Foreign Language & Area Studies (FLAS) Summer Fellowship

Deadline: 3 February 2021

All applicants (IMES Competition and Sigur Center Competition I) will be notified of final decisions by Friday, March 26th. If you have not received notification for the Summer FLAS, please contact the Institute of Middle East Studies (Middle East Languages) or Sigur Center (Asian Languages)


The U.S. Department of Education Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship Program provides summer fellowships to institutions of higher education. The grant to GWU, written by the Institute for Middle East Studies and the Sigur Center for Asian Studies, assists graduate (Master's, PhD), professional students (JD, MPH, DrPH, MBA and MD) and undergraduate students at George Washington University to further language study and area/international studies. The Summer FLAS fellowships are intended to help students gain the equivalent of a year's worth of college-level language study. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

Note: FLAS fellows may travel to any country that the State Department has listed as Level 1 or 2. Level 3 countries will be reviewed on a case by case basis. For countries like Egypt, Jordan, Turkey, and Israel, approval will depend on where in the country the fellow wants to study. Applicants should check the State Department's website periodically and have an alternative country in case a designation changes or the country is not approved. FLAS fellows are not allowed to travel to any country that the State Department has listed as a Level 4.


The Summer FLAS supports undergraduates and graduates enrolled in:

  • formal domestic programs of intensive language study at the intermediate or advanced level in one of the targeted languages
  • formal overseas programs of intensive language study at the intermediate or advanced level in one of the targeted languages.

The Summer FLAS also supports graduate students enrolled in:

  • formal domestic programs of intensive language study at the beginning level in one of the targeted languages.

If you are a graduate student at the beginning level and would like guidance on suitable programs, please contact IMES (Middle East Languages) or Sigur Center (Asian Languages).

The Summer FLAS does not support:

  • Independent study.
  • Dissertation research.
  • (Applicants seeking research support in relation to Asian languages should apply for a Sigur Center Research Grant.)
  • Internship programs.
  • Undergraduates studying a target language at the beginning level.

The number of awards is contingent on funding. Information found on this page relates to Summer FLAS Fellowships only. For information on the FLAS Academic Year Fellowship, please go here. For other inquiries, please visit our FAQ page or email

Targeted Languages

  • Arabic
  • Chinese
  • Hebrew
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Persian
  • Turkish

If you are interested in an Asian language not listed, please consider applying for a Sigur Center Summer Grant.


  • Current undergraduate or graduate student at GWU. Undergraduates or graduates who will graduate in August 2021 or December 2021 are eligible for a summer 2021 award. (Students graduating in May 2021 or earlier are not eligible.)
  • Citizen or permanent resident of the United States.
  • The applicant must be in good standing in any discipline or program with an international studies focus. Formal language study must also be an important component of the applicant's academic program.
  • Proposed summer programs must be at least 6 weeks in duration and consist of 140 contact hours for beginning or intermediate study and 120 contact hours for advanced study (meaning formal instruction in a classroom), according to federal regulations.
  • While all applications will be accepted, priority will be given to language study at intermediate or advanced levels. In addition, priority will be given to master's students who are more likely to pursue government service or enter a professional field.


  • Recipients of the FLAS are required to make pre- and post-award reports online to the U.S Department of Education and will be surveyed every two years following their award for a period of up to eight years.
  • Recipients will take pre- and post-award language proficiency assessments.


The award will cover up to $5,000 in tuition and up to $2,500 total for room and board and textbooks. Remaining costs must be covered by the student.

In addition, for Arabic, Hebrew, Persian and Turkish only, overseas airfare is available up to $2,000.

Awards may be applied only to intensive language study (involving 120-140 contact hours via classroom instruction, usually in a session of at least 6 consecutive weeks) at an accredited college or university in the U.S or abroad.

Summer language study abroad must be at the intermediate or advanced level of proficiency.

Awardees will be chosen by a GW committee on a competitive basis from eligible applicants based on their academic performance, the relevance of language study to their academic programs, their career and professional goals, and their demonstrated ability in foreign language study. Due to the high volume of applications received, the committee cannot provide individiual feedback to applicants.

There is no limit on the number of FLAS awards recipients can receive over his/her academic career, but no more than one fellowship can be awarded for the same competition cycle. Applicants may apply for both the Academic Year and Summer FLAS awards.

Applicants who have plans to study at another institution must be sure to meet that institution's deadlines, regardless of FLAS award decisions.

Required Documents: All application materials must be submitted via the online fellowships application portal.Instructions on how to apply through the portal can be found here.

  • Application

  • Statement of Purpose
  • Your Statement of Purpose (1-2 pages, 12-point font and 1.5 spacing) should describe how summer language study will complement your academic program and contribute to your career goals and interests. Please include a statement describing the international studies focus of your degree program. Language must be integral to your academic program. You will also need to provide the contact hours of the program in your essay.

  • Summer Program Information
  • Description of proposed program of study for summer. Please include copies of relevant materials from your proposed language school or study abroad program that provide course descriptions and total classroom contact hours information. Materials from the institution's website can be included.

  • Budget
  • The FLAS Summer award will cover up to $5,000 in tuition (excluding fees) and up to $2,500 total for room and board and textbooks. Overseas airfare is available up to $2,000 (for Arabic, Hebrew, Persian and Turkish only). Remaining costs must be covered by the student.

  • Transcripts

  • Please do not submit GWeb transcripts. You may request a free unofficial transcript from the Registrar in Colonial Central.

  • Resume

  • Academic Recommendation

    Your recommendation should be from a language professor.

  • Recommendations will be submitted via our online system. Applicants in the online portal should enter the emails and names of their recommenders when prompted in the recommendation section of the online application. Recommenders will then receive an email request to complete his/her recommendation. Applicants will be sent an email confirmation from the system when the recommendations have been submitted.

Please submit completed applications via our online system by the deadline (this includes recommendation letters). You will not be able to submit your application until all materials (including the recommendation letter) are submitted via the online system. Instructions on how to apply through the portal can be found here.

Committee decisions are final. Due to the high volume of applications received for this fellowship, feedback on decisions cannot be provided to applicants. We will not make exceptions for late submissions. This includes late recommendation letters.