Elisabeth Luce Moore ’24 Wellesley-Yenching Fellowship at Ginling College in Nanjing (seniors & graduates)

Campus Application Deadline: February 20, 2024

*Apply in spring semester 2024 for Fellowships in 2024-25. Note that the availability of fellowships from year to year varies, according to whether or not a current Fellow opts to extend placement for a second year, and that this is not confirmed until the second half of January. Interested applicants should plan ahead to meet the application deadline regardless.  We anticipate at least one opening for the Ginling Fellowship in the current cycle.

Each year the Wellesley-Yenching Program sponsors two English teaching fellowships in cooperation with Ginling College, part of Nanjing Normal University in Nanjing, China. Wellesley College seniors or graduates are eligible to apply for this one-year fellowship which can be extended to a second year--and in recent memory almost every fellow has opted to stay on! The Wellesley-Yenching Committee interviews applicants, then sends the credentials of one or two nominees for final approval by Ginling College.

The Wellesley-Yenching Program is a lasting example of Wellesley College's long tradition of interest and involvement in China.  In 1906, in honor of a visit to the Wellesley campus by the Chinese High Commissioners of Education, the Wellesley Board of Trustees established three scholarships for Chinese students at Wellesley to “foster friendly relations between the women of the oldest and youngest civilizations in the world.” This was followed in 1908 by a financial donation in support of the institution which would become Yenching University in Beijing and which, in 1919, was formally adopted as Wellesley's sister college. In August of 1923, the first Fellow in this program began three years of teaching at Yenching.  Funds raised by Wellesley alumnae were used to support education in China until the revolution of 1949 led to the closing or transformation of all Western-type colleges on the Chinese mainland.

In 1961, the Wellesley-Yenching Committee decided to send Wellesley graduates to teach at Chung Chi College, an institution developed by refugee faculty and based on the same traditions as those of Yenching and other Western-type colleges in China.  At the present time, the committee sends one Fellow to assist with English language teaching for a one- or two-year period at Chung Chi (now part of the Chinese University of Hong Kong), where the Wellesley Fellow joins those from Yale and Williams.   

In 1993, thanks to generous support from the United Board for Christian Higher Education in Asia, the committee established a new fellowship to once again support Wellesley College graduates as English Teaching Fellows in the People's Republic of China.  That year the first fellow was chosen to start a two-year term at Ginling College in Nanjing, an institution dedicated to the education of women.  As a mutually enriching tie between academic institutions, the fellowship promises myriad advantages to both colleges.

In 1999, Wellesley received a generous grant from the Henry Luce Foundation to honor Elisabeth Luce Moore ‘24, in celebration of her 75th reunion year.  Beth Moore was born in China and was a strong supporter of the college’s ties to Asia.  Part of this grant was used to endow the Wellesley-Yenching Program.

The English program at Ginling was developed with the assistance of the English Department at Nanjing Normal University which has earned an excellent reputation for its teaching theory.  The Wellesley-Yenching Graduate Fellowship at Ginling College offers Wellesley graduates the opportunity to study the Chinese language and culture, as well as a chance to explore the possibility of a teaching career.


Wellesley-Yenching Graduate Fellowships at Ginling College

The new Ginling College was reestablished in 1987 on the initiative of alumnae from the original Ginling College, which had been restructured in 1952 as part of a national reorganization of academic institutions.  These alumnae wished to reinstate a college with the purpose of their alma mater:  "To prepare women to serve China."  The new Ginling College is a separate administrative entity located on the main campus of the larger Nanjing Normal University, an institution of more than 35,000 undergraduates and graduate students which occupies the original Ginling campus and two other campuses in Nanjing. The English Department was the first program in the new Ginling College to grant a B.A. degree.  Now there are six undergraduate programs including gerontology, accounting and dietary science that offer a Bachelor’s, yet the English program remains the cornerstone of the school’s academic reputation.

The basic requirements of the Wellesley-Yenching Graduate Fellowship are as follows:

  • Attendance at a spring semester orientation session held at Wellesley College.
  • Commitment to a full academic year of English language teaching beginning September 1 (with the option of an additional year).
  • Teaching approximately 12 to 14 hours each week with office hours as needed.
  • Brief monthly updates on the Fellow's status, both professionally and personally, are required, along with a more comprehensive interim report due in December and a final report in June.

Ginling College has agreed to provide each fellow:

  • Housing.
  • A monthly stipend of 5000 yuan (approximately US $765.64) depending on the qualifications of the individual fellow.
  • Medical care through the university clinic or infirmary.

The Wellesley-Yenching Program provides the Fellow with:

  • Payment for an online 100 hour TESL course to qualify for the required Expert Certificate.
  • A grant of $8,500 and reimbursement of fees for visa and work papers.
  • Round-trip airfare to Nanjing, China, each year.
  • International health and travel insurance.

Please note that Chinese competency or background in Asian Studies is not required.

How do I apply?

To apply, before the application deadline submit via the Google form here:

  • a statement of interest (2-3 page, double-spaced essay describing your reasons for applying and strengths as a candidate),
  • a resume,
  • an unofficial copy of your Wellesley transcript/grade report (and also copies of any other applicable college/university transcripts, e.g. from a study abroad or transfer institution), and
  • a writing sample (a short paper or thesis chapter that reflects your best academic work), along with
  • a Wellesley Fellowships office signature document (please print, sign & date this form, then submit a scanned pdf or other image of the signed document along with your application materials).  

Also: request three letters of reference be submitted in support of your application, ideally by the campus deadline. Please give your recommenders this link to allow them to submit their letters (should they have any difficulty with the link, please ask them to email their letters to fellowships@wellesley.edu).

*Please note that in years when placements at both Chung Chi College and Ginling College are available, you may apply for the Wellesley-Yenching  programs at both Chung Chi College and Ginling College. To do this, you need only request three letters of reference and submit one application (being sure to submit the writing sample required by Ginling).  

Campus Deadline: ​11:30 pm on February 20, 2024

Interested Wellesley applicants are very welcome to schedule a Fellowships appointment via Handshake. Appointments are available year-round, via telephone and video chat, as well as in person. Cannot find an available appointment? Drop by Fellowships Pop-Up Advising: no appointment required. See our Events listings for details of in-person and virtual pop-ups. 


Email fellowships@wellesley.edu or call Caitlin Roberts-Donovan at 781.283.2347.