Career Strategy Fellowships Study Abroad


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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

Attend an Information Session in the Academic Year of Application

  • Applicants must attend one of the mandatory Light Fellowship information session during the academic year of their application prior to the application deadline. If you have attended an information session in a previous year, you must attend another in the new application year. 
  • Early Fall Competition applicants must attend one of the first two information sessions.
  • Late Fall Competition applicants must attend one of the six sessions listed below.
  • Make sure you join the session on time and stay for the full session. 

Refer to Dates & Deadlines to find information session dates, links, and deadlines relating to the Light Fellowship. 

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.
  • First-year students may only apply to the summer term. 
  • 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 Students who have withdrawn are not.
  • 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.

Language Study Prerequisites

  • By the competition deadline, all applicants, regardless of class standing, 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.
  • In addition to having completed or being in the process of completing at least one semester at Yale at the time of application or before applying, students must complete one more semester 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.The semesters need not be consecutive nor must they be immediately preceding the application. In total, all applicants must complete at least one year of study of the language before embarking on the fellowship. 
  • If you are a Yale College student, you must take one year of language study for a letter grade at Yale  by the time you embark on your studies abroad.  Graduate and professional school students applying for the Light Fellowship can petition to have formally audited courses count toward the eligibility requirement. Please keep in mind that your language evaluation will be based on the same criteria as students who are fully enrolled in the course.

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.

Learn about our Application Process

Once you have confirmed that you can 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.

Not eligible for the Light Fellowship? Check out other opportunities in East-Asia.