6 April 2023 Yonten ’23 Receives Princeton in Asia Fellowship

Tenzin Yonten ’23 has earned the prestigious 2023 Princeton in Asia Fellowship that will begin in September. Before then he will present research in Ohio, learn about the Holocaust in Germany and Poland, and conduct research in Japan.

As a recipient of the 2023 Princeton in Asia Fellowship, Tenzin Yonten ’23 will teach English for a year at the University of Finance and Economics in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.  

Passionate about global immersion, Yonten is excited to begin his placement on a college campus. 

“I am looking forward to immersing myself in Mongolian culture, including taking language courses and being an English lecturer,” he says. 

A native speaker of English and Hindi, Yonten also speaks Urdu, and is conversational in Tibetan and Nepali. Through the Princeton in Asia Fellowship, Yonten will participate in an Orientation program before he departs, where he will become TEFL (teaching English as a foreign language) certified. 

Princeton in Asia Fellowships have a competitive application process and only a 10 percent acceptance rate. 

“It really takes a village,” Yonten says about the process. Being named to the 2023 cohort is both a reflection of the “resiliency” and “hard work” that went into his triple major and extracurriculars on campus, as well as the support he has received from his advisor, Associate Professor of History Lisa Yoshikawa.   

“She’s always been there, no matter if it's needing a letter of recommendation a day later or hopping on a quick meeting if I need any sort of guidance. I really would not be in the position I am without her mentorship.” 

As a junior, Yonten studied abroad in Seoul, South Korea, where he received a SIIF grant through the Center for Global Education to further his interest in the e-sport scene by attending live matches. He is also a 2022 recipient of the Padnos Family Endowed Internship and Travel Award, which funded an internship with Haatemalo Legal Consultancy, a law firm based in Kathmandu, Nepal. 

“Neither of these experiences were guided. I had the support of the Colleges, but I was on my own when I got there and had to be self-reliant. It taught me that I could do this. I could be independent,” he says. 

Next week, Yonten has been invited to present research conducted on campus at the ASIANetwork Annual Conference in Columbus, Ohio. His paper, titled “Korean Hamlet: The Amalgamation of Han, Shamanism and Catharsis,” gave him the opportunity to synthesize knowledge from his triple majors in Asian studies, English and history.  

Yonten has a busy summer planned before he heads to Mongolia as well. 

After graduation, Yonten will attend the “The March: Bearing Witness to Hope” program to Germany and Poland led by Professor of Religious Studies Michael Dobkowski. The experience will include visits to historical sites central to understanding the Nazi period and World War II, culminating in the Holocaust. 

Following the program to Europe, Yonten will join Jonathan Garcia ’23, Roxana Peña ’23 and Associate Professor of History Lisa Yoshikawa in Tokyo, Japan to conduct research funded by the ASIANetwork Student-Faculty Fellows Program Award. The HWS cohort received the grant in March 2021 to study Tokyo’s history of transformation and to develop proposals for the post-pandemic tourism industry.

"I am so grateful to the Colleges, my family, and everyone else who has helped me along the way. I would have never thought that my one interview with Marylyn Uhnak when I was taking my gap year in India would lead me to such an incredible journey throughout my four years here." 

On campus, Yonten is a member of the Hobart Druids Honor Society. He has served as a study mentor for the Center for Teaching and Learning and as a student representative to the HWS Council of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. As a sophomore and junior, Yonten served in Hobart Student Government. He is the founder and president of the HWS Pre-Law Club and serves as a house manager in the Bampton Hobart Honors House.

In the photo above, Tenzin Yonten '23 poses for a headshot. He is wearing a blazer he purchased during his Padnos experience in Nepal.