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Learn a language and study abroad with these scholarships

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The Defense Language and National Security Education Office (DLNSEO) sponsors language study and study abroad for college and graduate students every year. These awards include:

  • David L. Boren Scholarships and Fellowships, for undergraduate and graduate students interested in language study abroad, and which includes a one year minimum service commitment to work in the U.S. government after graduation.
  • The Language Flagship, for students to attain professional-level language proficiency in Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, or Turkish, at 21 institutions across the U.S.
  • Project Global Officer, or Project GO, for ROTC students to learn a language and study abroad over the summer.

To find out more about these programs, be sure to visit the Scholarship Opportunities page here on CulturerReady.

Other government agencies also support language and foreign area studies through a variety of scholarships and fellowships. If you are looking for a scholarship, or are just now thinking about languages you want to learn or countries you want to study in as a college student, here’s a breakdown of some of the other ones that are important to know about:

  • The Fulbright Program is a competitive program with a number of different awards granted to students. The two main programs are the Fulbright Study/Research Award, and the English Teaching Assistant Award. However, they also offer the Fulbright Fogarty Award in Public Health, in conjunction with the National Institutes of Health, to graduate and medical students, and the Fulbright-National Geographic Storytelling Fellowship. There are also two Fulbright programs for foreign students to study or teach in the United States.

  • The Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program, sponsored by the Department of State, offers students awards to participate in 8-10 week immersion programs abroad in one of 15 critical languages. Nine of these languages (Azerbaijani, Bangla, Hindi, Indonesian, Korean, Punjabi, Swahili, Turkish, and Urdu) require no previous study to apply, while the other six (Arabic, Persian, Portuguese, Chinese, Japanese, and Russian) require one to two years previous study. The programs encompass formal language study in a classroom setting, as well as activities outside the classroom meant to give students the opportunity to learn more about the culture of their host country and interact with native speakers.

  • The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program, through the Department of State, awards students of limited financial means with grants that enable them to study or intern abroad. The focus of this program is on the experience abroad, but also encourages language study. Over the 2017-2018 academic year, 47% of GIlman Scholars were first generation college students, 30% were STEM majors, 82% acquired job-related skills, and 64% took language courses or courses taught in another language. Awards range from $100 to $5,000, with the opportunity to receive a Critical Need Language Award of up to $8,000.

  • The Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship, offered through the Department of Education, is awarded to undergraduate and graduate students for language study through specific universities’ National Resource Centers (NRCs). NRCs focus on specific areas of the world, and host universities may have multiple NRCs representing different geographical regions, with an emphasis on less commonly taught languages. FLAS awards provide up to $33,000 of funding for academic year graduate study, up to $15,000 of funding for academic year undergraduate study, and up to $7,500 of funding for summer study. The Department of Education’s International and Foreign Language Education Office has a handy map that shows all of the NRC and FLAS-granting institutions across the country.

And it doesn’t just start with college, either! The Department of State also supports the National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y), which provides high school students and recent graduates (ages 15-18) with the opportunity to study abroad in either summer- or academic year-length immersion programs. This program in particular focuses on the critical languages of Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, Indonesian, Korean, Persian, Russian, and Turkish, and goes to the countries of Jordan, Morocco, China, Taiwan, India, Indonesia, South Korea, Tajikistan, Estonia, Latvia, Moldova, Russia, and Turkey.

Have you benefited from one of these scholarship programs? Tell us about your experience by blogging for us here on CultureReady.

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