Want to find out how you can get funding for turning your time at IU into a once-in-a-lifetime adventure? Look no further!
Calling all students interested in getting paid for the academic opportunity of a lifetime! Sounds like you? Of course it does! What could be better than getting extra money to expand your scholastic horizons while you’re already in school? Introducing the Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship (Or FLAS for short). This amazing fellowship provides substantial funding opportunities to any student wishing to study a less-commonly learned language, and in-tun, a terrific avenue to explore any of the dozens of languages offered through HLS.
One of the greatest things about FLAS is that it incentivizes you to explore language opportunities outside of the norm. Sure, there are all the obvious reasons to study Spanish, French or German, but have you entertained the idea of taking a step off the beaten path to see what else is out there? By my last count, IU offers about 70 languages at any given time. 70! Can you even name 70 languages?
If your best friend’s study abroad pictures from Budapest have you dreaming of cruising the Danube eating goulash, why not pick up Hungarian? Did your roommate get you hooked on their favorite K-pop group and you can’t get their latest single out of your head? Maybe you could try your hand at Korean so you can actually understand those catchy lyrics.
Interested yet? Let’s talk logistics. For undergrads, FLAS offers a $5,000 stipend up-front in addition to a tuition award of up to $10,000. This tuition award is on a case-by-case basis, and the amount you can get is based on a whole variety of factors. Your adviser and the FLAS center you would be applying through can explain what these factors are a lot better than I can, but you get the idea. For grad students, this stipend is bumped up to $15,000 and a tuition award of up to 12 credit hours per semester. Additionally, you have the option to be enrolled automatically in the graduate health insurance plan.
Keep in mind, the numbers for the stipend only apply during the academic year. For those applying to FLAS funding during the summer, the stipend amount for both undergrads and graduate students is capped at $2,500, but you are eligible to be awarded up to $5,000 toward the cost of your language course.
Now, don’t think that you can just pick up a semester of your chosen language and rake in this cash; it’s a little more complicated than that (as amazing as that would be, I know). You need to be in at least the second level of your language study to demonstrate that you’re committed. On top of that, FLAS requires that you stay enrolled in one language and one relevant area studies course per semester. Lastly, you’ll need to include a convincing statement of purpose with your application to explain to the FLAS center how you intend to use your target language in the future.
This may sound like a lot, but keep in mind what you would be getting out of this commitment. Rather than getting a very, very surface-level understanding of Zulu or Thai language and culture that you would get from an intro language course, you have the opportunity to explore rich parts of the world that you may have otherwise overlooked. What’s more, you get paid to do it!
If this sounds like something you might be interested in, why not apply? You never know where simply throwing your hat in the ring will lead you. Still not convinced? How about attending the FLAS info session later this month? It’s Wednesday, October 23 at 1 p.m. in GA1118. For those who are ready to take the plunge, make sure to apply for funding by the January 31, 2020 deadline (or just do it now…) and sign up for that language course next semester; I promise you won’t regret it.