Monday, April 29, 2024
student smiling

Iowa City, Iowa, native Aden Hageman, a physics and Japanese double major at the University of Iowa, has been awarded a 2024 David L. Boren Scholarship to study Japanese at Kanda University of International Studies in Chiba, Japan.

Hometown: Iowa City, Iowa 
Majors: BS in physics, BA in Japanese 

Were there experiences at the UI that inspired your decision to pursue a Boren?  
The Boren had been on my radar since freshman year. While I was interested in studying abroad, I simply did not think it would be feasible to graduate on time and spend time abroad. However, after hearing about my friend’s experience studying in New Zealand for a semester, I decided I had to apply. Learning about Japan’s history and position in the modern world made me realize the Boren was the right option for me. 

What drew you to your language studies?  
To be honest, I did not start out with a passion for language learning. I needed to fulfill my requirement and had played a lot of Japanese games as a child so I thought it would be fun to revisit them in the original language. However, I quickly fell in love with the language and the amazing professors who were teaching it. The challenge and richness of Japanese sets it apart in my eyes and has kept my motivation to learn going strong. More than that though, I have met several incredibly kind Japanese people with a great passion for sharing their language and culture which have made my studies much more enjoyable. 

How do you foresee this influencing your future career?  
I plan on attending graduate school and pursuing a career in physics following graduation. The Boren provides a great opportunity to build connections abroad and to see state-of-the-art research being done around the world. It also facilitates career opportunities domestically and prepares me for a future in federal work. 

What excites you most about spending a year in your host country?  
Because I am a double major, I often feel stretched thin and am not able to focus on either subject as much as I would hope. I am excited to have time devoted solely to language learning, especially while abroad. More than classes though, I am excited to travel and meet people while in Japan. I fully intend to make use of Japan’s infamous rail system to sightsee and talk with people all over the country! 

Do you have professors or mentors you'd like to thank?  
I would like to thank Dr. Yumiko Nishi, Professor Nana Onishi-Goley, and all my other Japanese professors over the years. I would also like to thank Dr. William Reisinger and Karen Wachsmuth for their guidance throughout the application process. Lastly, I would like to thank Dr. Ravitej Uppu for inspiring me to pursue a career in physics. 

The Boren Scholarship, an initiative sponsored by the National Security Education Program (NSEP), is a national, competitive program that provides U.S. undergraduate students funding opportunities to study languages in world regions deemed critical to U.S. national security. In exchange for funding, Boren Scholars commit to working in the federal government for at least one year after graduation. 



International Programs (IP) at the University of Iowa (UI) is committed to enriching the global experience of UI students, faculty, staff, and the general public by leading efforts to promote internationally oriented teaching, research, creative work, and community engagement.  IP provides support for international students and scholars, administers scholarships and assistance for students who study, intern, or do research abroad, and provides funding opportunities and grant-writing assistance for faculty engaged in international research. IP shares their stories through various media, and by hosting multiple public engagement activities each year.