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Frequently Asked Questions

 

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Questions about eligibility

Who is eligible to receive a FLAS fellowship?

Graduate and undergraduate students who are US citizens or nationals or permanent residents and who are enrolled (or accepted for enrollment) in a degree program that combines modern foreign language training with international or area studies or with the international aspects of professional or other fields of study.

Can I receive a summer FLAS if I will graduate the previous spring?

No. You must be an enrolled student at the time of the award. You are however eligible for a summer FLAS if you will graduate at the end of the summer.

May I apply for a FLAS if I am not a UW student?

In some cases, students enrolled in degree programs at institutions other than UW may receive Summer FLAS awards for language programs at the University of Wisconsin-Madison or other domestic language programs at institutions that receive FLAS funding. Non-UW-Madison students are not eligible to apply for Academic Year FLAS awards or overseas summer awards. Contact the FLAS Coordinator of your language for specific guidance.

Is there a limit on the number of FLAS fellowships I can receive?

There is no limit on the number of sequential FLAS awards one person may receive, but no more than one concurrent award can be accepted.

Can I apply for both a summer FLAS and an Academic Year FLAS in the same year?

Yes. Academic Year and Summer FLAS awards are two separate competitions requiring two complete and separate applications and you can apply for both in the same competition year.

Can I receive both a FLAS and another fellowship during the same period?

Sometimes. But note that some awards, scholarships, or fellowships cannot be held concurrently with a FLAS. It may be possible to defer some awards to after the FLAS fellowship, but FLAS fellowships cannot be deferred. Please consult your FLAS Coordinator.

Can I apply for a single semester award during the academic year?

No. An Academic Year FLAS is awarded for the full academic year (starting in the Fall and concluding in the Spring).

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Questions about the application process

What information is required for the application?

Please refer to the sample applications for Academic Year or Summer, as appropriate. Note that these are two separate competitions for which two separate and complete applications are required.

Can I apply to more than one center?

Yes. You will not be allowed to receive two concurrent awards, but you are welcome to submit applications to more than one center. Please keep in mind that if you are applying to more than one center you should prepare your applications in a way that reflects your need for the language as it relates to your research, academic or career goals in the region of the world represented by each center.

Am I at a disadvantage if I apply for both a Summer and Academic Year award during the same competition year?

No. The two competitions are separate.

Who should fill out my language evaluation form?

Your language evaluation should be completed by a qualified instructor in the language for which you are applying for a FLAS. Native speakers of the language without pedagogical experience and training should not complete the language evaluation.

Who should fill out my language evaluation form if I have never taken courses in the language I want to study?

If you have no knowledge of the language for which you want to receive a FLAS, have a qualified instructor evaluate you for a foreign language you have already studied. If you have never taken courses but have some knowledge of the language for which you want to receive a FLAS (for example, if you lived abroad), try to find a qualified language instructor who can evaluate your knowledge of the language.

If you don't already know someone who is qualified to fill out your evaluation form, contact the department here on campus where the language is taught.

If you are unable to provide a language reference, you can opt to provide a third academic reference instead. Third academic references should only be used when the language reference option proves to be unfeasible.

How can I get a copy of my GRE scores? (graduate students only)

You do not need to submit a copy of your GRE scores with your application. Simply enter the scores and dates in the appropriate field of the application. Your home department may be contacted to verify that the information you have entered is correct.

What if I do not have GRE scores? (graduate students only)

Some FLAS awarding centers require you to be able to provide GRE (or other graduate-level exam) scores. In most cases, LSAT scores or other results may be substituted. Please check with the FLAS Coordinator of your language.

What happens after I submit my application?

Recipients, alternates, and non-recipients will receive email notification of their status within a month or two of the application deadline. Award letters will contain more information about FLAS fellow obligations, fellowship requirements, payment processes, registration, etc.

Who will review/evaluate my application?

Each center has a review and selection committee that will evaluate and rank applicants. Undergraduate and graduate applications are ranked separately and are not in competition with each other.

Each center's review committee comprises scholars adept at reading across disciplines, so do not be shy about referring to specialized literatures, theories, or methods as appropriate. At the same time, do not try to impress the committee with arcane vocabulary or references. The best statements are clear and written in plain English, show seriousness and purpose, and are true to the challenges in your field of study and to your current stage of training. The evaluation committee understands that beginning graduate students may have rudimentary plans, while more advanced students will be able to lay out plans for major research projects in some detail. Likewise, the evaluation committee understands that essays from applicants in professional schools or other non-thesis degree programs will be quite different from essays written by students planning theses or dissertations, which in turn will be quite different from those of undergraduate students. Therefore, respond to all questions to address your specific situation and do not try to tailor your application to fit some perceived ideal candidate.

Do I need to submit a bibliography with my essay?

Bibliographies per se are discouraged, but if you wish, you may include relevant citations parenthetically.

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Questions about FLAS usage

(see below for specific answers about Academic Year and Summer awards)

Can a FLAS award be used to participate in an internship program?

FLAS regulations do not currently allow for internship experiences while a student is engaged in FLAS coursework or language training. The reason is that an academic year FLAS fellowship requires a full-time commitment to area studies and language training or dissertation research abroad during the academic year, and a summer fellowship requires the equivalent of an academic year commitment to language study. An internship that is part of a Study Abroad program however may be possible. Contact your FLAS Coordinator about a specific internship if you feel it meets the full-time study requirement.

Is a FLAS fellow allowed to work during the award period?

Yes. FLAS fellows are allowed to work, on or off campus.

The most common employment for graduate students during the FLAS period is as a Teaching or Graduate Assistant. However do keep in mind that employment alongside a FLAS fellowship may affect your ability to devote the required amount of time to your language study and coursework.

Contact your FLAS Coordinator for more details.

If I receive an Academic Year FLAS can I take a semester off and finish the award during a subsequent period?

No. FLAS fellowships are awarded for the full academic year (starting in the Fall and concluding in the Spring).

Can I request a Pass/Fail grade for my courses?

Students must receive grades and credits for the language and area studies courses supported by a FLAS fellowship. In general all courses taken during the FLAS should be graded and for credit. However, in some cases, a student may enroll in a course that is only offered as pass/fail. In these instances the FLAS fellow should contact the FLAS Coordinator and provide a justification for taking the course.

Can I use my FLAS at a different US institution?

During the summer only.

Can I use the FLAS for a reading knowledge course?

No. FLAS is designed to give students proficiency in speaking and writing, as well as reading and listening.

Can I use the FLAS for beginning level of language study?

Undergraduate students may not apply for a FLAS at the beginning level of language study; undergraduate students must be applying to study at the intermediate (2nd year) or advanced (3rd year or above) level of a less commonly taught language to receive a fellowship.

Graduate students might be granted an exception to allow study of the beginning level of a less commonly taught language with FLAS support if the student has achieved advanced proficiency in another language of the world area of specialization, and if learning a second language of that world area is required for the student's overall training and expertise. Graduate students who are applying for beginning language study will need to explain why an exception should be granted as part of their application.

Can I take distance education courses on a FLAS?

Distance courses may be approved to fulfill FLAS requirements, as long as the courses are "face-to-face" with instructors. Please contact the FLAS coordinator for more information.

Can I take independent study or a directed reading course to fulfill either the language or area studies course requirements while on a FLAS?

Independent study or directed reading courses may be used to fulfill the area studies or language course requirements of an academic year fellowship. Upon receipt of an award, the FLAS fellow will need to provide supporting evidence to the FLAS awarding center well in advance to request approval. Supporting evidence includes a syllabus, the instructor’s curriculum vitae, and an explanation of why an independent study is necessary.

Beyond classwork, is anything required of FLAS Fellows?

All fellows must nominate a qualified instructor of the FLAS language to complete pre- and post-award proficiency assessments of the fellow. In addition, all fellows will be required to fill out post-award reports for the US Department of Education and will be surveyed periodically in the years following their award.

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About ACADEMIC YEAR awards:

What does an academic year FLAS Fellow receive?

For the academic year the FLAS stipend is $5,000 for undergrads and $15,000 for graduate students. Undergraduates receive up to $10,000 towards tuition; graduate students receive full tuition and fees.

What can I use an academic year FLAS for?

Academic Year FLAS fellowships are awarded for a full academic year to students engaged in:

      • formal full-time language and area studies coursework at UW-Madison.

        OR

      • formal full-time language and area studies coursework as part of a UW IAP official undergraduate overseas program.

        OR

      • full-time dissertation research abroad. Dissertation FLAS fellowships must be used to conduct research abroad. Only students at the advanced level of the language are eligible to receive an AY fellowship to conduct dissertation research. Using the language to conduct the dissertation research project must provide the FLAS fellow the intensive training that a full academic year of formal classroom instruction would provide.

What if I'm a dissertator but I don't have advanced language skills?

Not all awarding centers allow dissertators to receive FLAS awards. In some cases, FLAS awards may be used for dissertation research abroad (see above). In rare instances, dissertators may receive FLAS for language study at UW-Madison, in which case they must suspend their dissertator status and follow all requirements for graduate awards. All dissertators must have prior approval of the Department of Education. The approval process is initiated by the center prior to awarding a fellowship; no approval is needed at time of application. Those dissertators proposing overseas research must also demonstrate an affiliation with a university or research organization in the country of research, and a research visa, if required. A two-page dissertation proposal, signed by the advisor, must be included with the application of all dissertators.

Do I have to take specific classes?

FLAS recipients must take at least one language course and one area studies course each semester. Some centers maintain approved course lists. Please check with the appropriate FLAS Coordinator.

How many credits do I need to take?

Fellows must engage in full-time study during the tenure of the award as defined by UW-Madison. (For undergraduates this means a minimum of 12 credits; for graduate students, at least 8 graduate credits.) Awardees must take at least one (1) course in the language of the award and a related world area or international course each semester. FLAS Fellows must remain in academic good standing (satisfactory progress toward a degree, enrolled full time, attend classes faithfully, completing course requirements on schedule).

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About SUMMER awards:

Summer FLAS fellowships are intended to help students gain the equivalent of a year's worth of college-level language study during the summer. FLAS supports students enrolled in:

  • formal domestic programs of intensive language study at the intermediate or advanced level; graduate student may apply for beginning level study with the above-outlined exception only;

    OR

  • formal overseas programs of intensive language study at the intermediate or advanced level (2nd year or 3rd year and above, depending on the language);

    OR

  • formal overseas programs of intensive study at the beginning level of languages for which appropriate equivalent instruction is not available in the United States (graduate students only & with exception outlined above)

To be considered "intensive", a language program must offer a minimum of 140 contact (class-time) hours (120 for advanced level) and must last a minimum of 6 weeks.

How do I apply for a FLAS to study at the South Asia Summer Language Institute (SASLI)?

SASLI awards FLAS fellowships to graduate students only for study at the South Asia Summer Language Institute. If you will be attending SASLI and are not a UW-Madison graduate student, you must fill out the SASLI FLAS application. UW-Madison graduate students should contact Anne Naparstek to determine which application should be submitted. See the SASLI web page for more information.

Does a summer FLAS include a travel award?

No. However students may be eligible for a summer travel award of up to $1,000, or the actual cost of travel to and from the program site, whichever is less. Travel awards are made at the discretion of the awarding center if funds permit and only with the approval of the US Department of Education. Contact your FLAS coordinator for more information.

May I switch programs after I submit my application?

Requests to change programs are handled by the FLAS Coordinator. Before you prepare an application for a Summer FLAS, you should thoroughly research available programs for your proposed language of study.

May I switch languages after I submit my application?

Requests to change programs are handled by the FLAS Coordinator and are rarely granted. Your FLAS application is based on a proposal to study a specific language and is evaluated based upon that language and how it supports your academic, research and career goals. Before you prepare an application for a Summer FLAS, you should thoroughly research available programs for your proposed language of study.

Do I have to take specific classes?

As a Summer FLAS fellow you must take language classes at an intensive summer language program. The language classes you are enrolled in must provide you with a minimum of 140 in-class contact hours (120 contact hours if you are at the advanced, 3rd-year level) and last a minimum of six weeks. You can not use area studies classes – even if they are taught in the FLAS language – to fulfill the language class contact hour requirements. Please check with the appropriate FLAS Coordinator for more details.

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