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Fan Yue is a Teaching Assistant of Chinese for the East Asian Studies Department from Beijing Normal University. In Beijing Normal University, Fan Yue studies Teaching Chinese to English Speakers. Her time in the classroom and in group study sessions with Oberlin students has given her the opportunity to further develop her teaching skills while gaining valuable real-world experience.
Before applying to the Shansi Visiting Scholars Program, Fan Yue was impressed with the level of diversity that the Oberlin website presented. The faces of Oberlin, to her, reflected the image of America she had built from what she’d read in books and seen on television. Since arriving, she finds that Oberlin’s campus does, in fact, offer the level of diversity she saw online. Furthermore, living in Shansi house has provided her with unexpected insights into a diverse academic community on Oberlin's campus. While she thought that her worldview would only include American and Chinese cultures, her time at Shansi house has allowed her to make new friends from India, Indonesia, and Kuwait. She thinks that, by meeting so many new people from different backgrounds, she’s become more knowledgable. As a result, she wants to integrate new perspectives into her classroom.
As a visiting Chinese Instructor from Beijing Normal University, this is only the first of Fan Yue’s two years in Oberlin. While she spent some of this year feeling out the campus and her workload, next year she hopes to become more involved and take a class in the Oberlin Experimental College. She’s been cooking meals for herself more and more often in Shansi House and wants to experiment more with Chinese cooking.
Being a current student at Beijing Normal University, Fan Yue is much closer in age to her students than many other Chinese teachers on campus. As a result, she’s found a community here, often accepting invites from students and organizations to film screenings and senior recitals. She’s impressed with the kindness of people at Oberlin, observing a “friendly atmosphere on campus.” In Beijing, she thinks many people are focused on their phones, but people smile and greet her on the street in Oberlin. She was also exposed to American city life through visits to New York City and New Orleans with other Visiting Scholars. In reference to her experience teaching and learning in America, Fan Yue looks to the proverb “读万卷书不如行万里路” or “Reading ten thousand books is not as useful as traveling ten thousand miles.”
Dalila Husna Yunardi
Dalila hails from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where she teaches software engineering and computer science at Syiah Kuala University. However, you won’t any Computer Science courses on her schedule here at Oberlin. Instead, she’s focusing on classes in Rhetoric and Composition with the intention of improving her writing skills so her scientific papers can excel. In addition to exploring liberal arts curricula and pedagogies, Dalila applied to Oberlin Shansi with the intention of improving her writing for scientific journals, reports, and research proposals. Before coming to Shansi, Dalila and her co-workers were in the introductory stages of a research project that introduces technology into the daily lives of salt farmers near Banda Aceh.
Dalila has used her time at Oberlin to explore global perspectives on education and revisit the life of a student. In addition to her classes in Rhetoric, Dalila is learning Arabic and has joined the Gamelan ensemble. In October, she attended a software and technology symposium in New Orleans. At the symposium, she made professional connections and attended sessions that highlighted real-life examples of technology addressing social problems. Furthermore, the experience in New Orleans allowed Dalila the chance to explore the rich cultural, historic, and gastronomic diversity of the United States.
This semester, Dalila has spent time exploring different museums in Oberlin and Cleveland. She has been keeping up her hobbies of cross-stitch, reading, and baking, and one can often find her in the Oberlin Public Library. She’s caught onto an office-wide obsession with Trader Joe’s and looks forward to her next trips there. She and this year’s Returned Fellow, Eli Fisher, cook meals for students attending Oberlin’s Barefoot dialogues at Shansi House every other week. Other than cross-stitch projects and books from the Public Library’s book sale, Dalila is excited to bring back another skill she’s learned in the Oberlin classroom: workshopping. In her Rhetoric and Composition class, she learned how useful having peers read and give constructive criticism to work is, and wonders about the benefits of work shopping code with peers.
Sri "Tina" Agustina
Sri “Tina” Agustina is a lecturer at Syiah Kuala University at Banda Aceh, Indonesia, teaching courses in Chemistry, Geochemistry, Marine Chemistry, and Oceanography. Oberlin Shansi has been thrilled to welcome her as a Spring 2019 Visiting Scholar. Since arriving in late January, Tina has been taking full advantage of a range of opportunities at Oberlin. She’s audited classes, taken ExCos, joined a musical group, and explored Northern Ohio.
In the classes she’s taking in the Chemistry department here in Oberlin, Tina’s been observing classroom management and course organization. She’s also paid close attention to communication styles between Oberlin students and professors. Tina wants to integrate what she’s learned at Oberlin into her lectures at Syiah Kuala University in many aspects: creating office hours, assigning weekly optional problem sets, and establishing an “ask me anything” attitude with her students.
Chemistry is only one among many of her interests: in Oberlin, she also studies Chinese, English as a Second Language, and Gamelan performance. Through taking the Korean ExCo, she has also learned the benefits of the Oberlin Experimental College, and how students teaching other students can further education. While she’s studied in Taiwan before, her Visiting Scholar position with Oberlin Shansi is her first experience in North America. In Oberlin, she has created a balance between academic life and recreational activities and splits her time between schoolwork and exploring outside of Oberlin’s academic campus. Dinner parties, visits to farmers markets, and weekly spiritual meetings with various members of the Oberlin community fill her schedule.
Using the Oberlin Shansi travel grant for visiting scholars, Tina has also been able to explore the US outside of Oberlin. From her visits to Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Boston for Spring Break, Atlanta for an oceanography conference, and her day-to-day experiences in Oberlin, Tina has admired the friendliness and openness of many American people. She was struck by the welcoming spirit and support she’s received in her time here so far.
Since arriving in Oberlin in late January, 2019, “Aris” Arismawan has been busy. Visiting from Syiah Kuala University, he is impressed by the sheer number of posters he sees around Oberlin’s campus, and is excited by the number of course offerings available. While he lectures on Engineering and Industrial Management at SKU, he’s further explored his academic and personal interests here in Oberlin. Taking classes in Entrepreneurship, Comparative American Studies, Arabic, Economics, and a Korean ExCo, Aris has been fully immersed in the Liberal Arts. If that doesn’t make him too busy already, Aris has explored many campus events, guest lectures, movie screenings, and workshops. Upon returning to SKU, he hopes to create an event calendar similar to Oberlin’s, where one can see what’s happening on any given afternoon.
Other than an event calendar, Aris has been impressed with the attitudes between students and lecturers in Oberlin and hopes to bring some of that to Syiah Kuala. Along with technological changes, like wanting to contact students more through the internet or websites like Blackboard, he hopes to integrate more discussion into his lectures. He also hopes to explore peer-learning pedagogies, creating opportunities for more students to teach.
While Aris didn’t come to Oberlin with any specific research in mind, he’s made it a personal mission to learn about American cultures. Through taking Comparative American Studies courses, using the Shansi Visiting Scholar’s travel grant to explore the U.S. outside of Oberlin, and visiting many arts institutions like the Cleveland Art Museum and Oberlin’s Allen Art Museum, Aris has tried to find commonalities between Acehnese and American cultures. While this is project would inevitably take longer than just one semester in Oberlin, he was surprised with one thing – the friendliness of the people he’s met here. An avid participant in Oberlin’s Friendship Circle, he tries to engage with Oberlin students and professors as much as possible. He goes to International Student dinners and attends every Shansi information session, so he can share his own experience and make even more meaningful connections in Oberlin. He loves how frequently people smile here.
Even with his busy schedule, Aris finds time to spend in the library, the gym, and even The Feve. While he’s made many friends in his time in Oberlin, he emphasizes his appreciation for the Oberlin Shansi office. He says, “I feel like in Shansi, this is not just work, or just professional, this is like family.”
Hawraa Sanaa joined the Oberlin community from Kuwait and spent the academic year as an Arabic Language Fulbright Teaching Assistant. Hawraa was a dedicated teacher and contributor to the Oberlin community. She hosted Arabic language teas at Shansi House for her students and presented talks on issues related to Kuwait, Islam, and culture to the Oberlin community throughout the year.