Career Strategy Fellowships Study Abroad

The Light Fellowship

You are here


Through intensive language study in China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan, the Light Fellowship program helps Yale students become highly proficient in one or more East Asian languages in order to cultivate intercultural understanding and engagement among future leaders.

The Light Fellowship Award

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 various cultural communities. 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.

The fellowship provides full funding (tuition, room and board, transportation, and incidentals) for Yale students of exceptional promise to study Chinese, Japanese, or Korean at specific Approved Programs in East Asia. In addition to applying for the Light Fellowship, applicants must also apply and be admitted to programs at one or more Approved Programs.

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 and engagement with the region after they return from Asia. Full eligibility requirements can be found here.

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.

The Richard U. Light Foundation began funding the Richard U. Light Fellowship at Yale in 1996. Since then, the Light Fellowship has had a significant impact on Yale's efforts to internationalize its campus culture by giving over 2,000 Yale students fully-funded opportunities to pursue intensive language study in East Asia.