June 28, 2022

The Luce Scholars Program, which provides recipients with stipends, language training and individualized professional placement in Asia for 12 months, has made some major changes to their eligibility criteria and application process, all geared toward expanding access, which is great to see! Most notably, the program will now consider applications from students in any field of study, including Asian Studies (which had previously been excluded), and university nomination is no longer required to apply.

Please share this updated information widely with students and alumni across all majors and departments:

The new Luce Scholars Program application is open now!  Deadline to apply is Oct. 1, 2022 for participation in 2023-24 program.

The Luce Scholars Program provides stipends, language training and individualized professional placement (basically an internship) in Asia for eighteen Americans each year. Rising seniors, alumni, graduate and professional students interested in gaining relevant professional experience in Asia for 12 months should learn more and consider applying. This is a great opportunity for those with little or no prior experience in Asian countries to add this valuable perspective to their future career interests!


The intent of the program is to provide an in-depth experience in Asia to young Americans who would not otherwise have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the country where they are placed.

  • Candidates must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents. 
  • Candidates may be graduating seniors, recent graduates, or young professionals under the age of 32 OR, be no more than three years out from receiving a bachelor’s degree.
  • Candidates who have majored in any field of study are now eligible to apply (including students in Asian Studies, who had previously been excluded).
  • Candidates who have spent 18 weeks or more (since beginning college) in one of the countries where Luce Scholars can be placed are eligible to apply to be placed in a country where they do not have significant experience. 

 UW information session: Thursday, July 14, 5:30pm on Zoom. Register to attend.

Luce Scholars Program Advisers at UW:

Although university nomination is no longer required for applicants, we’re here to support UW students and alumni in applying competitively for this national program. Applicants are strongly encouraged to take advantage of our advising resources for questions, brainstorming, feedback, interview prep, etc. And join our UW Global Fellowships Prep group to access additional resources, information and guidance:

    UW Seattle graduate students or alumni – Michelle Sutton, gradappt@uw.edu

    UW Seattle undergraduate students or alumni – Robin Chang, robinc@uw.edu

    UW Bothell students or alumni – Natalia Dyba, nataliak@uw.edu

    UW Tacoma students or alumni – Cindy Schaarschmidt, cs65@uw.edu

Learn more and apply at https://www.hluce.org/programs/luce-scholars/.

Program Overview:

Established in 1974, the Luce Scholars Program is a nationally competitive fellowship that offers early-career leaders immersive, professional experiences in Asia. The program aims to forge stronger relationships across geographic borders by creating opportunities for young Americans to deepen their ties and understanding of the countries, cultures, and people of Asia.

Professional placements are arranged for each Scholar based on their individual interest, background, qualifications, and experience (please note placements are experiential in nature, not credit-bearing opportunities for academic study). Luce Scholars have backgrounds in any field, including but hardly limited to medicine and public health, the arts, law, science, environmental studies, international development, and journalism. 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.

Placements can be made in the following countries or regions in South, East and Southeast Asia: Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, and Timor Leste.

Examples of past placements:

  • 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;
  • English-language newspapers, local governmental agencies and NGOs in diverse fields throughout East and Southeast Asia.

Examples of 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.
  • 2015 UW graduate Varsha Govindaraju was selected for the 2015-16 grant and spent her Luce year Cambodia. Read the UAA article about Varsha and an update discussing her year in Cambodia.