there is still time to apply for the Luce Scholars Program! UW’s deadline for applications is Sept. 5! The program also just announced some important expansions to their eligibility requirements, hopefully allowing more students to take advantage. In brief, the program is now open to both US citizens and Permanent Residents (formerly US citizens only) with no more than 18 of experience in Asia since high school (formerly 12 weeks anytime).
The Luce Scholars Program is a great opportunity for those with little or no prior experience in, or education about, Asian countries to add this valuable perspective to their future career interests! Please share widely with students in your programs (with the exception of Asian Studies – apologies!). UW is able to nominate 3 students/alumni per year to compete nationally for the opportunity to spend 12 months in Asia. The program provides stipends, language training and individualized professional placement in Asia for fifteen to eighteen young Americans each year.
During the current application cycle for the 2019-20 program, applicants must be US citizens or Permanent Residents who, by July 1, 2019, will have received at least a bachelor’s degree and will not have reached their 30th birthday. Applicants should have a record of high achievement, outstanding leadership ability, and a clearly defined career interest with evidence of potential for professional accomplishment. Those who already have significant experience in Asia (over 18 weeks since graduating high school) or Asian studies are not eligible for the Luce Scholars Program. (Eligibility criteria are set by the Henry Luce Foundation; additional details are provided in the Program Summary below.) Students are welcome to be in touch with questions!
Campus application deadline: Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2018
UW online application form: https://expo.uw.edu/expo/apply/516
UW application and nomination information: http://expd.uw.edu/expo/scholarships/luce
Luce Scholars Program Advisers at UW:
For graduate students or alumni – Michelle Drapek, email@example.com, G-1 Communications
For undergraduate students or alumni – Robin Chang, firstname.lastname@example.org, 171 Mary Gates Hall
The Luce Scholars Program represents a major effort by the Henry Luce Foundation to provide an awareness of Asia among potential leaders in American society. Launched in 1974, the Luce Scholars Program is aimed at a group of highly qualified young Americans in a variety of professional fields. It is unique among American-Asian exchanges in that it is intended for young leaders who have had limited experience of Asia and who might not otherwise have an opportunity in the normal course of their careers to come to know Asia.
Luce Scholars have backgrounds in virtually any field other than Asian studies, including but hardly limited to medicine and public health, the arts, law, science, environmental studies, international development, and journalism. Placements can be made in the following countries or regions in East and Southeast Asia: Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam.
In spite of its name, the Luce Scholars Program is experiential rather than academic in nature. Some Scholars have been attached to Asian universities in teaching or research capacities, but none of the participants is formally enrolled as a student in a college or university and no academic credit is extended. Past placements have included an architect’s atelier in Tokyo; a public health program in Banda Aceh; a Gobi regional initiative in Ulaanbaatar; a dance theatre in Kuala Lumpur; an agricultural and environmental center in Hanoi; a human rights commission in Seoul; a pediatric hospital in Bangkok; a TV network in Beijing; a national museum in Siem Reap; an international arbitration centre in Singapore; and English-language newspapers, local governmental agencies and NGOs in diverse fields throughout East and Southeast Asia. Professional placements are arranged for each Scholar on the basis of his or her individual interest, background, qualifications, and experience.
Each Scholar spends July and August studying the language of the placement country, and the work assignments run for approximately ten months from September until July of the following year. The placements are intended primarily as learning opportunities for the Scholars. Certainly it is hoped that a Scholar will be able to make a professional contribution to the host organization, but equally important is a willingness to learn some of the many things that Asia has to teach.
UW’s recent Luce Scholars:
2017 MPA graduate Elena Swartz was selected for the 2017-18 grant and spent last year in Nepal. Elena’s focus in the Evans School was on Humanitarian Aid and Emergency Management. Read more about Elena at http://www.hluce.org/lsbios.aspx#eswartz.
2015 UW graduate Varsha Govindaraju was selected for the 2015-16 grant and spent her Luce year Cambodia. Read the UAA article about Varsha at http://www.washington.edu/uaa/2015/03/18/robinson-center-student-varsha-govindaraju-selected-for-prestigious-luce-scholarship/, and an update discussing her year in Cambodia at http://www.washington.edu/uaa/2018/04/03/my-luce-year-in-cambodia/.
2013 UW graduate Genevieve Gebhart was selected in 2013 and spent 2013-14 in Laos and Thailand as a Luce Scholar. Read the UAA article and Q&A with Gennie at
2010 UW graduate Jesse Burk-Rafel was selected as a Luce Scholar in 2010 and spent 2010-2011 in Mongolia under the program. Read the UW News article about Jesse at