Career Strategy Fellowships Study Abroad Summer Session

FAQs for Recent Winners

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Were you recently awarded a Light Fellowship? Search through these frequently asked questions.

Accepting the Light Fellowship

YES!...but only from the program(s) you will be attending. Actual confirmation of your program depends on your providing us with a copy of your program acceptance letter or E-mail ONLY from the program(s) you will attend. We assume that, until you confirm your program(s), you are still waiting for program results. We cannot generate your award budgets or checks until we know for sure and have proof of which program(s) you will be attending. 

Contact us immediately to let us know your situation. The deadline to accept the award is still in effect.

Airfare and Travel

The Light Fellowship covers only one round-trip plane ticket between the US and East Asia, regardless of the amount of time spent abroad. We highly recommend that you stay in your host country! There is much to see, and with your new language skills, you will be able to have an experience that most foreigners could not. You might also consider doing volunteer work, or making career-related and/or academic connections. Some students get a head start on their senior thesis. Others invite their families to visit instead of going home. In some cases, the gap between programs can run 5 weeks! Once you confirm your program(s) we will add funding to cover your daily expenses for the time between program terms: food, housing, transportation and miscellaneous (insurance is already factored in for the full range of dates). If you budget wisely, you should have plenty of money left over for travel or other activities. Do something memorable (but well-planned and safe)!

Applying to Program Sites Abroad

We cannot intervene in a program's decision to admit or reject an applicant. If they have follow-up questions or if there is some question regarding your ability to pay, they can contact our office.

Applying to the Light Fellowship

In general, the answer is no. Your application is evaluated taking timing and length of study into consideration.  If you plan on modifying the length of your study, please submit a petition to light.fellowship@yale.edu.

Credits and Grades

Yes and no. You can bring back credit from outside Yale for both one summer (2 credits) and one Yale Term Abroad (4 credits; fall or spring), for a total of 6 outside credits. You cannot combine credit from a summer and a Year Abroad. If you get transfer credit from a Year Abroad (9 credits) you will forgo the previously earned 2 summer credits.

Yes. To receive credit for summer studies you must apply for credit by the study abroad credit deadline, typically the first week of March. Credit is not automatically approved, but most fellows returning from Light-approved summer programs receive two credits. Grades will not appear on the transcript. 

Yes. Students who want to transfer credit from time abroad must earn grades of at least C. Additionally, if you fail to complete your program in good standing (C- or below), you may be asked to return part or all of your Light Fellowship award.  We and your Residential College Dean will be receiving an official copy of your transcript from each program you attend, and weak grades may reflect poorly on your ability to handle an intensive language program and/or to live overseas. If you decide to apply for another Light, your grades at previously attended language programs will affect your application. Moreover, future employers and graduate schools sometimes want to see these grades. 

These credits are listed on your transcript with grades of "CR" (Credit) and are not counted toward your GPA. These credits are also not part of the calculation for graduation honors or distinction in the major. They are not considered "non-A" grades like the Cr/D/Fail option in Yale classes. The same goes for Phi Beta Kappa - you are considered based solely on grades earned at Yale, or at Yale programs like Summer Session or Yale-in-London. However, some Residential College honors may factor in grades earned abroad.

No. In order to use International Summer Award (ISA) funding towards a designated non-Yale program, Yale requires students to do the program for Yale credit. The total amount of outside credits you can earn during all your summers as a Yale student is two. If you transfer in two credits for your work at a summer Light-approved program, you can no longer transfer in any more outside credit for programs done during future summers or on a leave of absence. This means that you would not be able to use the ISA for a future summer study on a non-Yale program. This regulation does not affect use of an ISA for future participation in Yale Summer Session programs abroad (which are taken for Yale credit, not transfer credit) or the non-credit International Bulldogs internships.

Check out the Study Abroad website, and then schedule an appointment with a study abroad adviser.

The majority of Light-approved programs give grades, but they will not appear on your Yale transcript. If you get transfer credit from your program, the course name and number and a mark of "CR" will appear on your Yale transcript, but will not affect your GPA or graduation honors.

Health Insurance and Vaccinations

All required immunizations will be provided to you by the Travel Clinic, which determines what shots you need based on the information you provide them. The Light Fellowship covers these costs if you abide by the instructions in the "Award Checklist" in the Student Grants Database.  Make sure to let the Travel Clinic know you are a Light Fellow.  You should not have to pay any costs directly.

Keeping in Contact While Abroad

It's easy!  Please refer to the Blogging Primer for Light Fellows.

The Student Advisory Committee will create panlists for each program. We will add you to your program's list once you complete the Program Confirmation form. You are free to unsubscribe if you do not wish to receive emails from the group. Contact SAC for more information.

Get yourself to a safe place as quickly as possible (call a cab, ambulance, etc.) Once you are in a safe place, please follow these steps, including contacting UHC Global for assistance and informing the Light Fellowship office: http://light.yale.edu/resources/health-safety-during

If you have a question, always start by checking our FAQs and online Bulletin Board. If you still have questions, email light.fellowship@yale.edu. You may also call the Light Fellowship office at (203) 432-8675. If you would like to schedule an appointment, please use the online appointment system.

Light Fellowship Funding

The Light Fellowship covers only one round-trip plane ticket between the US and East Asia, regardless of the amount of time spent abroad. We highly recommend that you stay in your host country! There is much to see, and with your new language skills, you will be able to have an experience that most foreigners could not. You might also consider doing volunteer work, or making career-related and/or academic connections. Some students get a head start on their senior thesis. Others invite their families to visit instead of going home. In some cases, the gap between programs can run 5 weeks! Once you confirm your program(s) we will add funding to cover your daily expenses for the time between program terms: food, housing, transportation and miscellaneous (insurance is already factored in for the full range of dates). If you budget wisely, you should have plenty of money left over for travel or other activities. Do something memorable (but well-planned and safe)!

There is not a flat grant amount, and each student receives an individualized budget that is updated each year based on fluctuating exchange rates and program costs.

We do expect Light Fellows to pay the deposit securing your position in the program(s) in advance of receiving your award check.  You will be reimbursed for this payment when you receive your award check.  If you are absolutely unable to pay the deposit in advance and the program is unwilling to offer an extension, please let us know.

With respect to tuition payment, if you have not done so already, please forward your Light Fellowship award e-mail to the program administrator, confirming that you are a Light Fellow who will receive "full" funding. You do NOT need to specify an amount of the award. Furthermore, Late Fall Competition winners can notify program administrators that you will likely be receiving an official award letter and check in April or May (that is, of course, if your program placement is already settled). Finally, you can reference the Light Fellowship Staff as contacts should a program have any questions. We go through this every year!

Students who receive term-time financial aid are eligible for the International Summer Award, a one-time stipend for one summer experience abroad, including certain designated study abroad programs. Students eligible for the ISA who do NOT receive the Light Fellowship are able to use it toward any Light-approved program, so long as they are receiving credit for the program.  To learn more about the ISA, attend an ISA information session.

It is your responsibility to pay your deposits when they are due. Your Light Fellowship award check will reimburse you for the deposit.

Summer-only, Summer + Fall, Fall-only, and Spring-only Fellows will receive one award check. Summer + Year and Yearlong Fellows will receive their award in two checks, with the second check distributed in January.

Outside of program dates, the Light Fellowship will provide funding to cover basic daily costs (food, housing, travel) only for those students who are between two Light-approved programs. Many students find that if they are frugal during their program(s), they have money left over at the end to use toward independent travel within that country.

No. The Light Fellowship only supports study at Light-approved language programs in East Asia.

Passport and Visa

Yes! Take care of this immediately. If you already have a passport, make sure it will not expire before, during, or within 6 months of your RETURN from your time abroad. You can get a passport through the United States Postal Service, (www.usps.com/passport). Also, check out the State Department's Web site (www.travel.state.gov) for helpful travel information, including info on visas and passports.

The State Department provides country-specific Entry/Exit requirements (https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country.html).  We encourage you to discuss with your program(s), especially if you will be attending different programs during your time abroad.  

We do not endorse any visa services, but several students used the China Visa Service Center (www.mychinavisa.com) and the Zierer Visa Service (www.zvs.com) and had good results. Yale does have an account with CIBT to service the visa needs of the Yale community (https://your.yale.edu/administrative-services/travel-relocation-fleet/travel/international-travel/visas). These options may be less expensive and easier than going to New York City to do an in-person application at the consulate.  Please confirm in advance that you are eligible to use a third party service and are not required to apply for your visa in person.

The Light Fellowship needs this information to calculate the amount of money to include in your budget for visa fees.

Returning to Yale

Yes! You may also want to write a note upon your return to give an update on your plans and experiences. Consider that this person may be a useful resource for future recommendation letters. Snail mail cards and letters are nicer than emails.

Traveling While Abroad

Start by checking out the "Travel" section on the online Bulletin Board to see if anyone has written about independent traveling in the area you're interested in. Then, get in touch with individual Light alumni! Many of them have generously volunteered to give advice to current fellows. Also, the Lonely Planet Guide we gave you before you left should help you get started.

Get yourself to a safe place as quickly as possible (call a cab, ambulance, etc.) Once you are in a safe place, please follow these steps, including contacting UHC Global for assistance and informing the Light Fellowship office: http://light.yale.edu/resources/health-safety-during

Outside of program dates, the Light Fellowship will provide funding to cover basic daily costs (food, housing, travel) only for those students who are between two Light-approved programs. Many students find that if they are frugal during their program(s), they have money left over at the end to use toward independent travel within that country.