while living here. He was the first Chinese national to be installed as a student officer at the University, was voted best newcomer by staff at Invest NI in 2006 where he spent a year on placement and has even translated a prisoner's handbook into Mandarin and Cantonese.
In an interview with Good Morning Ulster, Neo revealed that Queen's long and established history as a leading University in the UK was an influential reason for deciding to study here...as well as a love of 'the black stuff' of course!