Henry Aberle ’16, an East Asian studies and musical studies major, has been awarded a Shansi Fellowship with J.F. Oberlin University in Japan.
The two-year fellowship will bring Aberle to Machida, Japan, a suburb outside Tokyo. The university was founded by two Japanese Oberlin alumni and now boasts a campus with more than 9,000 students. As a fellow, Aberle will work part-time as an instructor in the English Language Program and work several hours each week conducting conversation clubs and supporting the writing tutorial program.
Aberle says he had considered applying for a Shansi fellowship position since he first learned about the opportunity, and his time studying abroad in Japan confirmed his desire to return after graduation. He adds that he has close friends from Oberlin who are also going to Asia after graduation, which should ease the transition.
While at Oberlin, Aberle founded the East Asian Game Club with the mission of providing a relaxed space for interaction between students, faculty, and community through an outlet not previously available on campus. He also started an ExCo that teaches one game in particular, Karuta, aimed especially at beginning level Japanese language students.
He says his time at Oberlin gave him the confidence to pursue teaching. “Oberlin has given me language and overall academic abilities that make me confident in my ability to perform well as a teacher. It is especially thanks to my teachers and friends who have given me the space to discuss a range of issues and thereby shaped the person I am today,” he says.
While he says he is not sure about his plans after the end of his fellowship, Aberle is considering pursuing a master’s in music in orchestral conducting.
Aberle will begin his fellowship in July.