Summer Study Abroad

Chinese Language Scholarship funded by Tan Chin Tuan Foundation


Tan Sri Tan was an active champion and generous supporter of education. To this day, this emphasis lives on in the work of the Tan Chin Tuan Foundation. Through the decades of its illustrious history, the Foundation has given regularly and generously to numerous schools, research centres and institutes of higher learning both within and beyond Singapore. In continuation of its enthusiastic support of education, and reflecting Tan Sri Tan’s leadership among the overseas Chinese of Singapore, the Foundation made a generous gift to Yale-NUS to support the advancement of Chinese studies and sinological work at the College in 2012. In addition to the establishment of the Tan Chin Tuan Professorship in Chinese Studies and the Tan Chin Tuan Chinese Culture & Civilisation Programme, the endowment supports Yale-NUS students’ study of the Chinese language. Scholarships up to the amount of SGD 9,000 each are available to Yale-NUS students.

Successful candidates will receive the scholarship directly from the College and are fully responsible for application and payment to the summer programme provider as well as all other associated procedures. They will not be eligible to receive other sources of funding from CIPE for their summer programme approved for this scholarship.

For an overview of the scholarship application process and the procedures that follow, refer to the CIPE Summer Scholarships Infographic.

Info sessions for CIPE Summer Scholarships for 2020 will be held at these dates and times. Each session will include a short briefing (slides available here) and time for questions:

  • 30 Oct, Wed, 3-4pm at Classroom 15
  • 31 Oct, Thu, 10-11am at Classroom 15
  • 5 Nov, Tue, 10-11am at Classroom 15
  • 8 Nov, Fri, 3-4pm at Classroom 15


“The limits of my language,” writes Ludwig Wittgenstein, “mean the limits of my world.” In order to cultivate students capable of navigating diverse cultures in an interconnected world, Yale-NUS strives to be a place where the study of foreign languages is vigorously encouraged and supported.

As a liberal arts college whose student population includes many diasporic Singaporean Chinese and international students with strong interests in China, Yale-NUS College is uniquely poised for the education of tomorrow’s leaders in myriad China-related fields. To this end, robust training in Chinese language is crucial. The Scholarship focuses on funding students on full-immersion language programmes over the summer for the costs of tuition and accommodation.


In order to receive the scholarship, students must apply directly – and gain admission – to one of the following seven sites approved by Yale-NUS faculty and administrators:

Upon successful completion of any of these programmes above, students can seek credit transfer. The number of Yale-NUS Modular Credits will be determined by the number of credits obtained or instructional hours completed.

In this list, only Notre Dame’s Beijing Global Gateway, CET Beijing and ICLP offer beginner or advanced beginner level instruction; the rest require either at least one or two years’ of college-level instruction.

Check this table for a list of the approved programmes and their individual duration, locations, and distinctive features.

Eligibility and Selection Criteria

Full-time enrolled Yale-NUS students in good academic and disciplinary standing are eligible to apply for these scholarships. Priority consideration will be given to students applying for programmes above the beginner level. Students who have not previously studied Chinese must enrol in Chinese 1 during Semester 2 and successfully complete it prior to starting their summer programme. Failure to enrol in or complete the course could result in withdrawal of the scholarship offer.

Successful applicants will demonstrate the following in a 200-300 word essay:

  • How and why the chosen programme fits into their academic, professional, or personal development
  • Clear rationale for why they must pursue the course abroad instead of at Yale-NUS
  • Plan to carry learning forward through further study or application of skills/knowledge gained
  • Ability to serve as a good ambassador for Yale-NUS College; adaptability, flexibility
  • Intent to bring learning back to Yale-NUS College and share with the community
  • Essays must be clear, well-written, and grammatically correct

Writing Resource

Wondering what the review committee is looking for in an application? Check out our summer scholarship application tips. It has the essence of what we share with students in advising sessions.

Timeline and Process

  • 25 Oct 2019: Applications available from CIPE
  • 22 Nov 2019: Application deadline (5pm)
  • Late Nov – Early Dec: Committee meets to select recipients; finalists may be interviewed
  • Mid Dec: Applicants notified of decisions; recipients have a week to confirm acceptance of the Scholarship.
  • Mid Jan – Late Mar, 2020: Individual programme deadlines and admissions decisions made; Scholarship recipients to notify CIPE once they decide which programme to attend
  • Mar – May: Individual programme deposits and tuition payments due
  • Late Apr: Scholarship recipients to attend all mandatory CIPE Summer Orientation sessions
  • May – Aug: Summer programmes in session
  • Aug 2020: All scholarship recipients (Years 2-4) must be back by the first day of the semester to attend classes.


Click Here to Apply Now

To log in using your NUSNET ID and password (preferred), please select the option “I have a username and password” when prompted.

If you are experiencing difficulties accessing the online application, please email Lindsay ALLEN ( with the subject line Online Application – Chinese Language Scholarship.

Acceptance into this scholarship is conditional upon your participation in a pre-departure orientation at the end of April and submission of reflections post-summer.


Can I apply to the Tan Chin Tuan Scholarship if I’ve never studied Chinese before?

Yes. The Scholarship aims to encourage the study of Chinese at all levels. However, priority consideration will be given to students applying for programmes above the beginner level.

What will the Scholarship cover?

It will cover most of the costs for tuition and accommodation but students have to top up for any shortfall. In addition, students should budget enough to cover – on their own – the flight, food and personal expenses (e.g. books, local transport, leisure, etc).

Which summer programmes are most suitable for me?

If you expect to be taking beginner or advanced beginner courses (i.e. with one semester’s worth of instruction) during the summer, you should apply to CET Beijing and/or ICLP. The rest of the programmes listed above cater to intermediate and advanced levels.

If you’ve studied Chinese through the Singapore school system, HBA, PiB, ICLP, and IUP are more suitable. You will most probably place into the 4th or 5th year level at these programmes. Further, at ICLP and IUP, you will have the opportunity to tailor individual tutorials to your specific interests and proficiency.

Who should I approach when applying to the individual summer programmes which require recommendation letters?

If you have taken Chinese at Yale-NUS or the NUS Centre for Language Studies, you should ask your teacher for a recommendation. If you have studied Chinese language prior to Yale-NUS, a recommendation from your former teacher would be ideal. If you are unable to get in touch with your Chinese teacher, or if you have never studied Chinese before, a recommendation from a faculty member who can attest to your language competency will suffice.

For tips on how to request a letter of recommendation, click here.

Should I apply to the Scholarship first? When should I apply to the individual summer programmes?

If you are intent on and able to attend a summer programme regardless of whether or not you receive the Scholarship, please go ahead and submit your complete applications to summer programmes as soon as possible, ahead of the individual deadlines.

Most programmes require a letter of recommendation. If you definitely require funding to participate in a summer programme, you should wait for CIPE’s funding decisions to be announced around December. Once you confirm your funding, you can then request – at least a few weeks in advance – a recommendation letter from your professor to apply directly to the programme. Note the early deadline of mid-January for the HBA programme in particular.

What are the transcript requirements for the summer programme applications?

Some programmes (e.g. CET) require an official transcript mailed directly to them from the College. Others (e.g. HBA) require applicants to mail their transcripts together with other supporting documents (e.g. recommendations, passport copy, etc) to their office. Yet others (e.g. PiB) require a scan of an official transcript uploaded onto the online application. Please familiarise yourself with the requirements of the individual programmes that you want to apply to.

I am a first-year student, and I will not be receiving letter grades for my performance in Semester 1. Will that be an issue when applying to summer programmes? Can I submit my high school grades as well if I want to distinguish myself?

In most cases, your recommendation letter will give the summer programme admission committees a good idea of your level of language competency. In some cases (e.g. for HBA) you will need to provide, in lieu of a transcript without letter grades, a separate, sealed recommendation from your academic adviser or the equivalent. And most for programmes (e.g. for ICLP), you are welcome to submit high school grades if you believe that will give them a fuller picture. Please contact the respective external summer programmes coordinators directly to check.

Have Questions?
Leong Wai Yee
Programme Manager, International Programmes

Contact with questions about study abroad programmes.