OMA&D Academic Counseling Services

July 22, 2020

Luce Scholars Program: Open to Students/Alumni interested in Gaining Professional Experience in Asia

Rising seniors, graduating seniors, alumni, graduate and
professional students interested in gaining relevant professional experience in
Asia may be interested in applying for the Luce Scholars Program.
This 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!

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.

Information session next week:

Please join us to learn more about the program and
nomination process:

Thursday, July 30, 4:30pm on Zoom

to attend.


During the current application cycle for the 2021-22
program, applicants must be US citizens or Permanent Residents who, by June 20,
2021, 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 below.)
Students are welcome to be in touch with questions!

UW campus application deadline: Tuesday, Sept. 8,

UW online application form:

UW application and nomination information:

Luce Scholars Program Advisers at UW:

    UW Seattle graduate students or alumni
– Michelle Sutton,

    UW Seattle undergraduate students or
alumni – Robin Chang,

    UW Bothell students or alumni –
Natalia Dyba,

    UW Tacoma students or alumni –
Cindy Schaarschmidt,

Program Summary:

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

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

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,
and an update discussing her year in Cambodia at

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