Career Strategy Fellowships Study Abroad Summer Session

Awardee FAQs

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This page was last updated on March,10 2022. If you have any further questions about how this information applies to your Light application or experience, please feel free to e-mail or make an appointment with a Light fellowship adviser. 

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. Please refer to the Yale College Travel Policy for more information. 

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


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.

I want to participate in a program in person and I am unsure if travel will be possible, but the program deposit deadline is approaching. What do I do?

The Light Fellowship office encourages all students to research the on-going changes in travel restrictions of the host country. Read the local news in your destination country and be mindful of embassy and state department updates. The reality of the on-going pandemic is that you will likely have to make a decision before the coronavirus-related restrictions for the Summer are clear. While your program may be willing to be flexible with you to a certain point, you should notify any program if you are no longer planning on participating or if you have any other concerns that will impact your enrollment and/or participation in the program. 

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

At this point, it is simply too early to make a definitive call on whether Summer 2022 travel will be available to Light Fellows. If coronavirus case numbers remain under the threshold indicated by the Yale Travel Policy in the host country by the go/no-go date (April 5), programs are running, and visas are available to students, then travel will be funded. At this time, Spring fellows are participating in Korean language programs virtually in-country and travel to Taiwan has been opened as a possibility. The Japanese government is expected to announce new guidelines for foreign students. Some program partners have indicated that students who are pursuing multiple quarters may be more likely to obtain visas or be permitted entry. Summer 2022 program travel to China is uncertain.   

We will move forward with including in-person programs as an option for summer 2022 as permitted by Yale College’s International Travel Policy until otherwise directed. The Light Fellowship Office will make an official decision on in-person travel on April 5. If the Yale College Travel Policy does not allow travel to the country in which your language program takes place at that date, the Light Fellowship will only fund virtual programs and domestic programs for that language.

My first choice program went virtual, can I apply to other options?

If your first-choice program is no longer your first choice, you may e-mail us to ask us to send your language evaluation to a program other than the ones indicated on your application. You may make a more informed decision as the outcomes of the pandemic become clearer.

Are in-person courses eligible for credit?

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

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 by April 1st. Be sure to check the eligibility for Non-Yale Summer Abroad for Credit before applying.

If I get credit for my summer Light study, will I be able to get an ISA (International Study Award) for a future summer experience?

If you transfer 2 credits for a non-Yale summer program, you will not be able to remove those credits in order to participate in another non-yale summer program with the ISA. You could consider participating in a Yale Summer Session Program Abroad or Yale in London in order to use the International Study Award funding after transferring those 2 credits.

My first choice program was canceled, what do I do next?

Awardees may finalize program choice after the go/no-go date. If you would like to apply to a program other than that which you indicated on your Light Fellowship application, please review the program page on the Light Fellowship website and, if necessary, e-mail the Light Fellowship office if we need to know to forward your language evaluation to an additional program. (This applies to programs who accept Light Fellowship language evaluations only). 

The COVID-19 cases in my country of study are rising and the CDC has raised its rating to a level 4, what do I do? 

The Yale College Travel Policy changed on March 8th. Please refer to the language of the policy for a better understanding of which criteria will be used to make a funding decision. Funding decisions will still be made on April 5. Please continue to monitor booster roll out, case numbers, and travel policies in the meantime. Please note that vaccinations and boosters are required for travel approval. 

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 after the myCIPE registration deadline. Mid-term travel will not be approved by Light. 

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.

Are virtual courses eligible for credit?

By special exception for summer 2021 and summer 2022, 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? (SUMMER 2021 ONLY) SUMMER 2022 TBA 

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. 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.Our tentative timeline is:

  • Fellows who are studying in the Summer: Award disbursed mid April, If your program has unique requirements for Summer 2022 due to visa-related challenges, please contact the Light Fellowship office. 
  • Fellows who are studying in the fall or academic year: Award disbursed late summer

What does the Light Fellowship award fund? 

Your Light Fellowship Award Budget will include item lines for Tuition, Application/Transcript Fee for the program you ultimately choose, Airfare stipend, Housing stipend, Food stipend, Airport Transportation from the destination airport to your program, Local transportation stipend, Books/Supplies as indicated by your program, Visa costs (non-expedited), Miscellaneous, and COVID-related expenses item line. Light Fellows may need to prepare for additional expenses not included in the aforementioned list. 

FALL 2022/ Academic Year 22 - 23 FAQs

Does the April 5th go/no-go apply to term time and AY students? 

No, CIPE will announce a new go/no-go date that applies to Summer students. 

This page was last updated on March 10, 2022.