Luce Scholars

Program Website

Description: The Luce Scholars Program was launched by the Henry Luce Foundation in 1974. It aims to enhance the understanding of Asia among potential leaders in American society by providing fellows with stipends, language training, and individualized professional placement in Asia. The program 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. Each year, 15-18 Luce Scholars are selected to participate in this unique opportunity. They live in big cities and small villages and work throughout Northeast, Southeast, and South Asia, working in in a variety of fields. 

Award: Scholars are placed at an organization in a participating Asian country based on their interest and qualifications. They receive a monthly stipend, supplemented if necessary by a cost-of-living adjustment and a housing allowance. 


  • U.S. citizens and U.S. permanent residents 
  • Graduating seniors, recent graduates, and young professionals under the age of 30
  • Limited exposure to Asia (spent less than an accumulated total of 18 weeks in one or more Luce Scholars placement countries in Asia since graduating from high school)
  • Any academic background except Asian studies

Application Materials: 

  • Online application
  • Personal statement, which should 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. 
  • Academic transcript(s)
  • Four letters of recommendation
  • A photo 

Selection Criteria:

  • Record of high achievement 
  • Outstanding leadership abilities 
  • Clearly defined interests with evidence of potential for professional accomplishments
  • Resilience 
  • Flexibility
  • Adaptability 
  • Humility 
  • Maturity