The Richard U. Light Foundation began funding the Richard U. Light Fellowship at Yale in 1996. Since then, the Light Fellowship has exerted a signature impact on Yale’s efforts to internationalize its campus culture by giving nearly 1,000 Yale students fully-funded opportunities to pursue intensive language study in East Asia.
The Foundation provides full funding (transportation, tuition, room and board, and incidentals) for Yale students of exceptional promise to study Chinese, Japanese, or Korean at specifically approved sites in China, Taiwan, Japan, and South Korea.
Applicants must obtain admission at Light Fellowship-approved sites. The Light Fellowship is fundamentally committed to intensive language study with the belief that such study abroad provides a tremendous opportunity for students to immerse themselves in new cultures.
The Fellowship Committee seeks to identify applicants who demonstrate academic achievement, readiness for the proposed program, and commitment to language study in their academic or career plans. Candidates must have achieved a basic proficiency (at least one year of intensive study at Yale or a comparable program by the time of departure) in the target language, but should not have achieved such a level of proficiency that they won’t significantly improve by attending a program. Those who have advanced proficiency in one language may apply for the Fellowship in a second East Asian language. Citizenship is not a factor in the selection. Recipients are expected to continue language study after they return from Asia. Full eligibility requirements are listed here.
Light Fellowships are awarded twice each year and are tenable for one Yale semester, an academic year, a summer, or combinations thereof. The Richard U. Light Fellowship Program welcomes applications from a diverse range of backgrounds and academic disciplines. You must be a registered and enrolled Yale student to apply. All undergraduates (including graduating seniors), master’s degree students, and professional school students are eligible. Ph.D. students are eligible only if their language study in East Asia would be completed prior to submitting their prospectus.