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FLAS Fellowships


Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) fellowships are academic scholarships that provide funding and support to graduate and undergraduate students who are pursuing Asian language and area studies.

MSU student standing in front of Chinese templeThe Asian Studies Center awards undergraduate and graduate student fellowships under the Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship program of the U.S. Department of Education for the study of modern Asian languages and Asia area studies. The FLAS Fellowship program is designed to meet critical needs for specialists in American education, government, and other services of a public and/or professional nature who will utilize their skills in training others and in developing throughout the United States a wider knowledge and understanding of other countries and cultures.

Academic Year Fellowship

Academic Year 2023 - 2024 FLAS Fellowships

Undergraduate students: AY fellowships* for undergraduate students offer tuition payments of up to $10,000 per academic year and a stipend up to a total of $5,000 for the same period.

Graduate students: AY fellowships* for graduate students offer tuition payments of up to $18,000 per academic year and a stipend up to a total of $20,000 for the same period. Applicants who are Ph.D. candidates at the dissertation stage will be required to provide additional information regarding requesting support for dissertation research and writing.

Dissertation–level doctoral applicants may use FLAS fellowships to fun dissertation research and writing. Dissertation research must be conducted abroad. Dissertation writing must be conducted at home institution in the US.

*The 2023-24 AY FLAS fellowships are contingent on receipt of grant funding by the MSU Asian Studies Center from the U.S. Department of Education.


Eligibility

Applicant Eligibility Criteria

Citizenship: Applicants must be a US citizen or US permanent resident at the time of application.

Student Status: Applicants who are currently enrolled in a full-time undergraduate or graduate degree program at Michigan State University or have been accepted for admission to MSU and will be enrolled full-time starting Fall 2023. 

  • Applicants must be eligible to receive an MSU tuition scholarship.
  • Applicants must be ready to enroll for full-time academic study at MSU and propose a course of study that includes both language training and related area coursework.
    • For undergraduate students and for Ph.D. candidates who have completed their coursework, applicants must be ready to enroll in the intermediate level or higher for both the FA23 and SP24 semesters. If awarded, undergraduate students and Ph.D. candidates who have completed their coursework must have obtained 12 credits in an Asian language by the time the fellowship begins in FA23. 
    • All applicants must be ready to enroll in at least one area studies course (at least 50% Asia content) during either FA23 or SP24 semester. For Ph.D. candidates in the dissertation stage, 999 credits will fulfill both language & area course requirements.
  • Applicants must show potential for high academic achievement based on grade point average and recommendations, and demonstrate a long-term interest in Asia.
  • In addition to merit, demonstrated financial need will be taken into consideration. All applicants will be asked to provide financial support and need information. If applicable, FAFSA verification will be acquired from the Financial Aid Office for applicants who submitted FAFSA for the 2023-2024 academic year.

Application

Application Information

*Applications are currently closed for the Academic Year 2023 - 24 FLAS Fellowship

Application Checklist 

All applicants:

  • Application Form
  • Personal Statement & Career Goals
  • Two Recommendation Letter(s) emailed directly by recommenders to the Asian Studies Center by the deadline:
    • From a faculty member familiar with your academic work. Preferably a faculty in your major field of study, graduate program, or advisory/dissertation committee.
    • From a language instructor. If you have taken an Asian language course at MSU within the last two academic years, one of the letters must be from an MSU language instructor who will be asked to assess your academic credential and/or ability to learn a foreign language.
  • Official transcript (PDF) to be emailed directly by the MSU Office of the Registrar or your educational institution to the Asian Studies Center.

Ph.D. applicants who are in the dissertation stage, additional checklist:

  • Dissertation Project Description
  • Letter of Verification/Statement of dissertation progress.
    • Completed by an MSU faculty advisor or member of the dissertation committee
      • Email directly by the faculty to the Asian Studies Center by the deadline. In the case that the faculty is also a recommender, the progress description can be integrated into the letter of recommendation.

Contact

Bella Tirtowalujo.png

Isabella Tirtowalujo, Ph.D,
Asian Studies Center Assistant Director
Email: tirtowal(at)msu.edu
Office: (517)-884-2117

Prior to joining the Asian Studies Center in 2020, Isabella Tirtowalujo worked in education development projects involving governmental agencies in Indonesia and international development partners, i.e., UNICEF and the Asian Development Bank. Tirtowalujo holds a PhD in Curriculum, Instruction, and Teacher Education from the MSU College of Education. 

Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship Manual

 

 

Purpose of the Manual

Michigan State University is a proud institutional recipient of the US Department of Education Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowships grant. FLAS Fellowships supports and motivates undergraduate and graduate students in their pursuit of the study of Asian languages and area studies.


This manual aims to provide further details about the FLAS fellowship and application process to interested students. For any further clarifications, please contact the MSU Asian Studies Center FLAS Coordinator, Dr. Isabella Tirtowalujo, (tirtowal(at)msu.edu).

Important FLAS Contacts

Application and Eligibilities:

Isabella Tirtowalujo, Ph.D,
FLAS Coordinator & Associate Director
Asian Studies Center
International Center
427 North Shaw Lane, Room 301
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824
Email: tirtowal(at)msu.edu
Office: (517)-884-2117

Fiscal Matters:

Mae Crowell
Fiscal Officer
Asian Studies Center
International Center
427 North Shaw Lane, Room 301
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824
Email: plattem(at)msu.edu
Office: (517)-884-2117

About FLAS

The FLAS Fellowship program is designed to meet critical needs for specialists in American education, government, and other services of a public and/or professional nature who will utilize their skills in training others and in developing throughout the United States a wider knowledge and understanding of other countries and cultures.


The FLAS fellowships managed by the MSU Asian Studies Center aim to develop cross-cultural and global competencies as well as expanded knowledge about Asia among MSU students and the community.


MSU awards two types of FLAS fellowships to eligible students: Academic Year (AY) fellowships and Summer (SU) fellowships. FLAS fellowships assist meritorious undergraduate and graduate students receiving modern language training in combination with area studies. FLAS fellowships assist graduate students engaged in pre-dissertation-level study, preparation for dissertation research, dissertation research abroad, or dissertation writing at MSU.

Award Benefits

Academic Year (AY) Fellowships consist of:

  • Tuition Allocation: Payment of tuition and fees up to $18,000 (graduate) or up to $10,000 (undergraduate) for the academic year.
  • Subsistence Allowance/Stipend: A stipend of up to $20,000 (graduate) or up to $5,000 (undergraduate) for the academic year.

Summer (SU) Fellowships consist of:

  • Tuition Allocation: Payment of tuition and fees up to $5,000 for the summer.
  • Subsistence Allowance/Stipend: A stipend of up to $2,500 for the summer.

Student Eligibility Requirements

Citizenship: Applicants must be a US citizen or US permanent resident at the time of application.


Student Status:

  • Applicants who are currently enrolled in a full-time undergraduate or graduate degree program at Michigan State University or have been accepted for admission to MSU and will be enrolled full-time.
  • Applicants must be eligible to receive an MSU tuition scholarship.
  • Applicants must show potential for high academic achievement based on grade point average and recommendations, and demonstrate a long-term interest in Asia.
  • In addition to merit, demonstrated financial need will be taken into consideration. All applicants will be asked to provide financial support and need information. If applicable, FAFSA verification will be acquired from the Financial Aid Office for applicants who submitted FAFSA for the academic year prior to the AY award period.

 

Academic Year (AY) Fellowship eligibility requirements: Applicants must be ready to enroll for full-time academic study at MSU and propose a course of study that includes both language training and related area coursework.

  • For undergraduate students and for Ph.D. candidates who have completed their coursework, applicants must be ready to enroll in the intermediate level or higher for both the fall and spring semesters of the academic year. If awarded, undergraduate students and Ph.D. candidates who have completed their coursework must have obtained 12 credits in an Asian language by the time the fellowship begins in the fall semester of the award period.
  • All applicants must be ready to enroll in at least one area studies course (at least 50% Asia content) during both the fall and spring semesters of the academic year. For Ph.D. candidates in the dissertation stage, 999 credits will fulfill both language & area course requirements.

Summer (SU) Fellowships eligibility requirements:

  • Undergraduate and graduate student language learners must be at the intermediate level or higher (have obtained 12 credits in an Asian language by the time the fellowship begins).
  • Summer fellowships are for intensive language learning only. Courses may be taken in the U.S. or overseas. Summer fellows do not enroll in any non-language (i.e., area studies) courses.
  • Summer programs must be equivalent to one full year of language study as provided during the regular academic year.
    • At the advanced level: The session must be at least six weeks in duration and offer at least 120 contact hours of instruction.
    • At the beginning or intermediate level: The session must be at least six weeks in duration and offer at least 140 contact hours of instruction.
  • All summer language programs must be offered by an accredited or recognized educational institution and be approved by the Asian Studies Center.

 

 

FLAS Administration

The Asian Studies Center manages the Asia FLAS Fellowships with the following estimated annual timeline for the SU and AY FLAS Fellowship competition:

  • FLAS information dissemination: November - January of the subsequent year
  • Call for Application opens: December 1
  • Application (online) submission deadline: First week in February of the subsequent year
  • Conditional Award notification: March 31st of the subsequent year

Academic Year (AY) Fellowship Requirements

a) Award period: Fellowships awarded are for the academic year stated in the award letter only. Renewals are not automatic. Fellows are eligible to and must reapply each year.


b) Enrollment information:  Upon receiving the awards, fellows will need to submit a temporary list of courses in which the fellows enroll for the fall semesters. The Fellowship will pay only for the approved credits for which the fellows register prior to the university-established semester drop/add deadline. When awards are made at the beginning of the academic year, funds are allocated based upon each student’s course load as stated on the FLAS application. All changes must be approved by the Asian Studies Center FLAS coordinator. If fellows experience a change in status, such as the loss of in-state status and fellows require additional funds, such funds may not be available from the FLAS fellowship.


c) FLAS fellowship recipients may hold a graduate assistantship (including both ¼ and ½ time assistantships) concurrently with the Fellowship award, but only if your home department permits you to do so. The teaching, research, and/or administrative duties of the assistantship must be related to your program of study. Arrangements for accepting other equivalent, part-time employment must be approved in advance by the Asian Studies Center FLAS coordinator to assure that U.S. Department of Education requirements are met.


d) The U.S. Department of Education requires that your language competency be evaluated at the beginning and end of your fellowship period by a qualified language instructor. You must notify the FLAS coordinator of the name and e-mail address of the instructor who will be evaluating you as soon as you know who that evaluator will be. You must also complete a terminal evaluation form and submit it to the U.S. Department of Education. You will receive an email from the Department of Education that you will complete on-line and then submit electronically to the Department of Education. Failure to complete the evaluation will result in your final stipend check being held until the evaluation is completed. Exception applies to awardees who are Ph.D. candidates in the dissertation stage


If you receive a tuition waiver through an assistantship or tuition coverage from other federally-funded sources, that source will pay your tuition. Note that some departments do not permit the holding of a FLAS fellowship and a departmental assistantship concurrently. If this is the case, you will need to choose which award to hold.


The stipend will be reduced by the amount of funding/scholarships received from other federally-funded sources. This reduction does not apply to graduate assistantships.

Summer Fellowship Requirements

Summer fellowships may be used for intensive language study only. Summer language programs:

  • Must be equivalent to one full year of language study as provided during the regular academic year.
  • Must be offered from an accredited or recognized educational institution. 
  • Must take place over a minimum of six weeks and provide a minimum of
    • 140 contact hours at the intermediate levels, or
    • 120 contact hours at the advanced level. Field trips do not count toward contact hours. Tutoring may be included in contact hours.
  • May be overseas or domestic.


Summer fellows may combine two separate programs for the same language to meet duration and contact hour requirementsm, and are not required to enroll in any non-language (i.e., area studies) courses.

Applicants are encouraged to apply for acceptance into summer language study programs (especially those outside of the U.S.) in advance of FLAS award notifications. It is the applicant’s responsibility to apply to the summer programs and any necessary visas.

For All FLAS Fellows (AY and Summer)

Grades and Credits
Students should receive grades and credits for their FLAS coursework. If a program does not offer grades, FLAS fellowship applicants are responsible to notify the FLAS Coordinator during the application stage.


Independent Studies and Directed Readings
An independent study or a directed readings course may be used to fulfill the FLAS area studies or language course requirement. Institutions should request approval for these courses from the IFLE program officer at least 30 days before the course start date:

  • An explanation for why an independent study is necessary;
  • A course syllabus that describes--
    • the content and context of the independent study or directed reading
    • the course objectives
    • the course requirements
    • the standards for evaluating the student
    • the schedule for the assignments and deliverables
    • a bibliography;
  • The instructor’s curriculum vitae

Distance Education

Pre and Post-FLAS Evaluations

In order to evaluate the development of proficiency level, each FLAS fellow will go through an evaluation pre- and post-program.

  • As soon as eligible academic year FLAS fellows and summer FLAS fellows are selected, the FLAS Coordinator must assign all fellows to a qualified language evaluator who will administer the pre-and post-fellowship language evaluations.
  • FLAS Coordinators assign the fellows in the International Resource Information System (IRIS). In assigning evaluators, it is our expectation that the evaluator who administers the fellow’s “pre-” language evaluation will be the same evaluator who will administer the fellow’s “post-” language evaluation.
  • Please advise your language evaluators that they are required to conduct both evaluations for all fellows who are assigned to them.
  • The U.S Department of Education requires that the pre-and post-FLAS program language evaluations are completed by the same instructor.
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