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


Kamau Walker

B.S.
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
2020
Silliman

Award Details

Summer
2019
No

SAC Details

Language Officer
2019-2020

I've gone to Japan thanks to the Light Fellowship twice now. The first time I found a family that I love profusely to this day in a city that I did not know I was missing in my life. The second time I learned more about myself and how I navigate this world, largely because I did not have the crutch of my native tongue to guide me through the familiar. Over the course of our lives, we can leave our hearts in many different places. Mine is certainly with my family, whether that be in Saint Louis, USA or in Hakodate, Japan. If you have any questions about the highs lows and everything in between just reach out, I would love to help anyway possible.


Isabella Yang

BA
History and Comparative Literature
2021
Saybrook

Award Details

SAC Details

Co-chair
2019-2020

Hello! My name is Isabella and I am a junior in Saybrook College, double majoring in History and Art History. I was a Japanese Light Fellow, and did Kyoto Consortium for Japanese Studies (KCJS) the summer after my first year here. After that, I took Japanese for another year and now am doing Literary Japanese. The summer I spent in Japan is one of my favorite experiences so far at Yale, and I would love to talk more about it! Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions regarding the fellowship, the application process, choosing programs - or if you just want to chat about Japanese, history or art history!


Ross Parish

BA
Undeclared
2021
Benjamin Franklin

Award Details

SAC Details

Language Officer
2019-2020

I am a mechanical engineering major mostly because I have a passion for cars and transportation that I'd love to turn into a career. I started elementary Japanese my first year at Yale with dreams of working at a Japanese car company, but after a summer in Kyoto and two years on campus, I'm taking fourth-year Japanese for a lot more reasons than just that. Two months spent as an everyday citizen in the city that Japan itself deems worthy to be a stronghold of its history and culture was a kind of life-changing magic that I urge every Japanese learner to experience.


Evie Yi

BA
Applied Mathematics
2021
TD

Award Details

Academic Year
2019-2020
No

SAC Details

Japanese Language Representative
2019-2020

Hi! I studied at Sun Academy Nihongo Center in Tokyo for my 2018 summer. I had a wonderful time there and fell in love with the city! Therefore, I decided to come back this year for another program. I am currently taking a gap year piloting the Middlebury-ICU program in Tokyo. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions!


Ashton Winters

B.A.
Computer Science
2020
Trumbull

Award Details

Summer
2019
No

SAC Details

Language Officer
2019-2020

Thanks to the Light Fellowship I have had the incredible opportunity to study abroad in Japan twice. The summer after my first year I studied at Sun Academy in Tokyo, and this past summer I studied at CET Osaka. Not only did my Japanese improve immensely (I truly believe it wouldn't be at the level it is now had I not studied in Japan), but I've made amazing memories and plenty of great friends! The Light Fellowship is a great way to get take your Japanese to the next level. Feel free to come to me with any questions!


Alara Degirmenci

BA
Computer Science
2022
BR

Award Details

SAC Details

Language Officer
2019-2020

Hi! I spent the summer of my first year in Tokyo studying Japanese at SUN Academy Nihongo Center. From day trips on the weekends to traditional summer festivals to exploring Tokyo’s unique neighborhoods on a bike to eating the most delicious food in my life to conversing with locals in Japanese, my time in Tokyo was truly the experience of a lifetime. At the end of the program, I also had the chance to backpack and explore around the Kansai region for a week with two other Yalies. I am beyond grateful for Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions and I’d be more than happy to chat about Japan or studying abroad in general!


Etowah Adams

BA
Undeclared
2022
TD

Award Details

SAC Details

Japanese Language Representative
2019-2020

I studied fourth year Japanese in Kyoto at the Kyoto Consortium for Japanese Studies (KCJS) the summer after my first year. It was a transformative experience, not only for my Japanese ability, but also personally. Living in an apartment in heart of Japan's cultural capital, Kyoto, taking shakuhachi lessons, and playing banjo at local university bluegrass clubs are memories I will never forget.