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Luce Scholars Program

Provides stipends, language training, and individualized professional internships in Asia to approximately 20 young Americans each year who would not otherwise have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the country where they are placed. The program's purpose is to increase awareness of Asia among future leaders in American society. Placements can be made in the following locations: Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam, Sri Lanka, and Timor Leste. The annual selection is an unusually rigorous process and a nationwide competition. Each candidate must first be nominated by their home university. For additional program information, visit the Henry Luce Foundation website.


Applicants should review the Luce Scholars Program website and then schedule an appointment with the campus liaison, or begin an application which will inform the campus liaison of an intent to apply.

To schedule an appointment, please visit the ADVISING CALENDAR and select an open day/time.

Application Process:

Interested applicants must submit the online application by the national deadline.   

Application Components:   

  • Luce Scholars Program Application.

    • Written Application. Candidates provide biographical and contact information, respond to short answer questions, and write a personal statement and 400-word max bio. Personal Statement must be used to convey a sense of who you are, and reflect on, among other things, (a) your personal journey; (b) your long-range professional interests and how they have developed; (c) how you have embodied your own kind of leadership; and (d) how a year in Asia with Luce might be transformative.

    • Two Letters of Recommendation (LOR). Applicants must complete an online form for each recommender which will trigger an email notification. LORs can be from academic, professional, or collegial references. LORs should be signed on official letterhead whenever possible.

    • Official Academic Transcripts. Transcripts of all college and graduate work.  

    • A 1-2 Minute Video. Candidates record and upload a 1–2-minute video based on the provided prompt. The video gives program administrators a chance to get to know the candidate beyond the page.

Eligibility Criteria:

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. 

  • U.S. citizen and/or permanent resident
  • Candidates may be graduating seniors, recent graduates, or young professionals under the age of 32 or, no more than three years out from receiving bachelor’s degree. 
  • Candidates must be at least 18 years of age and have earned a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent by the start of the Luce Scholars orientation in late June.
  • Candidates who have majored in Asian Studies are now eligible to apply. 
  • Candidates who have spent 18 weeks or more (since beginning college) in one of the countries where we place Luce Scholars are eligible to apply to be placed in a country where they do not have significant experience.
  • More eligibility information

Review Process:

The U-M International Institute will provide feedback to any draft documents submitted to the email address no later than September 15th. As all interested students and alumni are able to apply, draft reviews will be returned to students with enough time to submit their applications to the Luce Scholars Program Application System on October 15th.