Slavic and Eurasian Studies

Undergraduate FLAS Award — FAQ

CREEES Undergraduate FLAS (Foreign Language and Area Studies) Fellowships are awarded to undergraduate students studying a language with an approved Russian, East European or Eurasian Studies focus.

Students should consider applying for FLAS Fellowships with other FLAS-granting centers at UT, such as the Center for European Studies and the South Asia Institute, or at other FLAS-granting institutions, as relevant to their research interests.

FLAS Fellowships can be for an academic year or summer program and are competitively awarded. The Fellowship is interdisciplinary and open to students from ANY department, major, or school at UT. **Students need not be Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies majors to apply.**
General FAQs and specific Academic Year and Summer award FAQs can be found below.


General FAQs

Where does the FLAS money come from?

The Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies receives funding for FLAS Fellowships from the U.S. Department of Education (DoED) through its Title VI grant. The funding is therefore subject to federal regulations. Other Centers on campus also receive FLAS funding, and you should apply for FLAS fellowships with multiple centers, if relevant to your area of study.


Who is eligible for a FLAS?

Per Department of Education regulations, students must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents to be eligible for a FLAS Fellowship.
Fellowships are awarded to students enrolled at or admited to study full-time at UT (or potentially another FLAS-granting institution) from all fields of study, who are in good standing.
We especially encourage applications from various departments and professional schools.


Can non-UT-Austin students apply?

FLAS fellowships are open only to UT-Austin students (current or admitted). 


What languages qualify as "approved" foreign languages?

CREEES FLAS approved languages include (but are not limited to) Russian, Polish, Czech, Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian, Persian/Tajik*, Romani*, Yiddish*, Turkish*, Ukrainian, Romanian and Bulgarian. Other languages will be considered on case-by-case basis and must receive DoED program officer approval.
Students may NOT be native speakers of the language nor possess fluency equivalent to educated native speakers in the language for which the award is sought.
(*Language study must be related to the REEE region, namely Central/Eastern Europe, Southeast Europe or the Balkans, Russia, the Caucasus and/or Central Asia.)


Do I need to have a certain level of proficiency to be eligible?

Undergraduates must be at the intermediate or advanced level of study (2nd year and up) for their language. A proven track record of language study is looked favorably upon.
NOTE: Students may NOT be native speakers of the language nor possess fluency equivalent to educated native speakers in the language for which the award is sought. 


Can I study or do research abroad while on a FLAS Fellowship?

Yes, if studying a language at an intermediate or advanced level, however you must receive approval from CREEES, the Department of Education and potentially the International Office in order to study abroad while recieving a FLAS fellowship. See your FLAS Coordinator as soon as you begin to consider this option.

Students who receive a FLAS award and are traveling abroad MUST also complete the International Office Travel Authorization process for individual students and those traveling to a UT-designated restricted region MUST receive approval from the International Oversight Committee at UT before FLAS funding will be disbursed. All enrolled undergraduate, graduate and professional students participating in activities or events abroad (whether required or optional) must take steps to comply with this new travel policy. Please visit the UT International Office website for more details.

Award recipients MUST have a DoED approved Overseas Program Request on file in order to go abroad while on a FLAS Fellowship.

Dissertation research option: Students may apply to do dissertation fieldwork overseas in the region during the academic year while on a FLAS Fellowship. See the FLAS Program Coordinator for more information.


Can I reapply for the FLAS for multiple years?

Yes, reapplying for FLAS fellowships is encouraged! Students may apply for the academic year and summer FLAS Fellowships for multiple years, although they will need to turn in a new application and supporting documents each time.


Can I turn in an unofficial transcript?

Yes, we will accept an unofficial transcript from the UT Registrar's Office. 


How do the recommendation forms work?

CREEES will no longer accept recommendation letters. Recommendation forms will be submit in lieu of uploading letters!

Several weeks before the application deadline, be sure to secure two references, who will agree to submit recommendation forms on your behalf to CREEES. Your references can not access the recommendation form until you submit your application, and they will only have until the Monday after the application deadline to submit the forms, so be sure to complete your application in a timely manner to give them as much time as possible to submit their forms.

When you submit your application, the references will automatically receive an email with a link to the recommendation form. Applicants are responsible for providing correct email addresses for their references in the application form and for giving their references ample time to submit a recommendation form. 

Upon your submission of the application form to CREEES, your recommenders will receive an email with a link to the recommendation form, which will ask them to assess your abilities and allow them to enter any additional comments they may have.

Recommendations should come from faculty and at least one letter should speak to language learning abilities. 

It is common courtesy to send your recommender all the pertinent information as to what kind of FLAS your applying for (to which Center(s) and whether Academic Year, Summer or both), in what language(s), what their deadline is, and where/how to submit their recommendations.



When is the deadline?

The Summer AND Academic Year FLAS deadline is typically in early February. The exact deadline can be seen on the FLAS main page. No exceptions will be made for late applications. Students are responsible for ensuring that their application is complete. 


Is financial need a consideration?

Yes. New DoED guidelines require a two-tiered system that takes student financial need into consideration. Students will first be ranked on academic merit. The next round reviews the financial needs of each ranked student based on their submitted FAFSA score.


Do I have to complete a FAFSA application?

You do not have to complete a FAFSA application, but it is HIGHLY recommended that you do so. Any student who has not completed a FAFSA application and had it reviewed by financial aid before our application date will not have a FAFSA score and will, therefore, be ranked lowest among students during the second tier of the review process.


How do I complete the FAFSA application?

Applicants should refer the the UT Office of Student Financial Aid website to create and submit a FAFSA application: http://finaid.utexas.edu. FAFSA applications can be submitted starting in October. The processing time for a FAFSA can take several weeks, so we strongly encourage FLAS applicants to complete the FAFSA applications as soon as possible.


How will you know my FAFSA score?

On the FLAS applications, you will indicate whether you have completed the FAFSA application and, if so, the date it was submitted. There is also a place on the application where you will give us permission to receive your FAFSA score directly from UT's Office of Student Financial Aid.


ACADEMIC YEAR (AY) FLAS FAQs

What is the undergraduate academic year (AY) FLAS?

The CREEES undergraduate FLAS (Foreign Language and Area Studies) is a Fellowship awarded to undergraduate students who are studying an approved modern foreign language and are engaged in coursework at UT (or abroad)* that has a Russian, East European or Eurasian focus. The Fellowship is interdisciplinary and open to students from all departments and schools at UT. Students need not be Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies (REE) majors to apply.
*Students must have a DoED approved Overseas Program Request on file in order to engage in study abroad while on a FLAS Fellowship and must complete the appropriate Travel Authorization paperwork with the UT International Office. See your FLAS Coordinator as soon as you begin to consider this option.


What does the AY undergraduate FLAS Fellowship provide?

The FLAS Academic Year Fellowship provides a nine-month stipend of $5,000 total, plus tuition up to $10,000 per academic year. Any remaining tuition is the responsibility of the student.


What does the undergraduate AY fellowship NOT cover?

The undergraduate FLAS Fellowship tuition funding does not cover:
1) fees or costs not related to coursework (including housing);
2) books and materials; and
3) medical insurance.

The student may cover these costs with the stipend. 


What are the terms of the AY FLAS award?

If awarded an academic year FLAS, you must agree to ALL of the following conditions:

  1. Take at least one grade-based REE-related language course both fall and spring semesters.* 
  2. Take at least one grade-based content course in the Russian, East European and Eurasian (REE) area.*
  3. Be registered as a full-time student both semesters.
  4. Complete the information sent to you through the U.S. Department of Education's online computer system (IRIS).
  5. Meet with the designated language evaluation instructors at the beginning and end of the duration of your award for language assessment.
  6. Complete a final online report of your activities at the end of the award period (IRIS).
  7. Participate in events held during the academic year for the Center.
  8. Participate in Department of Education follow-up surveys after graduation, for the following eight (8) years.
    *Courses must be approved by the Center.

Will the FLAS affect financial aid?

Yes, the FLAS will definitely affect your financial aid package. Upon receiving a FLAS Fellowship, you will want to speak with your Financial Aid counselor to discuss the specifics of the changes. In some cases, receiving a FLAS may drastically reduce or eliminate your financial aid from the Office of Student Financial Services. 


Can I accept other fellowships or work during the academic year?

Generally students who are awarded a FLAS are not allowed to accept other Fellowships or be employed; the FLAS is designed to allow you to focus on your studies full time. However, the director of CREEES may approve special cases on a case-by-case basis. Students are required to get pre-approval from the CREEES FLAS Coordinator and Director, prior to accepting a scholarship or employment. Internships are disallowed by DoED regulations.



SUMMER FLAS FAQs

What is the Summer FLAS?

The CREEES summer FLAS (Foreign Language and Area Studies) is a fellowship awarded to students who are studying an approved modern foreign language at an approved university or institute in the U.S. or abroad. Students must be at the intermediate or advanced level of language study to use an award for an approved overseas language program.
The summer program must be a minimum of 6-weeks, intensive and be the equivalent of one academic year of study, typically 120 in-class hours for advanced students and 140 in-class hours for intermediate students.


Do I need to have a proposed program of study?

Yes, applications should include a proposed program of study. We understand that this program may change, but funding will be offered on the proposed program and any changes will need approval from CREEES and possibly the DoED Program Officer.


What does the Summer FLAS Fellowship provide?

The summer FLAS Fellowship provides a stipend of $2,500 plus tuition and course-related fees up to $5,000. The remaining tuition and summer program expenses are the responsibility of the student. Typically, travel expenses are not covered by the FLAS but may be paid by the student using the stipend.


What does the summer fellowship NOT cover?

The summer FLAS Fellowship tuition funding does not cover: fees not related to coursework, housing, books and materials, medical or travel insurance, food, and travel costs. The student may cover these costs with the stipend. 


Do I need to have a certain level of proficiency to be eligible?

Undergraduate students must be at the intermediate or advanced level to qualify for a summer FLAS.


What are the terms of the award?

If awarded a summer FLAS, you must agree to ALL of the following conditions:

  1. Enroll in an intensive summer language program (120-140 contact hours) in a pre-approved FLAS eligible language.
  2. Complete the information sent to you through the U.S. Department of Education's online computer system (IRIS).
  3. Meet with the designated language evaluation instructors at the beginning and end of the duration of your award for language assessment.
  4. Complete a final online report of your activities at the end of the award period (IRIS).
  5. Participate in events held during by the Center.
  6. Participate in Department of Education follow-up surveys after graduation, for the following eight (8) years.

How do I know if a summer language program is "intensive?"

Summer language programs must be a minimum of six week with 140 contact hours (in-class instruction) for intermediate level of study and 120 contact hours for advanced level. They should cover an academic year's worth of material.


Do I need to be enrolled at UT during the summer?

Students do not have to be enrolled at UT during the summer, but they must be continuing students at UT or another FLAS-granting institution directly following the Summer FLAS award period, or be enrolled in a summer program at a FLAS-granting institution.

Students who receive a FLAS award and are traveling abroad MUST complete the International Office Travel Authorization process for individual students and those traveling to a UT-designated restricted region MUST receive approval from the International Oversight Committee at UT before FLAS funding will be disbursed. All enrolled undergraduate, graduate and professional students participating in activities or events abroad (whether required or optional) must take steps to comply with this new travel policy. Please visit the UT International Office website for more details.

Students who wish to be enrolled at UT but are not participating in a UT summer program can apply to the International Office for Independent Study & Research (ISR) status. Students will be registered for ISR 080, which allows them to maintain current student status and covers them under International SOS, UT's overseas emergency plan.

Will courses completed under a Summer FLAS award show up on my UT transcript?

It's possible, but requires the student's initiative to seek credit for courses taken abroad on a FLAS. Contact a Study Abroad Program Coordinator at the International Office for more information: http://world.utexas.edu/abroad/advising




Application and instructions available on the FLAS main page.



For specific questions regarding the undergraduate FLAS application, please contact:

 
CREEES FLAS Coordinator
(512) 232-9123
BUR 440

Looking for GRADUATE FLAS FAQs?

Click HERE.