Foreign Language and Area Studies Summer Fellowship

Summer 2023
Deadline to Apply: Feb. 1, 2023


Note: You may now apply for both summer and academic-year FLAS awards. If you are applying for both, you only need to submit your application once. Indicate on the form that you wish to be considered for both summer and academic-year FLAS awards. You will not have to submit another form or collect additional letters of recommendation for consideration in the academic-year round. For details email

Each year CSEAS selects qualified undergraduate and graduate students to study Southeast Asian languages as summer Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) fellows, funded by the U.S. Department of Education's Title VI Program, summer FLAS fellowships provide for the summer study of Southeast Asian languages at an approved educational institution, particularly those in Southeast Asia. See the list of approved overseas summer language programs (PDF) eligible for FLAS fellowship funding. You may also apply for summer language study in the U.S. through the Southeast Asian Studies Summer Institute. As with summer 2020, COVID-19 travel restrictions may limit summer FLAS study to SEASSI.

Priority will be given to students planning to study a language in-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 other accredited U.S. higher education institutions is welcome to apply for a summer FLAS award but must apply as a visiting student (undergraduate) or as a student-at-large (graduate) at Northern Illinois University.

You may also apply to other overseas summer language consortium programs, such as ASK (Advanced Study of Khmer in Phnom Penh, Cambodia) and COTI (Consortium for the Study of Indonesian in Central Java, Indonesia), and may use FLAS funding for these programs as long as they meet the minimum contact hours and weeks in duration.

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 in order to receive NIU credit and possibly have NIU financial aid apply, in addition to receiving liability and insurance protection.

In reviewing applications, the Fellowships Committee considers the following criteria (not inclusive and not in order):

  • Location of the language program.
  • 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 students may study languages in Southeast Asia
  • Financial need

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, such as foreign service, international trade, security, Peace Corps volunteer or translator.

Requirements for Application

  • You must be a citizen, national or permanent resident of the U.S.
  • You must have already completed or will have completed first-year instruction in a Southeast Asia language by May
  • If you are a graduate applicant, you must be accepted by the Graduate School at NIU and be able to demonstrate your commitment to the study of and the need for one of the offered Southeast Asian languages as part of your total program.
  • If you are an undergraduate applicant, you must be enrolled at NlU and be able to discuss how the study of a Southeast Asian language fits into your academic plans.

Through the online application process, you will also be asked to submit the following materials in addition to the application itself:

  • Transcripts showing degree(s) granted and/or in process (PDF for NIU, PDF and hard copy for non-NIU)
  • For graduate students only: GRE, LSAT or GMAT scores, if applicable
  • Curriculum vitae (PDF)
  • 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 April 1. 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.
  • Other materials where applicable

You must also solicit two letters of recommendation from those in a position to evaluate your academic credentials; direct recommenders to the online letter of recommendation form. In addition, intermediate and advanced language students need to also submit the language reference form.

Award Provisions and Reporting Requirements

  • Summer FLAS awards are expected to provide a stipend of $2,500 in addition to CSEAS paying up to $4,000 in language program tuition. 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.
  • You may not conduct fieldwork during your enrollment in a FLAS-funded language program. You may only conduct research or fieldwork upon completion of your language program may FLAS fellows 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. Students failing to complete the language program must repay all stipend and tuition fees (unless there are medical or other serious reasons).
  • Fellowship recipients are strongly encouraged to participate in extracurricular events sponsored by CSEAS and the Southeast Asia Club during the academic year.
  • As a fellowship recipient, you must submit online reports to the U.S. Department of Education as required. Each recipient will receive an email notice when the form is available for completion.

Completed application and supporting materials are due by 4:30 p.m. on Feb. 1, 2023. Note: when completing the online application, if you use the same browser on the same device, you can leave and return to the application.

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, CSEAS provides leadership, focus and coordination for Southeast Asian studies at NIU.

Contact Us

Center for Southeast Asian Studies
520 College View Court