South Asia Institute
South Asia Institute

Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowships

The highly competitive Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship is funded by the U.S. Department of Education through its Title VI grant. The fellowship assists meritorious graduate and undergraduate students undergoing intensive training in modern languages and related area or international studies.

The application window for Academic Year 2021-22 and Summer 2021 FLAS Fellowships has closed. The next application window will open November 1, 2021.

Academic Year Awards - for Undergraduate and Graduate Students

For graduate students - The academic year FLAS fellowship provides a nine-month stipend of $15,000 and pays for in-state tuition and required fees (up to a maximum of 9 credit hours in most cases). During the fellowship period, FLAS recipients must be enrolled in at least three hours of language instruction and at least one relevant area studies course during each long semester. Both courses must be taken on a letter-grade basis. FLAS Fellows are responsible for their own health insurance coverage.

For undergraduate students - The academic year FLAS fellowship includes a nine-month stipend of $5,000 plus cost of in-state tuition and course-related fees up to $10,000 per academic year (up to a maximum of 15 hours per semester). During the fellowship period, FLAS recipients must be enrolled in at least three hours of language instruction and at least one relevant area studies course during each long semester. Both courses must be taken on a letter-grade basis. FLAS Fellows are responsible for their own health insurance coverage.

Summer Awards
 - for Undergraduate and Graduate Students

The summer FLAS fellowship provides a $2,500 stipend and institutional payments (tuition and course-related fees) up to $5,000. Summer FLAS recipients must enroll in an approved intensive modern South Asian language study program for which the fellowship is granted. SASLI (at the University of Wisconsin) and AIIS (in various places in India) are the most common programs used, but you may attend other universities in the US or other institutions in India, such as the Landour Language School for Intermediate Hindi, if the syllabus is approved and there are at least 150 class contact hours during the fellowship period. The student is responsible for successfully applying for the Summer FLAS intensive language study program.

Summer FLAS recipients studying internationally must apply to the International Office for International Travel Authorization and Restricted Region Travel Approval if applicable. Students will be registered with the International Office, with mandatory overseas insurance and registration with International SOS, UT's overseas emergency plan. Fellows must cover fees for insurance.

Approved Languages

SAI offers academic year funding for the following languages:

  • Bengali (Bangla)
  • Hindi
  • Malayalam
  • Persian (if it relates directly to the study of South Asia)
  • Tamil
  • Urdu
  • Other approved contemporary South Asian languages

Eligibility Requirements

SAI is committed to building a diverse FLAS applicant pool and we therefore encourage applications from African American and Latinx students, students with disabilities, women, LGBTQ students, and veterans.

Students from all fields of study, and from all departments, colleges, and schools are eligible to apply for FLAS funding, as long as the student: 

  • Is a citizen, or a national or permanent resident of the United States;
  • Is in a program of study that combines modern foreign language training with an area or international studies emphasis or;
  • Is engaged in research and training in the international aspects of professional and other fields of study related to the region of South Asia;
  • Is enrolled in a program of modern foreign language training (please refer to the approved language list above);
  • For Graduate Students: Is enrolled in Masters or PhD coursework, preparation for dissertation research, or, in certain cases, dissertation research abroad, or dissertation writing;
  • For Undergraduate Students: Is enrolled in a program of modern foreign language training at the intermediate or advanced level.

Please Note: Awards will not be made to native speakers of the language nor those who possess fluency equivalent to educated native speakers in the language for which the award is sought. For graduate students, awards for beginning level language studies will not be made unless the student has advanced proficiency in another South Asian language and can clearly justify why the new language is necessary for their research. Undergraduate students cannot apply for beginning level language studies.

Please gather all the documents below before you start the application as there is no option to save or resume the application. 

  1. Data needed for the application form: name, status and classification at UT-Austin, UT issued EID, biographical and contact information, Texas residency status, citizenship information, academic information (major, department, advisor and contact information, GPA, etc), language of study and level of language study, career goal information, date of FAFSA submission, acknowledgments to release FAFSA information and abide by FLAS Fellowship requirements.
  2. FAFSA application completed at
  3. Current CV limited to two (2) pages (upload on the application form)
  4. Copies of your current UT transcript, or most recent transcripts, if you are an incoming student (upload on the application form).  Graduate applicants must include a copy of their GRE scores (upload on the application form).
  5. Proposed course work - for each semester list 1 language study course and 1 area studies course (based on past course schedules)
  6. Three brief essays on:
    Previous Language Training: Discuss each language in which you have had formal training (undergraduate or graduate), the number of years of instruction, and the school attended. If your language facility was gained in other ways, such as through overseas experience, explain where, when, and indicate current proficiency [125-175 words].
    Academic and Career Goals: In one paragraph, describe how the language and area training you receive during the period of your FLAS fellowship will help prepare you to achieve your academic and career goals [125-175 words].
    Research and Coursework: Describe your training to date, your primary research interests, and the themes in your coursework and/or thesis or dissertation projects [500-1500 words]. The evaluation committee understands that beginning or early graduate students may have rudimentary thesis or dissertation plans, while more advanced students will be able to lay out plans for major research projects in some detail. Likewise, the committee understands that essays from those in professional schools or other non-thesis degree programs will be quite different from essays written by students planning theses or dissertations. So, view this essay as a chance to inform the committee of your current thoughts on how you hope to advance knowledge in your field or use your training to prepare for valuable work in a profession.
  7. The names and email addresses of two (2) academic references and one (1) language study reference.
    NOTE: Applicants are responsible for providing correct email addresses and for giving their three references ample time (several weeks!) to agree to write and submit a letter of recommendation. Reference letters should be sent no later than the closing date of the FLAS application. It is preferred for recommendations to come from faculty and for at least one letter to speak to language learning abilities.
    Upon submission of the application form, the references will receive an automatic email requesting their reference letter and form sent directly to SAI at However, we encourage students to also contact their references once the application form has been submitted. The reference form is available at
    Make sure you send your recommenders the following information with your request for a letter: What kind(s) of FLAS you are applying for
    , what language you are applying for, and provide a draft of your statement of purpose and CV/resume.
  8. For Summer FLAS, all information (name and location of institution, website, program cost, number of weeks with 6 week minimum, total contact hours with 120-140 minimum, apx. travel dates, and program dates) for the intensive language center where you plan to study.

Required Documents Checklist

In addition to filling out the application forms, a completed application must include:


Important FLAS Fellowship Dates:

  • Application to Summer 2022 and Academic Year 2022-23 FLAS Fellowships will open on November 1, 2021 and close around February 21, 2022.
  • Notifications of awards for Academic Year 2021-22 and Summer 2021 will be sent out in March 2021.

International Travel

In order to support all students traveling to international locations, UT's International Office has put into place a new travel policy. All enrolled undergraduate, graduate and professional students participating in activities or events abroad (whether required or optional) must obtain authorization to travel abroad. Please go to the the Study Abroad website for information on the steps you must take to comply with this policy before your travel.