Career Strategy Fellowships Study Abroad Summer Session


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Tip: Applicants should ensure they meet all of the eligibility requirements before applying.

Eligibility Information

Before moving forward with your application, please ensure that you meet all of the applicable eligibility requirements listed below. 

If you do meet the eligibility requirements, get a head start by visiting our Application Process page.  Remember that applying for the Light Fellowship is a competitive process, and many parts of the application - including the personal statement, résumé, transcript, and letter(s) of recommendation - can take time to complete and obtain.


Student Status
  • You must be a registered and enrolled Yale student. All undergraduate students (including graduating seniors), master's degree students, and professional school students are eligible to apply.
  • Ph.D. students are eligible to apply to the Light Fellowship only if their language study in East Asia would be completed prior to submitting their prospectus.
  • Students on a Leave of Absence are eligible to apply. Students who have withdrawn are not.
Language Study
  • You must have already completed one year of language study at Yale or at an equivalent program by the time you embark on your studies abroad (i.e., if you begin the language in September, you may apply in January to study as early as the summer).
  • Applicants must have taken a Yale language class in the language they are proposing for their Fellowship. Applicants must have completed at least one semester at Yale by the competition's final deadline. Students who pass out of L1 and take L2 in the spring are not eligible until the following year.
  • You may not already be fluent in the language; however, if you are fluent in Chinese, for example, you are still eligible to study Japanese or Korean.  The Light Fellowship's judgment of fluency is being able to listen to the evening news in that language and understand every word and also being able to read a newspaper in that language and fully comprehend the content.
Term of Study
  • First-year students can apply for a Light Fellowship to study abroad ONLY for the summer after their first year at Yale.
  • Students who graduate in December may apply to study in the spring after they graduate and may also submit a new application for study in the summer + academic year following that spring. Students in this situation must meet with Light Fellowship staff to discuss their plans.
Information Session
  • You must attend one of the Light Fellowship information sessions during the academic year of your application. No credit will be given for having attended information sessions in previous academic years. Previous Light Fellows who are applying again must therefore attend another information session.
Former Light Fellows
  • The Light Fellowship encourages applications from students multiple times throughout their Yale careers; however, Light Fellowship funding will normally be granted to a particular student for no more than four terms, with a summer counting as a term.
  • Former Light Fellows who are applying for another Light Fellowship must have completed all prior reporting requirements (program reporting, survey, program transcript), as stipulated in their Light Fellowship Award Agreement. Former Light Fellows must also attend a new information session.
Additional Information and Reminders
  • You must separately apply to and obtain admission at one or more programs at Light Fellowship Approved Sites Abroad in order to receive Light Fellowship funding.
  • There are no citizenship requirements for the Light Fellowship.
  • You must start an application through the Yale Student Grants Database by the specified deadline (well before the final Light Fellowship application date!).
  • Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply for other fellowships/funding sources for which they are eligible (e.g. Fulbright Fellowships, Parker Huang Fellowships, etc.).  A list of Yale-administered fellowships can be found on the Yale Student Grants Database NOTE: Applying to other funding sources will NOT affect one's application for a Light Fellowship.

General Selection Criteria

  • Commitment to language study
  • Timing of language study abroad / Appropriateness of proposed program
  • Clarity and feasibility of overall plan
  • Performance in the language classroom
  • Seniors, graduate, and professional students applying for post-graduate fellowships should propose programs of study that include an academic year. Fewer post-graduate fellowships are awarded, making the selection process more competitive.
  • Light Fellowships are awarded for intensive language study only, not for archival research or other purposes. Preference will be given to applicants whose language abilities would undergo significant improvement (as opposed to relatively minor advances to already proficient language skills) and who would utilize these improved language abilities as part of a coherent, long-term plan.