Students awarded Light Fellowships for language study in East Asia

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The Richard U. Light Fellowship Program has announced that 136 Yale students will receive full funding to attend intensive language programs in China, Taiwan, Korea, and Japan in 2017-2018. 

The fellowship program is celebrating its 20th year this year.

This year’s Light Fellows include undergraduate students from 12 residential colleges representing 26 majors; three master’s degree students and five Ph.D. candidates in the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences; one master’s degree student in the School of Management; and two students working on master’s degrees at the School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. A full list of the winners is posted on the Light Fellowship website.

Each Light Fellow will spend a summer, semester, academic year, or combination of terms studying at some of the most rigorous language programs in East Asia, which are evaluated and approved through site visits conducted annually by Yale faculty and staff. One term at any approved program is the equivalent of one full year of language instruction at Yale.

In 2017-208, Light Fellows will be studying at intensive language programs at 21 approved sites spanning Seoul, Korea; Hakodate, Kanazawa, Kyoto, Osaka, Tokyo, and Yokohama in Japan; and Harbin, Beijing, Nanjing, Shanghai, Kunming, and Taipei in China and Taiwan.

Two students will be using the Light Fellowship to pursue intensive study of two languages over the course of one academic year. Twenty-four students receiving the fellowship this year are former Light Fellows advancing their previous language study or studying a different East Asian language.

Launched in 1996, the Richard U. Light Fellowship Program has provided 1,700 Yale students with the opportunity to gain new perspectives and insights into their studies through language acquisition and cultural immersion in East Asia. The program is funded by the Richard U. Light Foundation, and, starting in 2006, the Maurice R. Greenberg Yale-China Initiative. Fellows’ achievements fulfill a dream of the program’s namesake, Richard U. Light ’24, to cultivate cultural understanding through language study, especially between the United States and East Asia. Timothy Light ’60, whose career has focused on language and literature education, as well as international initiatives, currently leads the board of trustees of the Richard U. Light Foundation.

Students interested in the Light Fellowship can learn more by visiting the fellowship’s website.

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