Career Strategy Fellowships Study Abroad Summer Session

Awardee FAQs

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Note: As per Yale staffing guidance, the Light Fellowship Office is currently working remotely.  Voicemails left on our office phones will be forwarded to us via email but it is most convenient to contact us via email until we return to our offices.

Use the links below to find the current U.S. Department of State’s Travel Advisories, the CDC’s COVID-19 Notices, International SOS’s Travel Global Risk Rating, and country-initiated travel restrictions for Light Fellowship destinations. 

Dept. of State CDC ISOS Travel Restrictions
China China China China
Japan Japan Japan Japan
South Korea South Korea South Korea South Korea
Taiwan Taiwan Taiwan Taiwan

FALL 2021 FAQs

Will in-person programs be an option for fall 2021?

Currently, most programs have yet to decide whether they will be running in-person programming in the fall. Yale has transitioned back to its longstanding Travel Policy to determine whether or not it will support student activity abroad. The Light Fellowship, along with many other offices within the Center for International and Professional Experience, will do an initial review for each location based on the Travel Policy on June 1, 2021. Fellows who planned on studying at locations that are restriction by the policy on June 1 will need to pursue virtual options instead.

Will virtual programs still be an option for fall 2021?

Although we hope that in-person programming will be possible, the Light Fellowship has been approved to continue funding virtual programs for this upcoming fall term if necessary.

Should I be purchasing flights or paying for other things associated with attending my program?

Due to the uncertainty surrounding the fall term, we encourage fellows to avoid paying any non-recoverable costs if possible, such as airfare, housing, etc. You may need to pay program deposits to secure your spot on the program but please note that if the program runs remotely you will be expected to attend that program or forfeit your deposit; the Light Fellowship will not be able to reimburse any lost deposits for fellows who ultimately decide not to attend their program.

When should I expect to receive my award?

Our tentative timeline for processing fall term awards is outlined below. Academic year fellows should note that they will only receive the fall term portion of their award first, and will receive the spring term portion of their award during the fall term.
- May: The Light Fellowship will reach out to fellows with instructions for setting up payment.
- Early June: Fellows will be asked to confirm their fall 2021 program and complete their Light Fellowship registration on MyCIPE.
- Mid- to late-June: Fellows should receive their Light Fellowship award via direct deposit or Zelle.


Will the Light Fellowship fund in-person programs this summer?

Yale has announced that “For summer 2021, we anticipate, though this is not yet certain, that the universal travel restriction will be lifted.”  As a result, we will move forward with including in-person programs as an option for summer 2021 as permitted by Yale College’s International Travel Policy until otherwise directed. The Light Fellowship Office will make a final determination on eligibility for in-person funding on April 5, 2021. If the Yale College universal travel restriction is not lifted, or if the Yale College Travel Policy does not allow travel to the country in which your language program takes place as of April 5, the Light Fellowship will only be able to fund virtual programs. For this reason, students wishing to confirm their program and receive their award prior to this date are strongly recommended to consider an virtual program for this summer.

Can I travel if my original destination becomes eligible for travel after April 5 (according to the Yale College Travel Policy)?

No.  If the Yale College universal travel restriction is lifted, the Yale College Travel Policy will be consulted on April 5, 2021 to determine whether or not you may use Yale funding to travel to your proposed destination.  If your proposed destination is not permitted as of April 5, 2021, you may not use Yale funding to travel to this destination during the summer of 2021, even if it becomes eligible for travel at a later date and before your original program’s start date.

If I confirm that I will be attending a virtual program, will I be able to change to an in-person program at a later date if the COVID-19 situation improves?

No, fellows who confirm that they will attend a virtual program will not be able to change to an in-person program, even if the global COVID-19 pandemic improves significantly. In most cases, switching from a virtual program to an in-person program would lead to significant changes in the expected award amount. Because the Light Fellowship has a limited amount of funds that have already been allocated to fellows based on their program choices, we are unable to accommodate significant changes in award amounts for individual fellows.

If I receive the COVID vaccine, may I travel to a country which is not allowed given the restrictions of the Yale Travel Policy?   

No.  Receiving the COVID vaccine does not override Yale’s Travel Policy for restricted countries.

Can I travel independently to a program location even if I was awarded a Light Fellowship for remote study?

If awarded a Light Fellowship for remote study, the intention of the award and signed agreement is for the awardee to carry out their studies remotely from wherever they are located. This funding is not permitted to be used for international travel.

In terms of self-funded independent travel, Yale does not determine its restrictions, but you are still advised to follow institutional travel guidance. All students are advised to review the Travel Policy and should become familiar with the International SOS Global Travel Assistance services, ISOS COVID-19 resources, and CDC Travel During COVID-19 guidance.

Light Fellows who travel independently will not have access to the same support services available for approved travel.  Remote fellows may not be eligible for ISOS’s out-of-country medical, security, and travel assistance services.  Additionally, programs may not allow remote students to participate in in-person programming or utilize program facilities, even if they are physically present.

Finally, it is critical that you make informed travel decisions that prioritize the health and safety not only of yourself but also the communities in which you will engage.  To help weigh the risks that your visit may add, even unintentionally, to the challenges that communities might be facing with Covid-19 and potentially other difficulties, be sure to research in-country operations, restrictions, and guidance on social behavior (including, but not limited to, countrywide lockdowns and resource limitations).  Such restrictions and guidance may mean curtailing the activities and behaviors that you might have otherwise intended or choosing to defer travel altogether.

If, after considering all of these health and safety factors, you still choose to travel independently, you would be doing so at your own risk, and with no institutional endorsement. However, if you do decide to travel independently, please still register your travel with Yale so that you can be reached in the event of a major emergency.

Can I start making program payments or travel reservations related to my Light Fellowship?

No. Please do not make any non-refundable payments until your award is received or you have been notified to do so. 

Are in-person courses eligible for credit?

Currently, all Light-approved in-person summer programs are approved for Study Abroad credit, except:

  • Pusan National University
  • Inter-University Center (IUC)

Students interested in earning up to two general graduation credits must complete an application for Credit for Non-Yale Summer Abroad. Be sure to check the eligibility for Non-Yale Summer Abroad for Credit before applying.

Are virtual courses eligible for credit? (SUMMER 2021 ONLY)

By special exception for summer 2021, students may earn up to two course credits for virtual courses offered by accredited study abroad programs or universities located outside the United States, provided that; the course is not comparable to a course offered online through Yale Summer Session; that students do not exceed the limit of two outside course credits; and that students do not exceed the limit of four online course credits. The Light Fellowship office will send out a simple survey in late-August or early-September asking if you would like to receive credit for your virtual program this summer. Once we receive you official transcript, we will then work directly with the Academic Affairs office to get the credits added to your Yale transcripts.

Please note that this process replaces the previous process, and that summer fellows should no longer complete the request Yale transfer credit for outside courses upon completion of their program.

Also note that all of Yale’s relevant policies remain in place. For example, if you have already received 2 outside summer credits, you will still not be able to transfer credit for your virtual program this summer. For additional information regarding credit policies, please view the Yale College Programs of Study.

Are any Light-approved virtual programs approved for credit?

At Yale, the term ‘approved’ is reserved for when credit can be guaranteed prior to a program’s start date. Because the process for transferring credits for all virtual programs can only be initiated after all coursework has been completed, no programs are ‘approved for credit’ this summer. We recommend you keep copies of all course syllabi and assignments, as these materials may be helpful in the process.

You may use the process outlined above to request credit for most Light-approved programs, but note that the following program(s) are NOT eligible for credit:

  • Inter-University Center (IUC)

Can virtual programs fulfill the Language distribution requirement?

As a special COVID-19 exception this summer, students may apply qualifying virtual courses to academic deficiencies (i.e., promotion hold) and to distributional requirements. The process to request Yale transfer credit for outside courses (including using them to fulfill distribution requirements) takes place after you have completed the course(s).

Am I able to defer my Light Fellowship?

No, the Light Fellowship cannot be deferred for any reason. If you would like to be considered for a future Light Fellowship, you will need to reapply in the future. Declining your award this year will not impact any future Light Fellowship applications. 

Will declining my award this year affect future Light Fellowship applications?

No, declining your Light Fellowship will not affect any future Light Fellowship applications.

What is the Light Fellowship’s policy for students who initially accept their award but ultimately decide not to attend an intensive language program this fall?

1) Students who accept the award and decline before receiving their award funding will not face any monetary penalties. However, accepting means these funds will be reserved for your award resulting in other highly qualified applicants on the waitlist losing this opportunity. Even if the award is declined at a later date, it may be too late for a waitlisted applicant to get a spot in eligible program causing this funding to remain unused for this cycle with no guarantee that it will be carried over to the following year. Please keep this in mind and let us know that you would like to decline your award as soon as you decide to do so.

2) Students who accept the reward and decline after receiving their funding will have their declined term count toward the total terms of permitted awards for the Light Fellowship (a maximum of four), and will also need to reimburse the Light Foundation in full for the funds given. This means that any sunk costs, like application fees, program deposits, travel bookings, etc. will be the student's responsibility.

When will Light Fellowship awards be disbursed?

Due to the uncertainty of in-person programming in the summer and fall, the Light Fellowship will disburse funds on a per term basis. Our tentative timeline is:

Fellows who are studying in the fall or academic year: Award disbursed late summer