Career Strategy Fellowships Study Abroad Summer Session


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Before moving forward with your Light Fellowship application, please read this page carefully and ensure that you meet all of the eligibility requirements listed below.  On this page, you will also find our general selection criteria.

TOC: Light Fellowship Eligibility and Criteria

Information Session

  • Applicants must attend one of the Light Fellowship information sessions during the academic year of their application. If you have attended an information session in a previous year, you must attend another in the new application year. 

Student Status

  • Applicants must be a registered and enrolled student at Yale University. All undergraduate students (including graduating seniors), master's degree students, and professional school students are eligible to apply.
  • Students registered under the Division of Special Registration (post-baccalaureate, non-degree, and visiting students) are not 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 Students who have withdrawn are not.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

  • By the competition deadline, applicants must have completed or be in the process of completing at least one semester of language class at Yale in the language(s) they are proposing to study. Students who place out of L1 and take L2 in the spring are not eligible until the following year.
  • Applicants must have completed or be in the process of completing at at least one semester at Yale at the time of application and complete one year of language study at Yale or at an equivalent program (i.e. if you are a transfer, graduate, or professional school student who studied the language at another undergraduate institution) by the time they would embark on their Light Fellowship.
  • Applicants must take their courses for a letter grade in order to be eligible. 

Note: Due to the limited L5 Japanese and Korean course offerings at this time, if you are a first-year or sophomore Yale College student who has placed in L5 in Japanese or Korean and are only able to take one semester of language class due to a lack of courses offered at your level in a given semester, you may email explaining your circumstances and requesting a waiver of this requirement.  Each request will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Term of Study

  • First-year students can only apply for the summer term 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 and academic year following that spring. Students in this situation must meet with Light Fellowship staff to discuss their plans.

Former Light Fellows

  • The Light Fellowship encourages students to submit applications 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)
  • Please explore the Student Grants Database or visit our other opportunities page for more ideas on how you can expand beyond your Light Fellowship experience. 

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 are strongly encouraged to propose programs of study that include at least an academic year.
  • 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

Next Steps

Once you have confirmed that you meet all of the eligibility requirements above, we encourage you to learn about our application process. Remember that applying for the Light Fellowship is a competitive process, and many parts of the application - including the personal statement, transcript, and recommendation(s) - can take time to complete and obtain.