Class of 2019, USA
Yenching Scholar at the Yenching Academy of Peking University
Helena Juliette Auerswald is the first Yale-NUS student to be selected as a Yenching Scholar, and will enrol in the interdisciplinary Master’s in China Studies programme at the Yenching Academy of Peking University. The programme is focused on the role of China within the humanities and social sciences at the Yenching Academy of Peking University in China. The Academy annually enrols approximately 125 students each year from partner universities, which recommend only their top contenders to the programme. Since the programme started in 2015, only two students from Singaporean institutions have been awarded the Yenching Scholarship. Scholars have taken various paths with about 30 percent progressing to PhD level studies at renowned institutions like Cambridge, Oxford, Harvard, Yale and Duke University. Others have taken up key positions in international companies like Google, The Associated Press and General Electric. She believes that China’s return to global leadership is going to present some of the greatest challenges and opportunities of her generation.
Helena first became interested in China while growing up in Washington DC and studying Mandarin for six years, giving her exposure to Chinese language and culture from a young age. Her interest in US-China relations stemmed from her Global Affairs courses, in which she studied how the US and China manage and exert their power overseas, especially in Southeast Asia. Helena will start classes at Yenching Academy in September 2019.
Helena is also the recipient of the Class of 2017 Award for outstanding contributions to the College, as selected by the senior class and the Prize for Outstanding Capstone Project in Global Affairs for 2019.
“Through the Common Curriculum at Yale-NUS, I learned about Chinese literature and philosophy, from which I began to develop a deeper understanding of the vast differences between different periods of Chinese history and geographical areas of China.”