Career Strategy Fellowships Study Abroad Summer Session

The Light Fellowship at Yale

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Tip: The Light Fellowship fully funds promising Yale students to study Chinese, Japanese, and Korean in-country.

Light Fellows undertake some of the most rigorous language-training in the world; this intellectual challenge takes place alongside intense cultural immersion.

Most programs at the Light Fellowship's Approved Sites Abroad are Designated Non-Yale Programs for which Yale College students can separately apply for general graduation credit at Yale.


Since 1996, The Light Foundation has generously funded the Richard U. Light Fellowship Program at Yale to enable students to engage in language study in East Asia. The Light Fellowship is fundamentally committed to language study and cultural immersion as an integral part of a Light Fellow's academic preparation, professional development, and personal growth.

The Light Fellowship Award

The Foundation provides full funding (transportation, tuition, room and board, and incidentals) for Yale students of exceptional promise to study Chinese, Japanese, or Korean at specific Approved Sites Abroad in China, Taiwan, Japan, and South Korea.  Applicants must separately apply and be admitted to programs at one or more Light Fellowship Approved Sites Abroad.

The Light Fellowship is fundamentally committed to intensive language study with the belief that such study abroad provides a tremendous opportunity for students to immerse themselves in new cultures.  The Light Fellowship's Executive Committee seeks to identify applicants who demonstrate academic achievement, readiness for the proposed program, and commitment to language study in their academic or career plans.

Light Fellowships are awarded twice each year and are tenable for one Yale semester, an academic year, a summer, or combinations thereof. The Richard U. Light Fellowship Program welcomes applications from a diverse range of backgrounds and academic disciplines. You must be a registered and enrolled Yale student to apply. All undergraduates (including graduating seniors), master's degree students, and professional school students are eligible. Ph.D. students are eligible only if their language study in East Asia would be completed prior to submitting their prospectus.

Candidates must have achieved a basic proficiency (at least one year of intensive study at Yale or at an equivalent program by the time of departure) in the target language, but should not have achieved such a high level of proficiency that they will not make significant language gains by attending a program. Those who have advanced proficiency in one language may apply for the Fellowship in a second East Asian language. Citizenship is not a factor in the selection process. Recipients are expected to continue language study after they return from Asia. Full eligibility requirements are listed here.