Career Strategy Fellowships Study Abroad Summer Session

Connect with Former Fellows

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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


Sharyn Phu

B.A.
East Asian Studies
2019
Trumbull

Award Details

Summer
2016
Yes
Summer
2019
Yes

SAC Details

Language Officer
2019-2020

It's been a over a year, and I'm still frequently texting a Chinese roommate from CET Harbin. The friendships you make while abroad, and the way you grow from having to adapt together in an unfamiliar environment are two kinds of very valuable experiences that I am SO grateful to have had. That plus getting sponsored to become more fluent in Mandarin made Light so incredibly worthwhile for me. Please reach out if you want to talk about studying abroad; I'd love to help out in any way that I can!


Brendan Campbell

BA
Undeclared
2021
Pauli Murray

Award Details

SAC Details

General SAC Member
2019-2020

I spent this past summer as a Light Fellow at ICLP in Taipei, Taiwan, and spent my previous summer on Light at the Duke in China program in Beijing. I can honestly say that these have been the best experiences of my life. It took a lot of work and a serious amount of grit, time management, and ingenuity, but the programs didn't only propel my Chinese forward, they provided me with lifelong friends and the opportunity to explore new cities and cultures that opened my eyes to people and ideas I couldn't have dreamt of. Reach out if you have any questions about Beijing, Taiwan, and the differences between their programs. I'd love to chat!


Jason Chen

BA
Computer Science and Mathematics
2020
PC

Award Details

SAC Details

Chinese Language Representative
2019-2020

Hey! My name is Jason, and I did a spring semester Light fellowship at IUP in Beijing. I had an amazing, rewarding time, consisting of improving Chinese, learning about the tech world, travelling around China, and exploring Beijing by electric scooter. Would be happy to talk about whether a semester abroad / off is right for you, or anything else that would be helpful!


Helen Zhuo

BA
Undeclared
2022
MY

Award Details

Summer
2019
Yes

SAC Details

Chinese Language Representative
2019-2020

With the help of the Light Fellowship, I was able to spend eight weeks this past summer in the beautiful (and busy) city of Shanghai! This summer was packed with unforgettable, life-changing experiences, from looking at a city through a glass floor to learning how to bargain in Chinese with shopkeepers to exploring night markets with my new friends. Not only was I able to improve my Chinese speaking, reading, and writing abilities, but I was also given an opportunity to explore my Chinese-American identity and figure out what that means to me. If you have any questions about the UVA program, living in Shanghai, or studying abroad, please feel free to reach out!


Eileen Huang

BA
Undeclared
2022
TD

Award Details

Summer
2019
Yes

SAC Details

Language Officer
2019-2020

I'm Eileen, a sophomore in TD, and I spent a summer in Harbin in the CET Harbin language program! Harbin was an incredibly unique city; while it didn't quite have the cosmopolitan, contemporary vibe of a bigger Chinese city Beijing or Shanghai, everything in Harbin reminded me of an older, more traditional, and more culturally fascinating China. Feel free to reach out to me to talk about my experiences, or read my blog (notesfromharbin.travel.blog) to hear me muse about being Chinese American in China, culture shock, and more.


Rachel Zheng

BA
Applied Mathematics
2022
BK

Award Details

SAC Details

Co-chair
2019-2020

I'm Rachel, a sophomore in Berkeley majoring in Economics and Mathematics. I spent last summer studying abroad at Harvard-Beijing Academy, and I absolutely loved it! Not only did I come back completely fluent in Chinese, but I also made lifelong friendships with teachers and students. Whether you're interested in the food or WeChat pay and Chinese bank accounts or my experience as a Chinese-American in China, I would be happy to answer any of the questions that you have!


Eda Naz Dinc

BA
Undeclared
2021
Davenport

Award Details

Summer
2018
Yes

SAC Details

Chinese Language Representative
2019-2020

Hey! My name is Naz and I am a junior in Davenport! I spent my freshman year summer in Beijing studying Mandarin through the Princeton in Beijing program. It was an amazing experience that I can never forget! If you are an international student with questions about studying abroad or if you have any questions about the intensity of Princeton in Beijing, please contact me! I would be more than happy to tell you about all the delicious food ate and the beautiful places (outside of Beijing) that I visited during my time there!


John Kim

BA
Undeclared
2022
MY

Award Details

SAC Details

Chinese Language Representative
2019-2020

I spent my past summer of 2019 in Beijing, China studying at the Harvard Beijing Academy as a Light Fellow. And I can say confidently that I have had one of the most eye-opening experiences of my life. The best moments were not in the classrooms, but out in the streets, when I was forced to speak Chinese with the locals. Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions! I'd love to speak with you about my experiences in China.


William McCormack

BA
Undeclared
2022
TD

Award Details

SAC Details

Chinese Language Representative
2019-2020

你好!I studied at Harvard Beijing Academy (HBA) the summer before my sophomore year, and I am so grateful to Light and HBA for the experience. HBA offered the significant language improvement I was looking for without preventing me and my classmates from getting out, exploring, and actually living (as opposed to just studying) in China. Living abroad and learning so much Chinese can be challenging, but with friends and supportive teachers by my side and a slew of Chinese apps on my smartphone, I had the best time in Beijing. Feel free to get in touch if you have any questions about Light, HBA, or studying in China.


Jackie Zhang

BA
Cognitive Science
2021
SM

Award Details

Summer
2019
Yes

SAC Details

Language Officer
2019-2020

My time in Beijing was so special to me because it allowed me to begin understanding my parents’ home and realities. I leave China not only with a newfound love for studying chinese but also the proudest I’ve ever been to identify as a Chinese American. Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions at all about Princeton in Beijing or the Light Fellowship in general!


Ken Tanaka

BA
Undeclared
2021
DC

Award Details

Summer
2019
Yes

SAC Details

Language Officer
2019-2020

I had a great a time and would like to share my experiences, as well as advice, with prospective students. I would definitely be willing to be on panels or to have students reach out to me with questions. Also, since I feel like CET-Kunming does not receive a lot of attention at Yale, I'd love to rep it.


Ethan McBride

BA
Undeclared
2021
DC

Award Details

SAC Details

Language Officer
2019-2020

I spent the last Summer in Beijing at Harvard Beijing Academy, and it was easily one of the most impactful experiences I’ve ever had in my life. Improving my Chinese is just one of the myriad of things I gained from this experience. New, genuine friendships, a broader perspective, and real exposure to Chinese culture are among some of the others. I would be happy to talk with anyone about my own experiences, how to make the most of your own experience, or really anything at all. Please don’t hesitate to contact me!


Vera Villanueva

BA
Undeclared
2021
JE

Award Details

SAC Details

Language Officer
2019-2020

Hi! My name is Vera, and I studied abroad at ICLP (Taiwan) the summer before my junior year at Yale. Before the trip, I mainly pursued Mandarin as a means to an end--a tool to enrich my work and my personal relationships. My experience in Taiwan has definitely helped with those things, but what is more, it caused me to fall completely in love with the language itself and gave me a new appreciation for Chinese/Taiwanese thought and society. Studying abroad completely has changed the way I engage with both the language and the culture, and I cannot recommend enough! Please don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions--I would love to talk!


Perry Wang

BA
Undeclared
2022
SY

Award Details

SAC Details

Language Officer
2019-2020

Hi! Last summer I spent 9 weeks in Beijing and Anhui, learning second-year Chinese with a dynamic cohort of students from all over the world. I got to explore Beijing in all of its entirety while being completely immersed in the local language and culture. My experiences outside of the classroom transformed the way I view not only China in the context of international diplomacy, but also my own identity as a Chinese-American. During my fifth-week social studies trip, I was able to go to Anhui and interview locals about topics of interest such as China's economic development and modern village lifestyle. One of the most memorable mornings of my life occurred when I got to see the sunrise overlooking a sea of clouds on top of Mount Huangshan. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions about the Light Fellowship, HBA, or anything related to studying abroad in China!


Joyce Huan Huan Ho

BA
Undeclared
2020
Ezra Stiles

Award Details

SAC Details

Language Officer
2019-2020

I spent this last year in Beijing studying Chinese with the Inter-University Program at Tsinghua University. Needless to say, it was one of the best decisions I could have made during my time at Yale. I had initially only wanted to study abroad for a semester because I was wedded to a traditional undergraduate pathway. However, I so thoroughly enjoyed my time there that I extended my time to a full year. IUP offered me a non-traditional study abroad experience where I was challenged to create an entire life for myself in a foreign city. My time abroad allowed me not only to improve my Chinese abilities, but mature and grow intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually. If you have any questions or doubts about taking time off, living in China, navigating the Chinese-American experience in China, or studying abroad, please feel free to reach out!


Alan Zheng

BA
Undeclared
2022
MC

Award Details

SAC Details

Language Officer
2019-2020

Hey! I spent this past summer studying abroad at the Harvard-Beijing Academy, and I can honestly say it was one of the best experiences of my life. Not only did my Mandarin skills improve dramatically, I also gained confidence in my ability to adapt to new environments. The program offered everything I could have wished for - an enriching classroom experience, supportive teachers, sociable classmates, and free time - which I spent exploring famous landmarks, trying different restaurants, or playing ping pong/basketball with the locals. If you have questions about HBA, studying abroad, or anything related to China, please reach out to me.


Alex Chen

BA
Undeclared
2022
BK

Award Details

Summer
2019
Yes

SAC Details

Chinese Language Representative
2019-2020

Did the business practicum program, so ask me about my experience interning in Beijing!