FLAS. Foreign Language & Area Studies Fellowship


Frequently Asked Questions: Do you have a question about FLAS? We have an answer!

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Commonly asked general questions.

Yes, but only for graduate students. Graduate students may apply for first year/beginner level language study only if the student has achieved advanced proficiency in another language related to the student's field of study; and learning the new language is required for the student's overall training and expertise. Some exceptions may be possible, and so please consult with the appropriate FLAS Coordinator. Undergraduates will only be awarded FLAS Fellowships for intermediate or advanced level language study. 

No. The U.S. Department of Education does not restrict the cumulative number of academic year or summer fellowships that may be awarded to the same student. It is prohibited, however, for a student to receive more than one FLAS fellowship simultaneously. 

Yes. Summer and academic year FLAS Fellowships are considered separate awards. Applying for both does not decrease your chances of being awarded. If applying for multiple fellowships (including different languages), a separate application must be submitted for each.

Yes. There is no limit to the number of applications a student submits. However, preference is given to those students who have proven commitment to and knowledge of the language or area for which they are applying. It is not advised that you submit applications for beginner level study of multiple languages. While it is technically not against the rules, it is unlikely your applications will be strongly considered.

Yes, but it is not recommended. Regardless of work status, all FLAS fellows are required to be engaged in full-time foreign language and area/international studies course work during the academic year, and in an intensive language study during the summer award period. If you would like to work during the fellowship award period, you must first seek approval from your FLAS Coordinator.

Yes. The U.S. Department of Education expects FLAS fellowship recipients (graduate and undergraduate) to receive full credit from the programs they attend. It is imperative that students ensure that appropriate credits will be transferred to the student's transcript if they are using the FLAS fellowship for a study abroad program. KU Study Abroad & Global Engagement will assist students in this process.


The U.S. Department of Education encourages enrolling in courses for which a letter grade or other quantifier of achievement is given. Foreign language and area studies courses must be taken for a letter grade rather than pass/fail – no exceptions. Electives outside the program of foreign language and area studies may be taken on a pass/fail basis if approved by your FLAS Coordinator at KU.

Yes. FLAS award recipients must maintain good academic standing during the award period (Summer or Academic Year) as defined by KU, and maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or above.  If you do not maintain good academic standing, you may be ineligible for future FLAS awards, and your FLAS award may be rescinded.  Depending on the discretion of the Center that awarded you the FLAS, you may be required to return any or all FLAS funding that you receive.


Each FLAS applicant is required to complete the free application for federal student aid, commonly known as FAFSA (https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/fafsa), which will provide the applicant with an estimated family contribution (EFC). Each applicant must report their EFC in the FLAS application portal to be considered for the FLAS fellowship. The FLAS coordinators will verify each applicant’s EFC with KU Financial Aid & Scholarships prior to the FLAS selection committee meeting. Applications with no EFC will be considered incomplete and this will jeopardize your chance of getting a FLAS fellowship. If you need assistance completing your FAFSA please contact the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships.

Your statement of purpose is an opportunity to describe your language learning journey and how you see this language contributing to your future. It is one of the most important pieces of your application and should reflect your unique interests, experiences, and goals.

While there is great diversity amongst these statements, here is a general outline to help you get started:

Introduction: This should get your reviewers' attention. Who are you and how did you become interested in this language?

Second paragraph: Describe yourself as a student and language learner. How do you demonstrate commitment to language study? This might include examples of how you make time to learn vocabulary and grammar in creative ways, go to language tables, attend cultural events, or watch documentaries to develop your skills even outside of formal coursework.

Third paragraph: Why is this the program for you right now? Whether you are studying at KU or abroad, let the reviewers know why this path is important to your success as a language learner.

Closing paragraph: Show how this language contributes to your goals. How does this language work together with your major as you work toward your future career?

FLAS Coordinators

  • Each area studies center has a dedicated FLAS coordinator who can help you throughout the application process.

  • If you still have questions, please contact one of the FLAS coordinators.


Academic Year Awards

Commonly asked questions about academic year fellowships.

No. Students who do not complete their FLAS requirements during the original award period forfeit the remaining portion of their awards. Similarly, if extenuating circumstances prevent a student from accepting/using a FLAS AY award during the academic year, the fellowship is forfeited and subsequently awarded to a deserving alternate.

Most AY FLAS students who receive an award from a KU area studies center choose to study at KU during the academic year.  Some KU students choose to use their AY FLAS awards to study abroad, but in relatively few instances.

Yes. An Academic Year (AY) fellowship receipient is allowed to divide their academic year between KU and overseas institution, as long as the student is enrolled full-time and takes at l east one related area studies course, international studies course, and at least one language course. All students who choose to study abroad during their AY FLAS fellowship period must be accepted into the program. 


Summer Awards

Commonly asked questions about summer fellowships.

Summer language programs for undergraduates and graduates at all levels of language learning should be a minimum of 6 consecutive weeks. 140 contact hours, or in-classroom instruction, is required for beginner (graduate only) and intermediate level instruction. 120 contact hours are required at the advanced level.


Yes, if you are a KU student you are eligible to use your summer FLAS award for a Student-Initiated Program (SIP). SIPs allow KU students to earn KU credit for study abroad programs sponsored by other accredited and approved universities and colleges. All SIPs must be approved by KU Study Abroad & Global Engagement as well as your language's FLAS Coordinator. Contact the KU Study Abroad & Global Engagement to learn more about SIP program options

All KU students studying abroad and non-KU students who will participate on a KU study abroad program are required to complete an application through KU Study Abroad & Global Engagement and be accepted into their chosen program. Students will participate in orientation, receive credit transfer and transcript services, evacuation and repatriation insurance, and access to other KU aid, if applicable.

Please schedule an appointment with the program coordinator for your region of study to learn about program options and the KU Study Abroad & Global Engagement application process. You can schedule an appointment with them by calling (785) 864-3742.

The application deadline for KU Study Abroad & Global Engagement summer programs is between February 15 and March 1, so be sure to check the deadline of your specific program. Students may use the same information for both the FLAS application and the KU Study Abroad & Global Engagement application.

If you are attending a domestic program, you are not required to register with KU Study Abroad & Global Engagement, but you do need your FLAS Coordinator to approve any Non-KU domestic program before you apply.

There is not an application fee to start an application with KU Study Abroad & Global Engagement. If you do not receive a FLAS fellowship, you can withdraw your study abroad application. After program acceptance, students commit to the study abroad program by signing a financial contract. If you are accepted into the program and do not know your FLAS status, you should not sign a financial contract beacuse there will be a financial penality if you withdraw after committing to the program. In this case, you should be in close communication with your KU Study Abroad & Global Engagement program coordinator and FLAS coordinator to discuss a timeline to withdraw or commit to the study abroad program. KU students who do not receive the FLAS fellowshop may be eligible for other financial aid and many are able to participate on the study abroad program even without the award.


It is possible that a portion of the study abroad application fee may be built into the tuition of your FLAS fellowship. This is determined on an individual, program-specific basis, so please contact your FLAS Coordinator to determine if this is possible for your program.


It is possible that a portion of the KU Office of Study Abroad application fee may be built into the tuition of your FLAS award. This is determined on an individual, program-specific basis, so please contact your FLAS Coordinator to determine if this is possible for your program.

Yes. Both KU and Non-KU students are encouraged to apply for FLAS Fellowships covering KU domestic and study abroad programs.

Yes. A summer fellowship may be used to attend a domestic language program, an overseas language program, or both. The fellow may divide the required program weeks and contact hours between a domestic program and an overseas program.

No. The student must meet the program duration and contact hours of instruction with intensive language training coursework only. A summer fellowship must offer the student the equivalent of a full-year of classroom language training. It is therefore unallowable to detract from this requirement to conduct research.

Not always. Summer FLAS Fellowships (undergraduate and graduate) provide up to $5,000 for summer tuition and a stipend of $2,500. If your program's tuition exceeds $5,000, you will be responsible for covering the additional costs.  Additionally, FLAS awards do not cover travel expenses. Some FLAS recipients choose to pay for their travel out of their their stipend, but this is at the discretion of the student. Depending on the availability of funds at the end of the summer, a center may offer travel awards to students with international travel plans, but these travel awards are not guaranteed and are entirely at the discretion of the center.

No. You may only receive the actual tuition amount for your program.

No. The stipend should not be used for any duplicating costs. The stipend is meant to cover personal expenses including room and board. If these amounts are already covered as part of a total fee (e.g., tuition, fees, room, and board) then they will be deducted from the final amount. For example, if a program costs $5,000 and of that amount $4,000 is for tuition and fees and $1,000 is for room and board, then that $1,000 will be deducted from your stipend and you will receive only $2,500.

Obligations for FLAS Recipients

Commonly asked questions about obligations of FLAS recipients.

Applications from qualified students will be prioritized in the following order:  (1) Students who express concrete plans to go into government service or to become K-12 educators, (2) Students wishing to study abroad, (3) Students who demonstrate financial need, or (4) from professional schools.

Students are responsible for arranging their pre- and post-language evaluations with an appropriate instructor.  Names and contact information of approved language instructors can be obtained from your FLAS Coordinator. Both pre- and post-language evaluations should be performed by the same instructor.  If for whatever reason, it is not possible for the same language instructor to administer both evaluations, your FLAS Coordinator will need to seek special approval from the U.S. Department of Education to have evaluations by different instructors..  It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that the FLAS Coordinator has enough time to seek this approval (i.e., do not wait until the last minute to inform your FLAS Coordinator that it is impossible to take both the pre- and post-language evaluations from the same instructor)

After you accept the FLAS, your FLAS Coordinator will create a student fellowship profile in the U.S. Department of Education IRIS reporting system.  This online system will send you instructions on how to access and submit your reports.  Students are responsible for contacting their FLAS Coordinator if they have not received instructions within two weeks of their program start date.


Yes.  You will need to declare the stipend portion of your award as taxable income on your income tax returns. For more information about this, a tax memo will be provided to all FLAS recipients.  If you do not receive a tax memo, please ask for one from your FLAS Coordinator.

Yes.  The Fly America Act states that all travel funded by the U.S. Government must be with a U.S. flag air carrier service (e.g., U.S. airline). Because FLAS Fellowships are funded by the U.S. Department of Education, all FLAS awardees are required to be ticketed with a U.S. flag carrier. We understand that U.S. flag carriers are not always available to the final destination, however, a U.S. flag carrier must be used to the furthest destination possible. Booking with a U.S. flag carrier is particularly important if you would like to be considered for a discretionary travel award.

Yes.  As a recipient of a FLAS Fellowship you are obligated to complete biennial surveys regarding your employment and target language use post-graduation. Providing this information helps future students receive FLAS funding.