The Harvard-Yenching Institute (HYI) Visiting Fellows’ Programme is an extremely fruitful and productive research opportunity for NUS students. HYI is most interested to invite students in the Humanities and Social Sciences who conduct work on East or Southeast Asia. Once accepted, HYI is the perfect home base in the United States for visiting fellows to conduct research and meet excellent scholars from their field. Visiting fellows are assigned a Harvard faculty to act as supervisor during their stay there; they are also invited to confer with scholars outside Harvard, should they find this helpful. Visits to other universities in North America for conferences and scholarly consultations are likewise encouraged. Furthermore, the Yenching Library houses one of the most exhaustive collections of materials on China, Japan and Korea in the United States.
During my one-year stint in Harvard, I was able to interact with very promising co-fellows from various universities in East Asia and learn from their expertise. We had regular workshops where we had the chance to present our research and obtain useful feedback. What is even more exciting is the chance to be able to attend classes offered by Harvard Faculty, which has broadened my thinking and enriched my dissertation writing. Resources for research in Harvard libraries are breath-taking, and visiting fellows will surely find relevant (and sometimes rare) materials for their research in libraries scattered throughout the campus.
The HYI also sponsors leisure activities on campus and trips in various places in the United States. Trips around Massachusetts and other New England states are always eagerly anticipated by the fellows. It’s a welcome break from all the demands of research and writing! NUS students should maximize this opportunity and apply for the Visiting Fellows’ Programme; it will surely be one of their most memorable experiences in their academic journey.