Photo for Southeast Asia - Foreign Language

FLAS fellowships are designed to support graduate and undergraduate students who are studying Southeast Asian languages and area studies courses at Intermediate level or higher.

The U.S. Department of Education Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) fellowship program supports training in modern foreign languages and related area studies.  New and continuing graduate students in all disciplines may apply for academic year and summer awards for Intermediate or Advanced levels of language study.  Beginning level of a language may be undertaken by graduate students if the student already is at advanced level in a second Southeast Asian language. Undergraduates already enrolled at UCLA who will be in student status for the duration of the fellowship may also apply for both awards but only for Intermediate and Advanced levels of language study.  Currently approved SEA languages for FLAS academic year study are Burmese, Indonesian, Filipino/Tagalog, Khmer, Thai and Vietnamese. (Intermediate Khmer and Burmese are not taught at UCLA but can be available via distance learning from UC Berkeley during the academic year.) In summer, additional SEA languages are eligible. Students must also agree to submit quarterly reports on their progress, submit before and after language assessments to the U.S. Department of Education, take a before and after oral proficiency examination with a designated instructor, and report to the U.S. Department of Education every two years for eight years after graduation on the recipient’s occupation and the extent to which the FLAS language is being used.

Selection for the award is based on the following criteria:

  • Applicants must be U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents;
  • Academic performance and potential as evidenced by academic transcript, letters of recommendation, and statement of purpose;
  • The extent to which overall course of study focuses on Southeast Asia;
  • The level of planned language study. More advanced levels are preferred;
  • Financial need as determined by past financial aid levels;
  • Past awardees may reapply.

These grants may be combined with supplementary funding from UCLA and/or other funding agencies. However in cases of parallel large grants, recipients will have to decide which grant to accept and pairing will not be allowed. Grantees are required to inform the Center of any awards received during the FLAS fellowship period.


Summer 2020 fellowships are for intensive language programs only. They provide a stipend of $2,500 plus tuition and fees to a maximum of $5,000, and (optional) up to $1,000 for travel. FLAS funds may be used for intensive summer language study at UCLA or elsewhere. A letter grade is also required. Non-language programs are not eligible for summer FLAS funding, nor is dissertation research. In order to qualify for funding, the summer intensive language program must last at least 6 weeks and provide at least 140 contact hours for beginning and intermediate level courses, or 120 contact hours for advanced level coursework.

UCLA students who wish to attend the Southeast Asian Studies Summer Institute (SEASSI) should simultaneously apply for admission as well as for other funding directly to SEASSI and for FLAS funding through the UCLA Summer 2020 FLAS application. Qualified applicants should apply for all possible scholarships to maximize opportunities.

**Please note that Summer FLAS is considered summer financial aid for UCLA students. Students will not be able to receive any additional summer financial aid funding for UCLA Summer Sessions.

Academic Year 2020-2021 fellowships are awarded for nine months and provide a total stipend of $15,000 for graduate students and $5,000 for undergraduates.  Academic Year tuition and fees are paid up to $18,000 for graduate students and $10,000 for undergraduates. The Academic Year fellowship requires that students take one Southeast Asia language and one area studies course for a letter grade each quarter for the entire year if in residence at UCLA.  Independent Studies are allowed with specific permission. It is expected that AY fellowships will be used at UCLA unless specific approval is given.  AY awards may be used for dissertation fieldwork research abroad or dissertation writing for students at the advanced level of language proficiency, but this must be approved in advance.

Since the purpose of the FLAS program is to enrich the nation’s pool of area and international specialists, applicants must be planning to use their training to teach, to serve in government or international agencies, or to engage in other work that advances American understanding of other countries. Fellowship recipients must be engaged in full-time study for the duration of their awards.  All requested information on the application should indicate student status as of the proposed fellowship period.


Required information includes:

  • a statement of purpose of one or two pages outlining the student’s primary research interest and explaining how language study will enhance the project;
  • 2 academic letters of recommendation;
  • unofficial university transcripts;
  • resume or CV;
  • FAFSA SAR or most recent financial aid letter;
  • for summer funding, a budget will be required along with information about the language program.

Applications may be submitted for both competitions, Summer 2020 and Academic Year 2020-2021, but separate applications including submitting duplicate letters of recommendation are required. Application materials and letters of recommendation must be submitted by the deadline. Please review the FLAS Frequently Asked Questions. 


FLAS Fellowship applications are now closed.



For more info please contact:
Nguyet Tong
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Published: Monday, November 4, 2019