Undergraduate Academic Affairs

April 19, 2019

UW alumna Sneha Indrajit selected as scholar for China’s Yenching Academy

Undergraduate Academic Affairs

Photo of Sneja Indrajit in Suzzallo Library.

University of Washington alumna Sneha Indrajit, ’18, was recently selected for the competitive Yenching Academy Scholars program at Peking University. Indrajit earned her degree with honors in international studies and is one of approximately 125 scholars from around the world selected to be in their 2019-20 cohort. The opportunity to join the Yenching Academy is competitive. Only six scholars came from U.S. public universities in last year’s cohort, including two University of Washington alumni.

The Yenching Academy scholars participate in a customizable master’s program in China. In addition to covering the costs of tuition, the award includes round trip air travel from the student’s home country, housing on campus and living costs. Although Chinese language proficiency is not required and classes are taught in English, Indrajit is excited to speak in Mandarin, which she began learning at age six.The academy’s goal is to shape new generations of global citizens with a nuanced understanding of China. Indrajit will choose courses from six research areas, engage in field studies and conduct research that relates to her specific interest, international law.


Originally from Singapore, Indrajit moved to the United States to attend the University of Washington in 2015. She returned home each summer to be with family and work, including at an internship for the MSC Law Corporation and as a facilitator for a performance art production at the Singapore International Festival of Arts.

As an undergraduate, Indrajit’s involvement in numerous academic clubs gave her valuable experience in the field of international law. She led a team of fellow Jackson School students to emerge in the top five out of 100 teams nationwide in the New York University Policy Case Competition, and was co-captain of the Mock Trial team, where she won the Outstanding Attorney Award at the regional championship. She also researched with the Rohingya Project last spring with a team of UW researchers, assisting in the creation of digital identification for the Rohingya people in Myanmar. As a stateless population, the Rohingya lack the identity documentation they need to set up bank accounts or participate in financial markets.

Outside of university sponsored programs, she conducted cybersecurity research as a fellow for the International Policy Institute, with a focus on the intersections between cybersecurity and human rights. Between her classes and experiencing different cultures, she grew interested in understanding the relationships between other countries, especially the United States, Singapore and China.

“To have that experience in the US, I thought it would be really interesting to see it from China’s perspective,” Indrajit said. “Just to be immersed in the culture is an invaluable opportunity, deepening my understanding of the language and deepening my understanding of how China positions itself in the world.”

At Peking University, she plans to pursue a master’s degree in law and society with the hopes that it will expose her to a greater understanding of China and its relations with other countries. Following her studies, Indrajit hopes to start a career in law and diplomacy in Singapore where she can positively impact and contribute to the community.

About the Office of Merit Scholarships, Fellowships and Awards

The Yenching Academy application process is supported by the Office of Merit Scholarships, Fellowships and Awards (OMSFA), a UAA program. OMSFA works with faculty, staff and students to identify and support promising students in developing the skills and personal insights necessary to become strong candidates for this and other prestigious awards. The UW campus application process for students interested in Yenching Academy (and other scholarships supporting graduate studies around the world) will get started this spring for 2020-21 awards. Watch for updates about OMSFA’s Global Fellowships Prep program.