To the Editor:
In the past few years, we’ve seen Yale begin or expand a number of study-abroad programs, including the semester at Peking University and the Bulldogs Abroad summer internships. This development is fantastic, and it means more students are able to spend part of their college years gaining an international experience.
That being said, I received the news of the increased funding for the Light Fellowship with something like dismay. Yes, funding for study-abroad experiences is great, but there’s something to be said for balance, and Yale is showing extraordinary preference to East Asian studies. Yale’s strong relationship with China notwithstanding, the world is a big place, and it is not centered on the Middle Kingdom.
Through its favoritism, Yale is not simply promoting East Asia to its students, but depriving them of opportunities to study other regions. The number of fellowships available for travel and study in other areas is radically smaller, and competition for them is fierce, meaning many students can’t afford to spend a summer abroad.
Those of us who dared to choose a different region of the globe — South Asia, for instance, or the Middle East — have an utterly different experience when considering our international options.
Yale is certainly heading in the right direction as it increases its international options for students. But it’s time for this university to show a little more equality in its approach.
The writer is a junior in Davenport College.