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


Sophia Lee

BA
Psychology and East Asian Studies
2023

Award Details

Summer
2020
No
Summer
2021
Yes

SAC Details

Chinese Language Representative
2022-2023
Japanese Language Representative
2022-2023

Hello! My name is Sophia and I am a junior in Saybrook College, double majoring in Psychology and East Asian Studies (Japanese track). I was a Japanese and Chinese Light Fellow, and participated in the online CET programs for each the summer after my first and second year respectively. After studying higher level Japanese, I moved on to work for the HR department at an international Japanese company where I spoke Japanese daily and have been working as a TF for the Japanese Department here at Yale. Although both experiences were done virtually, I am still passionate about


Ernestina Hsieh

BA
Architecture
2024

Award Details

Summer
2021
No
Spring
2020
No

SAC Details

Japanese Language Representative
2022-2023

Hi! I’m Ernestina. I’m a junior in Davenport College majoring in Architecture. I started learning Japanese at Yale in L1, and have since studied with Hokkaido International Foundation (in-person), Princeton in Ishikawa (remote), and CET-Osaka (remote). Living in Japan gave me a glimpse of how language shapes a culture's way of life, and online classes introduced me to wonderful teachers and lifelong friends. In terms of architecture, much of my design inspiration comes from Japan and Scandinavia! I’ve also had the amazing opportunity to speak with Japanese architects/urban planners


Sophia Lee

BA
Psychology and East Asian Studies
2023

Award Details

Summer
2020
No
Summer
2021
Yes

SAC Details

Chinese Language Representative
2022-2023
Japanese Language Representative
2022-2023

Hello! My name is Sophia and I am a junior in Saybrook College, double majoring in Psychology and East Asian Studies (Japanese track). I was a Japanese and Chinese Light Fellow, and participated in the online CET programs for each the summer after my first and second year respectively. After studying higher level Japanese, I moved on to work for the HR department at an international Japanese company where I spoke Japanese daily and have been working as a TF for the Japanese Department here at Yale. Although both experiences were done virtually, I am still passionate about


Jaxon Havens

BA
2025

Award Details

Summer
2022
No

SAC Details

Japanese Language Representative
2022-2023

Hello! My name is Jaxon Havens and I am a sophomore in Trumbull College. My intended major is History and I hope to go for the certificate in Japanese. I was a Light Fellow in the 2022 Summer through the CET-Japan program at Osaka Gakuin University. It was a truly life-changing experience and I am incredibly grateful for how I have progressed in both my study of Japanese and in my understanding of myself as a multiethnic person in an increasingly globalized world. I would love to talk all about Light, applying to programs, adjusting to life in Japan, and studying Japanese at Yale, so do not hesitate to reach out. 頑張りましょう!


Elyse Thomas

BA
Ethnicity
Race
& Migration Studies
2025

Award Details

Summer
2022
No

SAC Details

Language Officer
2022-2023

In Summer 2022, I studied abroad with CET Japan in Osaka! Studying abroad enabled me to advance my Japanese and to build community with Japanese speakers after my first year of language classes at Yale. From traveling to different cities each weekend to attending summer festivals, I will always cherish my summer in Japan (いい思い出がたくさんあります!) , and I owe my immersion in Japanese language, culture, and society to the Light Fellowship. Please reach out to me if you have any questions or would like to talk more about Japan!


Hannah Lothian

BA
Mechanical Engineering
2024

Award Details

Summer
2020
No
Summer
2022
No

SAC Details

Language Officer
2022-2023

Howdy I'm Hannah, a junior in Branford and I studied Japanese remotely in the summer of 2020. The Light Fellowship really gave me the chance to put my language study into perspective. At PII we were able to talk to program alums who had continued their study in Japanese, and one of the best pieces of advice they gave was, "Your reasons for studying will change along the way." I started taking Japanese because I thought it was interesting, now I find myself invested in Japanese culture to the point where I'm really considering pursuing a graduate program or career in Japan! If you have questions about PII - and how it was online - feel free to reach out to me!