Wellesley-Yenching Fellowship at Chung Chi College in Hong Kong (rising seniors & alumnae)

*Note that this fellowship is unlikely to be offered for 2022-23, but interested candidates may apply for this and/or the fellowship in Nanjing by: January 18, 2022.

Note that the availability of fellowships normally varies from year to year, according to whether or not a current Fellow opts to extend her placement for a second year, and that this is not confirmed until the second half of January. Interested applicants are advised to meet the January application deadline regardless.

The Wellesley-Yenching Program in cooperation with Chung Chi College in Hong Kong sponsors a fellowship to teach or assist in teaching English at Chung Chi. This one-year fellowship is generally offered on an annual basis to a Wellesley College senior or alumna with the option to extend for a second year.  Candidates are first interviewed by the committee at Wellesley College, which then sends on the credentials of its nominee for final approval by Chung Chi 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 and other responsibilities for a one- or two-year period at Chung Chi (now part of the Chinese University of Hong Kong), where she joins other fellows from Yale and Williams.

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 value of the work of Wellesley graduates to Chung Chi is simply demonstrated by Chung Chi's willingness to provide the stipend and to offer living accommodations to the Wellesley representative.  The importance of the program to our fellow and our college is addressed by Esther Yau ‘97, Wellesley College-Yenching Fellow 1997-99, as follows:

This fellowship provides an important opportunity for cultural and educational exchange.  Chung Chi (The Chinese University) is a community of learners in which I have learned to be a teacher and a student.  Daily interaction with students and colleagues has taught me about how different people approach and answer the basic questions of life and education.  I experience both strands of similarity and chords of dissonance as my worlds of Wellesley and Chung Chi meet and become one.  Living and teaching in Hong Kong has challenged me to reflect and at times redefine my paradigm of quality education.  This fellowship has been an exciting extension of the thrills of learning and teaching that I began at Wellesley.


The Chinese University of Hong Kong

The Chinese University of Hong Kong is one of seven universities in Hong Kong and occupies a sprawling campus terraced into the mountains overlooking Tolo Harbour in the New Territories. The Chinese University has around 13,000 students, each of whom belongs to one of seven faculties (arts, business administration, education, engineering, medicine, social science and science) and to one of the four constituent colleges (Chung Chi, New Asia, Shaw, United) which incorporated in 1963 to form The Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Fellow's Duties

The Wellesley-Yenching fellow's assignment has changed over the past years. The fellow's time may be divided between working for Chung Chi College as a whole, helping to organize and promote language activities, and serving as a teaching assistant for the English department. In recent years she has taught freshman academic writing/communication courses with a fairly large literature component. Presently, her exact duties are determined after she has been selected. It is understood that the fellow will complete each semester and the academic year in full. Brief monthly updates on Fellows' status, both professionally and personally, are required, as well as a more comprehensive interim report due in December and a final report in June.


Although the fellowship's focus is on teaching and its related commitments, it provides opportunities for further study, community involvement, cultural exploration, and travel in Asia.  A fellow's schedule is fairly open and allows for ample time to pursue all of the above.  In addition, a fellow is entitled to six weeks of annual leave, plus University holidays.  Time taken outside of these allotted vacations is treated as no-pay leave.  Written application must be made for any period of leave and University approval must be obtained.

Fellowship Provisions

To cover living and travel expenses, the fellow receives an annual stipend of $6,500 from Wellesley College and a stipend from Chung Chi College which recently amounted to 16,150 Hong Kong dollars (about $2000) per month.  International health insurance and housing are provided as well as medical care through the University Health Center.

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

How do I apply?

To apply, before the application deadline submit the following 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 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 on your behalf, ideally by the campus application deadline. Please give your recommenders this link to allow them to submit their letter; should they have any difficulty with the online form, 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).

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.