The Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies (CEAPS) and the Women and Gender in Global Perspectives Program (WGGP)  announce a call for applications for the Illinois Global Institute (IGI) Language Fellowship. This fellowship provides support for critical language training necessary to fields of academic and professional development for UIUC graduate students. The fellowship offers academic year support (AY 2024-2025) to graduate students at the MA or PhD level. Successful applicants will receive a $20,000 stipend and a waiver of tuition and some fees.  As cultural and language training go hand in hand, fellows will be required to take one language course and one relevant area studies course each semester that they hold a fellowship. Additional requirements may be listed in awards letters. Academic advisors at each center will assist fellows in selecting the appropriate language and area studies courses.

Eligible Languages by Center

Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies

  • Chinese
  • Japanese
  • Korean

Women and Gender in Global Perspectives Program

  • Arabic
  • Hindi
  • Persian
  • Portuguese
  • Quechua
  • Swahili
  • Wolof

Applicant Eligibility

  • This fellowship supports study of eligible languages (see list above) at all levels, from elementary to advanced. Preference will be given to applicants studying at the intermediate to advanced level.
  • Applicants must be degree-seeking students in good academic standing enrolled in graduate programs at the University of Illinois.
  • Incoming graduate students are eligible to receive a fellowship if they are accepted for enrollment and matriculate for the 2024-2025 academic year or are already enrolled full-time at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Application Materials

All applicants must submit to the relevant center the following:

  • Personal statement explaining your rationale for studying a particular language, experience with the language (if any) and/or any other foreign languages, how the proposed language study fits in with your field of study and relates to the specific area studies you are apply to, as well as how the study of the language will advance your academic/professional goals;
  • Unofficial transcripts;
  • Two letters of recommendation (one must be from your current advisor). Reference letters must be submitted by referee at of Recommendation are due by 11:59 p.m. CT on Friday, Feb. 2, 2024.

Application and instructions are available at Applications are due by Friday, Jan. 26, 2024, at 11:59pm. 


Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies: Associate Director Yuchia Chang (

Women and Gender in Global Perspectives Program: Associate Director Anita Kaiser (

AY 2024-2025 Awardees

AY 2024-2025 CEAPS IGI Graduate Language Fellowship

Yung-hui Chou
Yung-hui Chou is a Library and Information Science graduate student, specializing in archival and special collections. Currently, she works at the International and Area Studies Library as a graduate assistant for general and East Asian collections and services. She plans to use the IGI fellowship to further her studies in Japanese language and textual transmission in the early modern East Asian world, which will benefit her book history research and library work. She also hopes that her language skills and archival training will help her contribute to preserving the community archives of East Asian diaspora populations.

Luming Xu
Born and raised in China's Northeast, Luming Xu is interested in the history of his homeland and the coming into being of the region, both politically and intellectually. In history, the place of China's Northeast, also known as Manchuria, was both the center of the Qing empire's homeland and the important borderland of modern China. He is now working on the history of China's political transformation from an empire into a modern nation state, and how that grand process of historical change intertwined with the regional history of Manchuria through the periods of empire, nation-states, and colonial times from the nineteenth century to the first half of the twentieth century. He intends to use the IGI fellowship to improve his proficiency in Japanese.

Yangyang Liu
Yangyang is a first-year doctoral student at the School of Information Sciences. She holds an MA in East Asian Languages and Cultures from the University of Illinois. Her research interests cover Chinese children’s literature and print cultures associated with children’s materials. The IGI Language Fellowship will support her Japanese language and literature studies, which in turn will bring her research into the rich conversation of translingual and transcultural children’s materials. 

Alana Bates
Alana is a master's student completing her first year with EALC. Her research interests include the history of empire, particularly in transnational spaces of resistance amongst religious groups in Japan and colonial Korea. With the IGI Fellowship, she hopes to advance her language fluency to aid in the research and drafting of a multi-lingual, transnational history of the Japanese empire and diplomatic relations in order to promote not only awareness of the devastating effects of nationalism and empire, but also to encourage healing and reconciliation.

AY 2023 - 2024 Awardees

AY 2023-2024 CEAPS IGI Graduate Language Fellowship

Langston Neuburger
Langston Neuburger is a graduate student in East Asian Language and Culture. His research focuses on the Ainu, the indigenous people of Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost island. As much of the existing research on this topic is in Japanese, he is using the IGI fellowship to further his Japanese studies in order to better utilize Japanese sources. He is particularly interested in the revitalization of the Ainu language and the ways that the Ainu use language to negotiate their identity and position in Japanese society. 

Rebecca Stover
Rebecca Stover is a joint-degree graduate student in History and Library and Information Science. Her focus is on Japanese Buddhist history and developing user-oriented methods for assisting researchers using Japanese sources. She is a graduate assistant for the History, Philosophy, and Newspaper Library and the Japanese Studies Collection in the International and Area Studies Library. She looks forward to advancing her historical research and library work by taking advanced classes in Japanese with the IGI fellowship.

Shuo Zhang
My name is Shuo Zhang and I’m a senior graduate student in East Asian Studies. My ongoing research projects focus primarily on cultural exchange and identity formation in areas and societies peripheral to China proper, particularly how Korean pop culture has reshaped local ethnic identities and state-society relations in China’s Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture. Fluent in both Chinese and English with some heavy exposure to Korean in my early years, I’m currently taking advanced Korean courses and can’t wait to see what further interdisciplinary insights this fellowship may help me develop in the next academic year.

AY 2022-2023 Awardees

AY 2022-2023 CEAPS IGI Graduate Language Fellowship

Samantha Shoppell (Art Education)
Hi, I’m Samantha Shoppell, a 2nd year PhD student in the Art Education program at UIUC. My research centers on the embodied and relational aspects of the pedagogy and practice of Japanese traditional arts. Although I practice a handful of artistic traditions including kimono, traditional music, and woodblock printing, my research tends to focus specifically on tea ceremony in intercultural contexts. I am delighted to be chosen as a fellow this year to maintain and continue developing my Japanese language and cultural studies, which I hope will eventually culminate in research fieldwork in Japan. どうぞ宜しくお願いします。