Career Strategy Fellowships Study Abroad

Application Process

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There are two Light Fellowship competitions each academic year. The Early Fall Competition is for funding spring term-time study only. The Late Fall Competition is for funding study abroad for summer, fall, and a full academic year. 

1.  Review our eligibility requirements

Note: Ensure you meet all of our Eligibility Requirements before applying. Please note you must attend an information session in order to meet eligibility requirements. 

2. Start an application

We encourage you to start an application as soon as possible so you can see what materials you will need to submit and complete. Starting an application does not obligate you to complete the application process.

 Once you complete the "Start Your Application" section, all other sections of the application will appear. 

for study in the following Spring semester

for study in the following Summer, Academic Year, Fall, Summer + Fall, or Summer + Academic Year terms

3. (Optional) Meet with the Light Fellowship Staff

If you have questions after attending a Light Fellowship Information Session, you are welcome to meet with a Light Fellowship Adviser. 

Link: Request an Appointment

4. Request a recommendation letter 

All Light Fellowship applications must submit one recommendation from a Yale faculty member with whom you have taken a non-language class. You should not request a recommendation from a language instructor or residential college dean. 

  • Speak to your recommender well in advance of the deadline, ideally at least 3-4 weeks before! It is your responsibility to follow up with your recommender to ensure that your recommendation is submitted by the relevant deadline.
  • This recommendation will be requested and submitted electronically through your application in the Student Grants Database. Additional recommendations will not be accepted.
  • You must submit your recommendation request by the application deadline, otherwise your application will be considered incomplete and will not be considered for a Light Fellowship.

5. Complete the application

Read ALL of the instructions and guidance found in your application. Be sure to complete every section and follow the formatting requirements for uploading attached documents.  

A completed application consists of:

  1. All sections of this application in the Student Grants Database must be completed to 100% by the final deadline. Including:
    • Language Evaluation: A Language Evaluation by your current or most recent Yale language instructor is required for all Light Fellowship applicants. The Light Fellowship Office will notify your current or most recent language instructor to complete your language evaluation (as listed in your application), it is your responsibility to speak with and ask your language instructor if they are willing to write your language evaluation well before the deadline.
    • Recommendation Letter from a Yale Faculty member: You must submit the recommendation request by the application deadline to be considered for the Light Fellowship. 
    • Personal Essays: The personal essay form is available in the application on Student Grants Database and is submitted electronically through the Student Grants Database by the final deadline.
    • Unofficial Yale Transcript and Transcripts from Other Institutions: You are required to upload a version of your most recent Yale transcript. Transfer students, graduate and professional school students must also submit a scanned copy of your transcript from your former undergraduate institution.  Unofficial transcripts are acceptable, so long as the uploaded documents are clear and include all of your grades. All transcript(s) must be uploaded and submitted electronically by the application.

Remember to press the "Submit" button before 1:00 PM EST on the application deadline date. There are no exceptions to meeting this deadline. 

Date: Deadline for Early Fall Competition: Thursday, September 28, 2023 at 1:00PM

Deadline for Late Fall Competition: Thursday, January 4, 2024 at 1:00PM 

Note: All competition deadlines are non-negotiable and will be strictly enforced to ensure a fair and manageable application process.

6. Apply to language programs

You must separately apply to and be admitted into one or more programs at the Approved Sites Abroad of your choice. Carefully review the page for each Approved Program for any specific notes or requirements. Note that not all programs and language levels offered at each Approved Program are eligible for Light funding.

We encourage you to research all of the programs you are eligible for and carefully review the application process and deadlines.  Keep in mind that many Chinese and Japanese language programs have deadlines before the Light Fellowship application deadline.

While we are happy to meet with you to discuss which program(s) would be a good fit for you based on your specific goals and language level, please reach out to the programs directly with any questions about program applications or requirements. 

7. (Optional) Apply for Study Abroad credit 

Yale students can transfer a total of 2 credits across all three summers and leaves of absences, including credits gained from courses taken at other universities within the U.S. It's important to note that the International Study Award (ISA) requires that students complete their summer coursework for credit. If you plan on taking advantage of the ISA for a non-Yale summer abroad after your Light Fellowship, you might consider not transferring credit for the LF program in order to transfer credit in a subsequent year for an ISA program. If you're considering transferring credit for term-time or Academic Year, learn more about it on Year or Term Abroad: Academics & Credit. If you are considering transferring credit for Summer, learn more about this at Non-Yale Summer Abroad: Academics and Credit. If you have any further questions, feel free to e-mail the Light Fellowship Assistant Director or make an appointment here

Note: Applying for credit is external to the Light Fellowship application and is NOT a requirement for the Light Fellowship.

Study Abroad Credit Deadlines
  • Spring Term Abroad: October 11, 2023 @ 1:00pm EST
  • Non-Yale Summer Abroad: March 7, 2023 @ 1:00pm EST
  • Fall Term and Full Year Abroad: April 4, 2023 @ 1:00pm EST