Luce Scholars Program

The Luce Scholars Program provides stipends, language training, and individualized professional placement in Asia for 15-18 Luce Scholars each year. The program is unique among American-Asian exchanges in that it is intended for young leaders who have had limited experience of Asia. At the heart of the enterprise is the internship arranged for each Scholar on the basis of his or her specific interest, background, qualifications, and experience. These work assignments run for approximately ten months, from September until July of the following year, and are intended primarily as learning opportunities for Luce Scholars.

Award: The “Luce year” begins in late June with orientation in New York and San Francisco. Luce Scholars engage in intensive language study in Asia in July and August. Placements begin in September, and conclude with a wrap-up meeting in July of the following year. Luce Scholars receive a monthly stipend from the Luce Foundation during their Luce year. The stipend, augmented when necessary by a cost-of-living allowance and a housing allowance, is sufficient to meet all of a Scholar’s normal expenses in Asia.

Criteria: To be successful, candidates must (1) demonstrate an outstanding capacity for leadership, (2) have a record of high achievement, and (3) have mature and clearly defined career interests with evidence of potential for professional accomplishments. (4) Personal qualities such as flexibility, adaptability, creativity, humility, openness to new ideas, and sensitivity to cultural differences are as important as academic achievement.

Application deadlines

ODS internal deadline for endorsement: Monday, September 24, 2018 (5:00 pm ET)

Scholarship final deadline: Thursday, November 1, 2018

  • (Endorsed candidates will be required to submit their applications to ODS 2-3 day prior to the 11/1 deadline)

Eligibility

To be eligible for the Luce Scholars Program, candidates must:

  • be U.S. citizens
  • not have reached their 30th birthday by July 1st of the year they enter the program
  • have earned at least a bachelor’s degree or reasonably expect to receive that degree by July 1st of the year they enter the program
  • be in physical health that will not restrict them from working in a foreign environment.
  • not already have significant experience in Asia or Asian studies (may have taken Asian language or Asia-focused courses and have spent up to a total of twelve weeks in Asia)
  • have a competitive GPA, generally no less than 3.5

How to apply for endorsement

  • Personal information form
  • Luce application form
  • Personal statement
  • All relevant transcripts
  • Photograph
  • 4 letters of recommendation
DETAILS ABOUT APPLYING FOR ENDORSEMENT

Resources for applicants

  • Review the ODS “Tips & Advice” document for advice on applying for a distinguished award
  • Thoroughly read the following Luce rules and guidelines:
  • ODS information sessions and prep-shops
  • Contact Prof. Richard Harrill, Chair of the UNC Luce Scholarship Selection Committee, before the beginning the fall semester.
  • Applicants who would like feedback on their personal statement are encouraged to submit drafts to ODS, preferably before the start of the fall semester

 

Recent Luce Scholars Program Recipients: Leah Everist ’18, Martha Isaacs ’17, S. Jakelin Bonilla ’12