Foreign Language and Area Studies Undergraduate Fellowship

Academic Year 2023-24
Deadline to Apply: Feb. 1, 2023


Each year CSEAS selects qualified undergraduate students to study Southeast Asian languages and area studies as Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) fellows at NIU. FLAS fellowships are funded by a U.S. Department of Education's Title VI grant. Fellowships cover NIU tuition, student fees and insurance. FLAS fellows also receive a ten-month stipend. NIU offers a wide range of area studies courses (see course offerings) and the following Southeast Asian languages: Burmese, Indonesian, Khmer, Tagalog and Thai. The fellowships are only available for study at NIU.

The FLAS application process is online. Your completed application must be submitted in full by 4:30 p.m. on Feb. 1. If you use the same browser on the same device, you may leave and return to the application.

You may apply for both summer and academic-year FLAS awards with one application by Feb. 1. 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 language reference form or collect additional letters of recommendation for consideration in the academic-year round. For details, email CSEAS Office Administrator Tiffany Adams at

Requirements for Application

  • You must be a citizen, national or permanent resident of the U.S.
  • You must be enrolled as a full-time student or accepted at NIU.
  • You must have already studied a Southeast Asian language at least at the beginning level before applying for this fellowship; you must be entering the intermediate or advanced (second year or beyond) level to qualify.
  • Your online application must be submited by 4:30 p.m. on Feb. 1, 2023. Through the online application, you will be requested to submit the application and these additional materials:
    • Transcripts showing degree(s) granted and/or in process (PDF for NIU; PDF and hard copy for non-NIU)
    • Curriculum vitae (PDF)
    • Statement of purpose explaining your need for one of the offered Southeast Asian languages as part of your academic program, your previous language learning experiences both formal and informal, and your commitment and plans more broadly for the study of Southeast Asia.

You must also solicit two letters of recommendation from those in a position to evaluate your academic credentials. Direct referees to the online letter of recommendation form. Ongoing language students with previous training in a Southeast Asian language must also submit the language reference form.

Award Provisions and Reporting Requirements

  • Undergraduate FLAS awards carry a ten-month stipend of $5,000 (paid in monthly deposits of $500 for 10 months) plus payment of tuition fees, regular class fees and health insurance for the academic year. Special materials or lab fees are the responsibility of the student.
  • You must enroll as a full-time student (12 credit hours minimum). All classes must be taken for graded credit; auditing is not permitted.
  • You must register for a minimum of one course per semester in your selected Southeast Asian language.
  • In addition to the language course, you must register for a minimum of one course (three credit hours minimum) per semester in a CSEAS-approved Southeast Asia course (at least 50 percent Southeast Asia content).
  • You must inform CSEAS of any change in his/her program of study, residence or academic status.
  • You are encouraged to present a paper at the annual NIU Southeast Asia Student Conference or at a different conference (with the approval of the CSEAS director).
  • You must complete the pre-self-assessment in IRIS (the on-line reporting system used by the U.S. Department of Education) at the beginning of the school year as well as a final student report, which must be completed before recipient's final stipend check for May will be issued. In addition to your self-assessments, an NIU language instructor will submit pre- and post-language evaluations in IRIS that the U.S. Department of Education has prescribed to assess your speaking skills.
  • In addition, you are strongly encouraged to participate in extracurricular events sponsored by CSEAS and the Southeast Asia Club.
  • In accordance with federal regulations, if you are awarded and accept a fellowship, you agree to complete a U.S. Department of Education survey once every two years for 10 years to report back about your employment, education or training after graduation.

In accordance with NIU policy, any student awarded a Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship will have their student financial aid reduced by the dollar amount equal to the fellowship award. Requirements and conditions are subject to change.

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