As previously announced, the Indiana University Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies (HLS) was awarded $8.6 million from the U.S. Department of Education’s Title VI Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) fellowships and scholarships program to support students studying less commonly taught languages. The application to apply for 2024-25 fellowships opens on December 1, 2023, and students are encouraged to research the application process now.
Foreign Language and Area Studies fellowships support both coursework and study abroad opportunities for students studying critical and less commonly taught languages. FLAS fellowships are open to all eligible undergraduate and graduate students who are citizens, nationals, or permanent residents of the United States.
IU students can study 55 languages with the support of Foreign Language and Area Studies fellowships.
Emma Dabelko, senior International Studies major, recently received a FLAS fellowship to study Swahili.
“My FLAS award allowed me to dedicate more time to studying Swahili and the African continent as a whole,” she said. “As a critical language, Swahili has and will continue to prepare me for my academic and professional careers.”
Dabelko’s Swahili language skills allowed her to gain professional experience in international development in East Africa.
“My Swahili skills enhanced my summer 2022 internship at the International Livestock Research Institute in Nairobi, Kenya and created pathways for cross-cultural understandings while studying abroad in Malawi and communicating in Chichewa, a Bantu language with numerous linguistic similarities,” she said. “With an expansive population of Swahili speakers around the world, my FLAS-supported language learning will connect me with people and make a personal and professional difference after graduation.”
Jack Rosswurm, graduate student pursuing an MA in European Studies, said a FLAS fellowship helped him hone Estonian language skills he needed to secure an internship.
“I’ve had the fortune of studying the Estonian language, which is made possible by generous FLAS funding from the Inner Asian and Uralic National Resource Center, for over two years now, as I am currently in third year advanced Estonian,” said Rosswurm. “This language has inspired in me a deep interest in the Baltic states Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. One result of that interest and my Estonian language studies was my internship with the Joint Baltic American National Committee this past Summer.”
Rosswurm and Dabelko’s experiences illustrate that FLAS fellowships are awarded to students preparing for careers in which knowledge of foreign languages and cultures is required. This includes college or university teaching and government service.
IU senior Jenna Felty used her FLAS fellowship to study Arabic, part of her academic requirements for her Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures and International Studies majors.
“My FLAS award allowed me to participate in the 2021 IU Language Workshop where I studied Arabic 10 hours a day for two months,” she said. “It was an invaluable experience that gave me the perfect foundation in grammar and vocabulary retention to continue learning Arabic at IU and for the rest of my life.”
IU students in all areas of study are eligible to apply for FLAS fellowships. Patrick Conroy, a senior Supply Chain & Operations Management major, received a FLAS award to study Chinese in Taiwan.
“FLAS funding has greatly helped me provide funding for studying Mandarin,” he said. “Still apply for FLAS even if you are not an HLS major! You can still get FLAS and learn valuable international skills minoring at HLS.”
Foreign Language and Area Studies fellowships are generous. Undergraduate and graduate students may receive up to $8,500 for summer language training. For the academic year, undergraduate students can receive up to $15,000 and graduate students can receive up to $38,000 for language and area studies training.
Students interested in applying for FLAS fellowships are invited to a FLAS information session on Monday, November 13, 5-6:00 p.m. in the Hamilton Lugar School Shreve Auditorium. Virtual office hours are also available every Monday in November from 3-4:00 p.m. More information about FLAS and the Zoom link to virtual office hours can be found on the FLAS website.
Title VI of the Higher Education Act builds American expertise in critical foreign languages, including less commonly taught languages, world areas and transnational trends. Sen. Todd Young introduced legislation, the Advancing International and Foreign Language Education Act, in 2021 to strengthen Title VI. As a recipient of Title VI funding, Indiana University is a top producer of regional experts who are highly proficient in languages critical to U.S. security and global competitiveness.