Fordham University            The Jesuit University of New York

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Henry Luce Scholarship

The Luce Scholars Program

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The Luce Scholars Program was established in 1974 to provide opportunities to young American leaders who have little or no prior experience of Asia to travel and work in Asia. The program's goal is to raise awareness of Asia among the future leaders in American professional fields. The program is for individuals with backgrounds in any field other than Asian studies. Luce Scholars are given professional placements based on their backgrounds, qualifications, experience, and interests. Placements are located throughout East and Southeast Asia, including Brunei, Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam. The program is "experiential rather than academic in nature"; participants do not enroll in universities or receive academic credit. Fifteen to eighteen Luce Scholars are selected each year.

Award Details

The Luce Scholars program is approximately one year in duration. The experience begins with an orientation in New York in late June, followed by a country-specific orientation in San Francisco. Scholars spend July and August studying the language of the country of their placement. Work assignments generally begin in September and end the following July. Scholars work alongside Asian collegues in a professional placement throughout this time. Scholars convene twice during that year, once in Hong Kong and later in another city of the region, to share and discuss their experiences.

Scholars are given a monthly stipend throughout the duration of the program. A cost-of-living allowance is also paid to scholars living in areas where the cost of living is higher than in the U.S. Funding includes medical and travel insurance, as well as transportation costs to and from the country of study. Language study throughout the year of the professional placement is strongly encouraged, and funds for this purpose will also be avaible to Scholars.


Applicant must...

  • be an American citizen
  • hold a bachelor's degree or expect to receive one before the start of the program
  • be under 30 years old
  • have an outstanding record of academic achievement and leadership ability, and have a clearly defined career interest in a specific field
  • be nominated to apply by Fordham University through the Office for Prestigious Fellowships

Additional Notes

Students who have already had "significant exposure" to East and Southeast Asia are not eligible for the Luce Scholars Program. Here is the Luce program's explanation of this "significant exposure" clause: It "depends on the nature of the experience. A quick world tour that included brief stops in Asian capitals would not be grounds for disqualification. On the other hand, a Peace Corps assignment in Asia, or a year-long exchange program at an Asian university would render a candidate ineligible. There are many borderline cases." Students with questions about their eligibility should consult with the Office for Prestigious Fellowships.

Proficiency in an Asian or Southeast Asian language is not a requirement.


External deadline: November 1, 2013

Campus deadline: October 2013

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