About the Program

The Luce Scholars Program represents a major effort by the Henry Luce Foundation to develop awareness of Asia among future leaders of American society. Aimed at a highly qualified group of young Americans in a variety of professional fields, it is unique among Asian-American exchange programs in placing emphasis on leaders who have had little prior experience of Asia and who might not otherwise have an opportunity during the course of their careers to come to know Asia or their Asian colleagues. The program consists of a paid internship in an East Asian or Southeast Asian country, not academic study. The basic stipend is sufficient to meet all of the scholars’ normal expenses in Asia, and all costs for travel required by the program also are covered.

Internships are arranged for each scholar on the basis of specific interests, background, qualifications and experience. For example, scholars have worked for 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; an international arbitration centre in Singapore; and English-language newspapers, local governmental agencies and NGOs in diverse fields throughout East and Southeast Asia.


A candidate must be a U.S. citizen who has earned at least a bachelor’s degree (or who will receive this degree before taking part in the Luce Scholars Program) and must not have reached their 30th birthday by September 1 of the year he or she would enter the program. Candidates are ineligible if they have already had significant exposure to Asia or if they have a specific career interest in Asian affairs. Students focusing on international relations are eligible for consideration.

Candidates should have a record of the highest academic achievement combined with evidence of outstanding leadership ability. The most important single criterion is a mature and clearly defined career interest in a specific field and evidence of potential for professional accomplishment within that field.

Application Procedure

Application materials must be delivered to the Fellowships office (Howarth 114) by the campus deadline in October. Our Graduate Fellowships Advisory Committee (GFAC) will select a small number of candidates for personal interviews to be held in mid-October. The committee will nominate up to three candidates for consideration by the Luce Foundation.

Once an institution’s nominations have been received, (due to the foundation the first Monday in November), the Luce Foundation staff performs an initial screening of the nominees based on the documentation submitted and on interviews that take place in December and January. The original roster of candidates is reduced to no more than 45 finalists who are invited, at the foundation’s expense, to meet with one of three Regional Selection Committees. Following their interviews with the finalists, each committee submits to the Luce Foundation its recommendations for five Luce Scholars (for a total of 15 scholars nationally). Successful candidates are notified by the foundation mid-March.

Since the program is geared to the non-specialist, prior knowledge of an Asian language is not a criterion for selection. All internship placements are made with this language limitation in mind. At the same time, Luce Scholars are encouraged to undertake language study both before and during their participation in the program. The foundation offers financial support to the scholars for such language instruction. The program begins in late June and concludes in July the following year. Placements can be made in the following countries or regions in East and Southeast Asia: Brunei, Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Liaison: Associate Director of Fellowships and Academic Advising, fellowships@pugetsound.edu

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