Southeast Asia - Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowships

Southeast Asia - Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowships

FLAS fellowships are designed to support graduate and undergraduate students who commit to studying Southeast Asian languages and area studies courses.

The U.S. Department of Education Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) fellowship program supports training in modern foreign languages and related area studies.  

The Academic Year FLAS Fellowship requires that students take one Southeast Asia language and one area studies course every quarter for the entire year. New and continuing students in all disciplines may apply for Intermediate or Advanced levels of language study. Students who will be enrolled at UCLA for the duration of the fellowship period may apply for both awards. Beginning level of a language may be undertaken by graduate students only if the student is already at advanced level in another Southeast Asian language. 

Currently approved SEA languages for FLAS academic year study are Burmese, Indonesian, Filipino/Tagalog, Khmer, Thai and Vietnamese. (Intermediate Khmer and Burmese are available at UCLA via distance learning from UC Berkeley during the academic year.) In summer, additional SEA languages are eligible.

Students must also agree to submit quarterly reports on their progress, submit before and after language assessments to the U.S. Department of Education, take a before and after oral proficiency examination with a designated instructor, and report to the U.S. Department of Education every two years for eight years after graduation on the recipient’s occupation and the extent to which the FLAS language is being used.

For more information, please review the FLAS Frequently Asked Questions.

COVID-19 Update

Due to travel restrictions, Summer 2021 FLAS can only be used for intensive remote summer language programs offered though a U.S. university. The program must be distance learning with synchronous face-to-face instruction that fulfills the contact hours requirements. 

Depending on university policy on international travel and approval from U.S. Department of Education, FLAS Fellowships may be used to conduct research during the full academic year at UCLA and abroad. Students who apply for FLAS for dissertation fieldwork research must update CSEAS on any changes to their travel plans abroad for their research.


  • Applicants must be U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents.
  • Recipents must enroll in full-time study for the duration of their award period.

Since the purpose of the FLAS program is to enrich the nation’s pool of area and international specialists, applicants must be planning to use their training to teach, to serve in government or international agencies, or to engage in other work that advances American understanding of other countries.

Selection for the award is based on the following criteria:

  • Academic performance and potential as evidenced by academic transcript, letters of recommendation, and statement of purpose;
  • The extent to which overall course of study focuses on Southeast Asia;
  • The level of planned language study. More advanced levels are preferred;
  • Financial need as determined by past financial aid levels;
  • Past awardees may reapply.

These grants may be combined with supplementary funding from UCLA and/or other funding agencies. However in cases of parallel large grants, recipients will have to decide which grant to accept and pairing will not be allowed. Grantees are required to inform the Center of any awards received during the FLAS fellowship period.

Summer 2021 fellowships are for intensive remote summer language programs offered through a U.S. university. They provide a stipend of $2,500 plus tuition and fees to a maximum of $5,000. A letter grade is also required. Students should apply separately to that university for admissions into the summer language program. Non-language programs are not eligible for summer FLAS funding, nor is dissertation research. In order to qualify for funding, the summer intensive language program must last at least 6 weeks and provide at least 140 synchronous contact hours for beginning and intermediate level courses, or 120 synchronous contact hours for advanced level coursework.

UCLA students who wish to attend the Southeast Asian Studies Summer Institute (SEASSI) should simultaneously apply for admission as well as for other funding directly to SEASSI and for FLAS funding through the UCLA FLAS application. Qualified applicants should apply for all possible scholarships to maximize opportunities.

**Please note that Summer FLAS is considered summer financial aid for UCLA undergraduate students. Students will not be able to receive any additional summer financial aid funding for UCLA Summer Sessions.

Academic Year 2021-2022 fellowships provide a total stipend of $15,000 for graduate students and $5,000 for undergraduates and cover up to $18,000 of academic year tuition and fees for graduate students and $10,000 for undergraduates. The Academic Year FLAS Fellowship requires that students take one Southeast Asia language and one area studies course for a letter grade every quarter for the entire year while enrolling full time for residence at UCLA. Independent Studies are allowed with specific permission.

AY awards may be used for dissertation research or writing for students who have completed their degree coursework and are at the advanced level of language proficiency, but this must be approved in advance. 

Required information includes:

  • a statement of purpose of one or two pages outlining the student’s primary research interest and explaining how language study will enhance the project;
  • 2 academic letters of recommendation;
  • unofficial university transcripts;
  • resume or CV;
  • FAFSA SAR or most recent financial aid letter (for AY FLAS only).

Applications may be submitted for both competitions, Summer 2021 and Academic Year 2021-2022, but separate applications including submitting duplicate letters of recommendation are required. Application materials and letters of recommendation must be submitted by the deadline. Please review the FLAS Frequently Asked Questions. 


FLAS Fellowship applications will open mid-November 2020.



For more info please contact:
Nguyet Tong