Foreign Language & Area Studies (FLAS) FAQs

FLAS Academic Year FAQs 

Academic Year FLAS: Graduate students in the Elliott School, Columbian College of Arts & Sciences, or the Graduate School of Education & Human Development who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

Yes. Graduate students in the Elliott School, Columbian College of Arts & Sciences, or the Graduate School of Education & Human Development are eligible for the Academic Year FLAS fellowship as long as they enroll in one eligible language course (in Arabic, Chinese, Hebrew, Japanese, Korean, Persian, or Turkish) and one eligible area studies course (that covers the Middle East or East Asia) each semester. Undergraduate and Graduate students from any program are eligible for the Summer FLAS, which covers the costs of summer language study in Arabic, Chinese, Hebrew, Japanese, Korean, Persian, or Turkish.

As long as you enroll in one eligible language course (in Arabic, Chinese, Hebrew, Japanese, Korean, Persian, or Turkish) and one eligible area studies course (that covers the Middle East or East Asia) each semester, the remaining courses you take are at your discretion. Your eligible language and area studies courses must be taken for credit and you must receive a formal letter grade (they cannot be taken pass/fail).

The area studies course does not need to be offered by any particular department, but to be eligible the course should typically have the region in its title (ie, “Middle East” or “Arab World” or “Korean Peninsula” or “East Asia” etc). If the course title does not reflect the regional focus you should inquire with the relevant FLAS coordinator to see if the course will satisfy the requirement. For students studying the Middle East please contact: [email protected] For students studying East Asia please contact [email protected] Please obtain a copy of the syllabus or course description from the faculty member leading the course and supply this to the FLAS coordinator so they can make a timely decision.

Students are permitted to undertake work totaling no more than 20 hours a week during the fellowship period (on or off campus).
 

The fellowship provides a $15,000 living stipend and covers 20 credits of tuition. (Approximately half of this tuition assistance is provided by the US Department of Education, the other half is covered by the George Washington University). The living stipend of $15,000 is allocated in equal monthly payments during the fellowship period. This fellowship does not pay for university fees, which remain the responsibility of the student.
 

Yes. However, Academic Year winners using the FLAS award abroad must remain enrolled at GW through a formal study abroad partnership or ensure their study abroad credits transfer to GW.  This is determined by the Office of Study Abroad.  All programs abroad must also be approved by the U.S. Department of Education prior to departure. Fellows should submit their program choices to their FLAS coordinators to secure Department of Education approval. For students studying the Middle East this contact is: [email protected] For students studying East Asia this contact is: [email protected]
 

If you study any of the FLAS-eligible languages at a level that is over what is currently offered at GW, you may consult directly with a language instructor at GW to design an independent study course which matches your skill level while fulfilling award requirements. The syllabus and schedule of the course, as well as the instructor’s CV, must then be sent to your FLAS coordinator for approval by the Department of Education.
 

Yes, these courses may be approved on a case-by-case basis by the FLAS coordinator and Department of Education. Awardees should forward information about the course and final project to their coordinator before the semester begins.

FLAS Summer FAQs 

The Summer FLAS Fellowship competition is open to graduate students and undergraduate students at the intermediate or advanced level of language proficiency for a summer of intensive language study. The study may be undertaken at a domestic institution (such as a US university) or an overseas institution in the region where the target language is spoken. Programs must be at least 6 weeks in duration and consist of 140 contact hours for intermediate study and 120 contact hours for advanced study. Most programs will provide the number of contact hours on their website or provide the information via email. 

Do not contact the Department of Education individually. GWU is responsible for obtaining approval from the U.S. Department of Education after you have accepted the fellowship. A FLAS coordinator will be in touch with you after you accept the award to gather information on your chosen program. 
 

No, all applicants are notified in the same timeframe. If you contact the coordinator of your chosen summer program in advance and tell them you are waiting on the results of your FLAS fellowship application they will typically allow you to delay your deposit or formal registration until the results are announced. If they are not willing to do so, please contact your FLAS Coordinator. For students studying the Middle East this contact is: [email protected] For students studying East Asia this contact is: [email protected]
 

If you are, for example, a student who is completing almost all of your degree requirements and only has the language proficiency test left to pass in the following Fall semester in order to graduate, then you are eligible to apply. Likewise, if you have finished your Bachelor’s degree in Spring but have enrolled to start a Masters in the Fall, you would also be eligible to apply for the Summer FLAS. 

However, if you are graduating in May prior to the Summer award cycle, and have no degree components left to complete at GW (and thus are no longer considered to be in “enrolled” status, then you would not be eligible to apply. For any other unique cases, please consult directly with your GW student advisor to confirm whether or not you are considered in enrolled status.
 

Post-Award FAQs: Academic Year

These consist of short oral evaluations (no more than 15-20 minutes in length) with a GW language instructor at the beginning and end of the academic year to measure progress in proficiency, as required by the Department of Education. Awardees are recommended to request that their current language instructors serve as their FLAS evaluators. If they do not have an instructor, their FLAS coordinator can help pair them with one as appropriate. 

In addition, for the East Asian languages award, awardees are required to complete a self-assessment of their proficiency level in their chosen language using GW’s online self-administered diagnostic test at the beginning and end of the academic year for reporting purposes. A link to the testing website will be sent to awardees by their FLAS coordinator.
 

No. You will need to reapply with a new proposal.

Post-Award FAQs: Summer

These consist of short oral evaluations (no more than 15-20 minutes in length) with a GW language instructor at the beginning and end of the summer to measure progress in proficiency, as required by the Department of Education. Awardees are recommended to request that their current language instructors serve as their FLAS evaluators. If they do not have an instructor, their FLAS coordinator can help pair them with one as appropriate.
 

No. You will need to reapply with a new proposal.

Yes, on a case-by-case basis. For such requests, you will need to send your FLAS coordinator information about the new program, including the duration, schedule, and total number of contact hours. 
 

Yes, on a case-by-case basis. For such requests, the tutor’s CV/resume, as well as the syllabus and schedule for the course, must be sent to the FLAS coordinator for approval. The same requirements for program duration and number of contact hours would apply to private tutoring as they would to a formal program.
 

Upon acceptance to your program, you should receive an invoice from it detailing any tuition deposit and other fees related to the program. Please forward this invoice to your FLAS coordinator at GW. The Summer Award will pay up to $5,000 in tuition fees, including deposit fees, directly to the language program provider. Awardees must communicate with their program staff that GW will be paying for all or a portion of the tuition fees, and put program staff in touch with the GW FLAS coordinator to arrange payment. Do NOT pay for tuition fees yourself, as GW is unable to issue reimbursements to individual students per Department of Education guidelines.

Should tuition plus deposit fees exceed $5,000, individual awardees are required to cover the remaining costs out of pocket. In this situation, following GW’s initial tuition payment, the awardee should reach out to their program for an updated invoice that reflects the balance of tuition and other fees that they still need to pay.
 

Awardees will receive their living stipend as one lump sum payment, which will be remitted to them after they have provided evidence of their program acceptance letter, flight ticket (for international programs), and other required documentation as outlined by your FLAS Coordinator. Usually, stipends are remitted prior to awardees’ departure for their summer programs in late May or early June. 
 

Under special circumstances (e.g. COVID-19), the Department of Education may allow awardees to defer their award for up to one year. However, awardees who choose to defer their studies must still be enrolled in GW at the time the deferred program takes place.