Career Strategy Fellowships Study Abroad Summer Session

Frequently Asked Questions

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Are you preparing an application or have you recently submitted one? Browse these frequently asked questions.

My first choice program went virtual, can I apply to other options? 

If your first-choice program is no longer your first choice, you may e-mail us to ask us to send your language evaluation to a program other than the ones indicated on your application. The programs you choose on the application are not binding and you may make a more informed decision as the outcomes of the pandemic become clearer. 

My first choice program was canceled, will this affect my application? 

No, Light Fellowship applicants can confirm final choice programs after knowing whether they've been awarded. Given the uncertainty surrounding the on-going pandemic, students may confirm closer to the potential departure date. We recommend that students come up with a back up plan should international travel to the host community be unlikely.  

What if I get into my program but I am not awarded the Light Fellowship? 

All Light-Fellowship approved programs that are eligible for credit are also eligible programs to which you can apply the International Study Award. Please note that you must complete your program for credit in order to apply the ISA and you may only transfer a total of 2 credits across all three summers and leaves of absences. In order to apply the ISA, you need to complete the application for Non-Yale Summer Abroad Credit by April 1, the program application, and the application for the International Study Award by April 1.

I was admitted into my program before knowing whether I will be awarded a Light Fellowship, what do I do? 

Please contact your program to let them know you are a Light Fellowship applicant awaiting award notification. Most of our program partners are aware of our notification date and will be willing to be flexible with you until you know whether or not you've been awarded. 

Could you give me advice about X, on the program application?

Unfortunately, we are not in a position to give advice on program applications. We encourage you to contact the program's administrative staff. You may also want to contact the Light Fellowship Student Advisory Committee (SAC). Additionally, we can give the names of current or prior Light Fellows who can share their experiences.

How many language program applications should I complete?

We recommend that applicants apply to two for each term you are interested in studying abroad so that you have a backup in case your first choice falls through.

Am I allowed to change the length of my proposed time abroad if I am awarded the Light Fellowship?

Your application is evaluated taking timing and length of study into consideration. While proposals to shorten the length of study are sometimes approved, extensions are generally not due to funding limitations. If you need to modify the length of your study, please contact us as soon as possible to begin the petition process.

I am on the waitlist for the Light Fellowship, but I have been admitted by my program. What do I do? Does this affect my chances?

While we appreciate you keeping us informed, we do not take program acceptance into account when admitting students off of the waitlist.  Some students in the past have been able to receive extensions of program deadlines by letting the programs know they are on the waitlist for the Light Fellowship.

What do I do if my recommender has not submitted my letter of recommendation?

We ask all students to request letter(s) of recommendation at least three weeks in advance of the recommendation letter deadline.  We encourage all students to meet with your recommender in person to discuss your Light Fellowship proposal in advance and ensure that your recommender is able to complete and submit the letter by the deadline.  It is your responsibility to follow up with your recommender and ensure that your letter is submitted by the deadline.  If you have met with your recommender and regularly followed up, but your letter is not submitted by the deadline for reasons outside of your control, please let us know as soon as possible.

Do I have to take a language class for a letter grade to be eligible for the Light Fellowship?

Yes, if you are a Yale College student, you must take one year of language study for a letter grade at Yale or at an equivalent program by the time you embark on your studies abroad.  As a Light Fellow, you will be required to take your language courses abroad for a letter grade, so your performance in language class at Yale is an important way for application readers to gauge your potential to succeed at an intensive language program abroad. 

Graduate and professional school students applying for the Light Fellowship can petition to formally audit the course. While it is acceptable for graduate and professional school students to audit language courses, please keep in mind that your language evaluation will be based on the same criteria as students who are fully enrolled in the course.

I am considering applying for a Light Fellowship in both the Early and Late Fall competitions, is there anything I should take into consideration?

If you are considering applying for a Light Fellowship in both competitions, please make an appointment with a Light Fellowship adviser to discuss the details and logistics of your applications.

Should I submit a Year or Term Study Abroad application to transfer credit for my term-time or yearlong Light Fellowship experience? 

It depends on your goals for your Light Fellowship experience. Transferring credit is not a requirement for accepting a Light Fellowship. You can think of the aforementioned application as a way of replacing one semester or year at Yale with credits earned abroad and therefore your time abroad would replace the equivalent time at Yale. The deadlines for YTA applications are Oct. 15 for Spring semester abroad and April 1 for Fall semester abroad. If you previously transferred 2 credits from non-yale study abroad or a summer experience and are looking to transfer the full 9 from an academic year abroad, you can petition to remove the 2 credits. You can speak to your Study Abroad adviser for more details. Please note that it is not required that you transfer credit in order to accept the fellowship. 

Should I submit a Study Abroad application to transfer credit for my Summer Light Fellowship Experience? 

Summer students who intend to transfer credit should submit YTA applications by Mar. 1 in order to get 2 credits towards the 36.00. Transferring credit is not a requirement for accepting a Light Fellowship, and in some cases, is not necessary for applying coursework taken abroad toward your major, distributional requirements, or language requirements. You can contact the DUS for your department to find out more about how to do this, if applicable. Please note that once these 2 credits appear on a transcript, they can not be adjusted unless you are looking to replace them with Year-long Study Abroad credits in the future. 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 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 waiting to transfer the credit for your ISA program. 

If I get credit for my summer Light study, will I be able to get an ISA (International Study Award) for a future summer experience? 

If you transfer 2 credits for a non-Yale summer program, you will not be able to remove those credits in order to participate in another non-yale summer program with the ISA. You could consider participating in a Yale Summer Session Program Abroad or Yale in London in order to use the International Study Award funding after transferring those 2 credits. 

Should I take a leave of absence to accept my Light Fellowship? 

Some Light Fellows choose to take leaves of absences in order to embark on their experience and pause the clock on their time at Yale. Either way, you should discuss your plan for Study Abroad with your Light Fellowship Adviser, DUS, and Residential College Dean in order to come up with a plan that works with your course of study. If you plan on transferring credit from your leave of absence, you may do so after returning. You do not necessarily need to transfer the 2 credits toward the 36.00 in order to apply coursework to your major, distributional, or language requirements. 

How has the on-going coronavirus pandemic affected the Light Fellowship? 

For more information on how the pandemic affects Light Fellows, visit our Awardee FAQ page

Should I renew my passport? 

Some countries require that your passport is valid within 6 months of your arrival date. If your passport is expiring within the next 6 months, or within 6 months for your departure date, we highly recommend that you visit the State Department's website on passport renewal. 

Can I participate in research, online coursework, or other fellowships during my time on program? 

The Light Fellowship provides opportunities for fully funded intensive language study and cross-cultural exchange. Students who accept are making a commitment to dedicate their time exlusively to this purpose. If you are interested in pursuing other projects, such as research or internships abroad, we encourage you to search the student grants database and apply to other fellowships that may be a better fit for these goals. If you're having trouble deciding, feel free to make an appointment with a Light Fellowship adviser.