Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship

Summer 2014

Undergraduate Student Application (pdf)

Graduate Student Application (pdf)

List of approved overseas summer language programs (pdf)

Language Reference Form (pdf)

Funded by the U.S. Department of Education's Title VI Program of Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) fellowships, each year Northern Illinois University's Center for Southeast Asian Studies selects a number of qualified undergraduate and graduate students to study Southeast Asian languages as summer FLAS fellows. The summer FLAS fellowships provide for the study of Southeast Asian languages at any educational institution, especially those in Southeast Asia, during the summer semester. Top priority will be given to students planning to study a language in a Southeast Asian country. Summer FLAS awards provide a stipend of $2,500. In addition, a FLAS fellow's tuition at a Southeast Asia language program will be paid (up to $4,000). Any qualified undergraduate or graduate student from any accredited U.S. higher education institution is welcome to apply for this summer FLAS award, but must apply as a visiting student (undergraduate) or as a student-at-large (graduate) at Northern Illinois University.

List of approved overseas summer language programs eligible for FLAS fellowship funding.  Summer FLAS application forms are due January 1.

Please note: Students can also apply to other summer language programs, i.e., COTIM, AFA, ASK, etc., but due to federal regulations, they cannot receive FLAS funding to attend these programs.

Note to NIU Students: Those interested in taking language or area studies abroad through non-NIU programs must work through NIU’s Study Abroad Office. By doing so, students can receive NIU credit and possibly have NIU financial aid apply, in addition to receiving liability and insurance protections.

In reviewing applications, the Fellowships Committee will currently give consideration to the following criteria (not inclusive and not in order):

  • Location of the language program. (Top priority will be given to eligible students planning to study a Southeast Asian language in a Southeast Asian country.)
  • Quality of the language program at the institution offering Southeast Asian languages.
  • Extent to which the applicant has already taken Southeast Asian area courses in his/her major field as well as courses in other departments.
  • Clarity of the applicant's need for language training and how this language will be used.
  • Level of language to be studied.  Only intermediate and advanced level students may study languages in Southeast Asia.

We encourage applications from students at all levels and in all disciplines, but some priority will be given to students with a commitment to a career in government service, e.g., translation, diplomatic, foreign service, international trade, security, cultural attaché, Peace Corps, or other positions within the federal government.  STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) students are also encouraged to apply for this fellowship.

Requirements for Application

  • Applicants must be citizens, nationals, or permanent residents of the U.S.
  • Applicants seeking a FLAS award to study in Southeast Asia must have already completed or will have completed first year instruction in the language of their choice by May.
  • Graduate applicants must be accepted by the Graduate School at Northern Illinois University and must demonstrate their commitment to the study of and the need for one of the offered Southeast Asian languages as part of their total program.
  • Undergraduate applicants must be enrolled at Northern Illinois University and must be able to discuss how the study of a Southeast Asian language fits into their academic plans.

Applicants must compile the following documents into a single PDF file and submit it to at the Center by 4:30 p.m. on January 1.   

  • Official application form (click on application forms at the top of this page) 
  • Transcripts showing degree(s) granted and/or in process
  • For graduate students only: GRE, LSAT or GMAT scores, if applicable
  • Curriculum vitae 
  • Statement of purpose explaining your previous language learning experiences, both formal and informal, and how you intend to use the language you plan to study
  • Application checklist and certification
  • A letter of application or acceptance into a language program in Southeast Asia that has been approved by the appropriate NIU language instructor working with the director of the Center for Southeast Asian Studies to make sure USDE approvals are secured.  Written proof of acceptance into the language program will be required no later than March 1st. Failure to secure a letter of acceptance by that date means the FLAS fellowship will be awarded to another candidate. See list of currently approved programs.

Applicants must also request two letters of recommendation from those in a position to evaluate their academic credentials, in addition to (for intermediate and advanced level language students) the Language Reference Form. The letters should be addressed to the FLAS Fellowships Committee and delivered electronically to at the Center by 4:30 p.m. on January 1.  

Award Provisions and Reporting Requirements of Fellows

  • Summer FLAS awards are expected to provide a stipend of $2,500. In addition, a FLAS fellow's tuition at a Southeast Asia language program will be paid (up to $4,000). The costs for materials and/or lab fees are the responsibility of the student.
  • Summer FLAS fellowship recipients at the intermediate level (Year 2) must register for a minimum of 140 hours in their selected Southeast Asian language program. A fellowship recipient at the advanced level (Year 3 and above) must register for a minimum of 120 hours in their selected Southeast Asian language program.
  • A summer fellowship award is meant for intense language study only.  Students are not allowed to enroll in any area studies courses or in any non-language courses.
    STUDENTS MAY NOT CONDUCT FIELDWORK DURING THEIR ENROLLMENT IN A FLAS-FUNDED LANGUAGE PROGRAM.  No fieldwork and/or research is permitted on the weekends or later in the day. Only before or after the language program, fellows may choose to conduct research. Failure to adhere to this restriction will result in the forfeiture of your FLAS fellowship.
  • A fellowship recipient must inform the Center of any change in his/her program of study or academic status.  Failure to complete the language program will result in repayment of all stipend and tuition fees (unless there are medical or other serious reasons).
  • A fellowship recipient is strongly encouraged to participate in extra-curricular events sponsored by the Center as well as by the Southeast Asia Club during the academic year.
  • A fellowship recipient must submit to the U.S. Department of Education on-line reports deemed necessary by that department.  Each recipient will receive an email notice when the form is available for completion.


Center for Southeast Asian Studies
Northern Illinois University
520 College View Court
DeKalb, IL 60115
Tel. (815) 753-1771

A federally funded National Resource Center since 1997, the Center for Southeast Asian Studies provides leadership, focus, and coordination for Southeast Asian studies at the university.