This is a one-year internship in East or Southeast Asia for those who have spent less than 18 weeks in Asia since graduating from high school. It is open to applicants from any major except Asian Studies. Young professionals, seniors, and graduate and professional students are eligible to apply. You must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident under the age of 30.
The goal of the program is to provide an Asian experience for those who will be future leaders in their field and communities, but have yet to have significant contact with Asian affairs. The Luce Scholars Program selection criteria include an applicant's:
- strong, mature, and clearly defined career interest in a specific field (any professional field but Asian Affairs is acceptable),
- motivation and potential for accomplishment within their field,
- academic achievement, especially in their field,
- capacity for leadership, and
- openness to new ideas and a sensitivity to their fellow human beings.
The single most important consideration is that nominees give evidence of potential for leadership and accomplishment, both within a chosen profession and as members of the broader American community. Read more about recent Illinois Luce Scholars.
Two-Day Luce Information Event
Thursday, August 26, 2021: 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Information session and discussion with a former Luce Scholar held in 514 IUB
Friday, August 27, 2021: 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. CST. Online Information session held at
Friday, August 27, 2021: 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. Workshop on how to craft a Luce Application held in 514 IUB
If you would like to discuss the Luce before the next information session please contact the NIS Program to schedule an appointment.
University of Illinois students and alumni are encouraged to submit drafts of their application to us well in advance of the campus deadline in order to receive feedback from the directors. Submit the application online through the online Luce portal and then send us an email with a few potential meeting times no earlier than 2 business days after your submission to receive feedback. We will then release the application to you to make changes. We are willing to work with students through numerous revisions.
A complete Luce application must be submitted to us in order to be considered for University of Illinois endorsement (a requirement to move forward in the competition). We'll schedule interviews of short-listed candidates to be conducted within a few weeks of the application deadline. Based on your online submittal and the interview, a Luce Scholars Campus Review Committee will determine your endorsement. The university will endorse those candidates the committee feels have the potential to be Luce Scholars; up to 3 applicants may receive this endorsement.
- A signed Scholarship Waiver (either scanned or in hardcopy) submitted to our office.
- At least 4 letters of recommendation (whenever possible, letters should represent a range of academic, professional, and personal references) submitted online by the referees.
- A complete Luce Scholars Application, including a 1500-word personal statement outlining your long-range career interests and how they have developed, understanding of leadership, and reasons for applying to the Luce Scholars Program
October 28, 2021 at 12:00 p.m. Noon
Those students who have been endorsed need to submit their final Luce application packet online by this date.
We submit an official University Endorsement Letter along with your complete application materials to the Luce Foundation. Your next step will be waiting to hear from the Luce Foundation. Each nominee will be interviewed by a Foundation member or former Luce Scholar who is in a vaguely similar career (as close as they can match you geographically and academically). Expect your interview to be held in November or December. From this individual meeting, that interviewer will determine if you're one of approximately 45 finalists to meet for a second round of interviews in early February. Between 15 and 18 Luce Scholars will be named each year.
For official information on the Luce Scholars Program (which supersedes any information provided here), please visit their website.