Career Strategy Fellowships Study Abroad

Connect with Former Fellows

You are here

The Light Fellowship Student Advisory Committee (SAC) was founded in 2007 by a group of Light Fellows returning to campus after their time abroad, eager to share their experiences with peers, encourage other students to seek the same opportunity, and give back to the Light Fellowship Program.  

Reach out to one of the SAC members below if you are interested in speaking to a former Fellow about applying to the Light Fellowship, choosing a program, spending a term or year abroad, or have general questions about the Light Fellowship experience and studying abroad in East Asia!

Tip: Contact the Light Fellowship office:

  • If you are interested in speaking to a recent Fellow with similar academic or career interests or who did a particular program or term abroad not represented below.
  • If you have questions or concerns about how your race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, language, disability, religion, or other identity considerations may impact your experience abroad and are unsure which SAC member to speak to.

We would be happy to share resources and put you in touch with former Fellows who are willing to share their experience and insights into these important considerations.

SAC Members


Nina Lin

BA
Anthropology and Architecture
2024

Award Details

Summer
2021
Yes

SAC Details

Chinese Language Representative
2023-2024

I spent Summer 2021 as a Light Fellow with CET China virtually. Throughout the program, I really was able to focus on improving my language skills as well as strengthen my cultural understanding of China. It was particularly rewarding to finish the program with language skills that could communicate complex thoughts and ideas about government, policy, or even Chinese pop culture in Mandarin. I would love to hear from anyone interested in learning more about the Light Fellowship program, or anything related to my summer experiences!


Edward Kuperman

BA
East Asian Studies
2024.5

Award Details

SAC Details

Chinese Language Representative
2023-2024

I study East Asia because of its unique combination of ancient tradition and dialogue with the West; experiencing the incredible history and diversity of Taiwan while living in the heart of Taipei put me at the nexus of Chinese, European Japanese, Southeast Asian, and American traditions. At ICLP, I studied the local Taiwanese language (on which each of these cultures has left it’s mark) and spent a ton of time hiking the country, Alishan to Yangmingshan to Taiwushan! What made my experience hiking in Taiwan special was learning the unique role mountains play in Taiwanese culture: they represent centers of Buddhist learning, separated the Hakka, Hokien, and Aboriginal ethnic groups, inspire debates between land rights interests and environmental groups, and are the site of many a ghost story! I can’t wait until I can return to explore more of Taiwan’s many historic trails.


Lisa Dong

BA
Ethics
Politics
and Economics
2024

Award Details

Summer
2021
Yes

SAC Details

Language Officer
2023-2024

Hi, I'm Lisa and I spent Summer 2021 participating in the CET Beijing program. Although I initially didn't expect much due to the program being virtual, but I ended learning a lot and improved my Chinese significantly. I was also able to expand my knowledge on Chinese history, culture, and social norms. I thoroughly loved hearing from natives about their perspectives towards US-Sino topics and felt this was a very enlightening experience!


Matthew Merritt

BA
African American Studies
Global Health Studies Certificate
Pre-Med
2024.5

Award Details

Summer
2023
Yes

SAC Details

Chinese Language Representative
2023-2024

Hi there! I'm Matthew Elmore Merritt, a '24.5 in Branford College from Bridgeport, Alabama. I major in African American Studies on the pre-med track, pursuing a certificate in Global Health Studies. Last summer, I ventured to Taiwan to take courses in Advanced Mandarin with CET. I'm quite pleased with how CET's course textbooks, emphasis on self-directed learning, and off-campus housing placement enhanced my engagement with Taipei by encouraging me to make meaningful, local connections. Please reach out to me at matthew.merritt@yale.edu if you have any questions! :)


Will Crystal

BA
Ethics
Politics
and Economics
2025

Award Details

SAC Details

Chinese Language Representative
2023-2024

大家好!Hi, everyone! My name is Will and I spent Summer 2023 at ICLP in Taipei. I came in with a number of Chinese classes under my belt, but unsure of my language abilities, and I left confident and excited to continue my language and cultural studies. I had an amazing time exploring all of the art, food, hiking, and culture Taiwan has to offer, and I'd love to answer any questions about Taiwan or learning Chinese. I also spent considerable time playing pickup basketball in Taipei, and I'd be happy to talk more about that for anyone who also likes to play.


Andrew Deweese

BA
Classics and Economics
2024

Award Details

SAC Details

Chinese Language Representative
2023-2024

I spent this past summer on a Light Fellowship studying Chinese through the International Chinese Language Program in Taipei. Though the news that we would not be able to attend the program in-person in Taiwan initially brought me great disappointment, I cannot imagine an online program more engaging, helpful, and generous. I spent my entire first year studying remotely at Yale, which arrangement I felt was overall positive: ICLP showed me, to great surprise, that this bar could be dramatically risen. The vital and irreplaceable strength of this online program was the nature of classes: 2 hours, one-on-one, every single weekday. Over 90 total hours of personal instruction with two different professors has augmented my speaking abilities to an incredible extent in a time period I did not think possible. To top it off, I still stay in touch with both professors, and I got to know both of them at a deep level, even though we communicated almost only in Chinese. Please reach out to me if you have any questions about the Light Fellowship or ICLP! This was the best summer of my life, and I’d love to help pass on what I learned! To come across a gem like the Light Fellowship is so rare—seize the opportunity!


Ross Armon

BA
2025

Award Details

SAC Details

Language Officer
2023-2024

你好!I’m Ross, a sophomore in Pierson. In Summer 2022, I studied at Middlebury Language Schools in Vermont. I am so thankful to have had this experience. If you have questions about learning Chinese outside of China or honestly anything else, reach out!


Wendy Zhang

B.S.
2025

Award Details

Summer
2022
No

SAC Details

Chinese Language Representative
2023-2024

Hi! I’m Wendy, and I studied abroad in Taiwan summer of 2022. I did CET Taiwan, and I had the best time of my life in Taipei! Throughout the summer, I learned a lot of Chinese (especially traditional), met lifelong friends and language partners, and fell in love with Taiwanese food, music, and culture. If you have any questions about CET or Taiwan, feel free to reach out to me!


Jerry Feng

BA
History and/or Global Affairs
2025.5

Award Details

Academic Year
2022-2023
Yes

SAC Details

2023-2024

Hey everyone,大家好!My name is Jerry Feng, a current super sophomore in Davenport. I took a gap year to study abroad in Taiwan at ICLP for the academic year from 2022–2023 with Light. Needless to say, one of the best choices I ever made in life: learned so much about my own culture that I never knew before in addition to finding out lots of new passions and interests related to Chinese language and culture. Travelled to a lot of places in Taiwan as well, so please do not hesitate to reach out regarding anything related to ICLP, Taiwan, China, learning Chinese at Yale, etc!


Lynn Lee

BA
History
2025

Award Details

SAC Details

Chinese Language Representative
2023-2024

Hi! My name is Lynn and I studied in Taiwan over the summer of 2022 through the Light Fellowship. The past summer was honestly a blur; it was a life-changing experience. I spent almost every weekend travelling (my photo is from the beautiful Alishan and I woke up at 3 AM this day for the sunrise) and soaking in all Taiwan had to offer. I fell in love with the city, the food, the culture, and my classes at ICLP. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions!


Tim Lingk

BA
Political Science
2025

Award Details

Summer
2022
Yes

SAC Details

Chinese Language Representative
2023-2024

嗨!I am Tim and I studied at CET Taiwan during the summer of 2022. I couldn't have asked for a better summer experience after my freshman year! I loved having all the time and resources to focus on improving my Chinese skills, both in a classroom and real life setting. I had the best time with my teacher and five classmates - we chatted about everything and anything over tea or dinner (in Chinese!). Speaking of, Taiwanese food brought me so much joy, as did the many trips to museums, beaches, and mountains I was lucky to go on. Always happy to chat about the program, do send a note!


Hiroko Kawase

BA
Global Affairs (Prospective)
2026

Award Details

Summer
2023
Yes

SAC Details

Chinese Language Representative
2023-2024

Hello! My name is Hiroko, a sophomore in Trumbull College. I studied abroad in Taiwan (CET) for Chinese in the summer of 2023 through the light fellowship. I had an incredible 10 weeks of immersing myself in Taiwan – from the most engaging classes, weekly excursions to the mountains, local friendships, so much good food, starting a blog, and more! Please reach out with any questions about studying abroad, Chinese or Taiwan :)


Leo Zhang

BA
Chemistry/ Chemical Engineering
2026

Award Details

Summer
2023
Yes

SAC Details

2023-2024

Hey! I'm Leo, and I studied abroad in Taiwan during the summer of 2023. CET Taiwan connected me with my cultural roots, left me with many great memories that I will forever cherish, and allowed me to grow in so many aspects of my life. Go into this program with an open mind and a willingness to learn in inside and outside the classroom. I was exposed to so much even though I lived in China for a short period of my life.


Tovah Lu

BA
Economics
2025

Award Details

Summer
2023
Yes

SAC Details

Chinese Language Representative
2023-2024

Hi, I'm Tovah! I studied abroad in Taipei with CET during the summer of 2023 for intermediate to advanced Chinese. I learned a lot in a really great classroom environment, and got a chance to be in Taiwan, where some of my family is from. Please reach out about anything!


Sophie Price

BA
Global Affairs
2025

Award Details

Summer
2023
Yes

SAC Details

Chinese Language Representative
2023-2024

Hi! I'm Sophie and spent Summer 2023 studying abroad as part of CET Taiwan. I had the most incredible time exploring Taiwan and embracing the opportunity to try new things such as dance classes and even aerial yoga. I also really enjoyed my Chinese classes at the Chinese Language Division at NTU and the chance to delve into Taiwanese elections and history within this. I hope to return to Taiwan sometime soon!