Spring 2022 Semester Foreign Language and Area Studies Competiion

Deadline:  Monday, December 6, 2021

The South Asia Institute announces a competition for undergraduate and graduate students - for one-term awards for the Spring 2022 semester.

(There is an upcoming, separate competiton for Summer 2022 and Academic Year 2022-23 awards, with a February 2022 deadline)

The International and Foreign Language Education Office of the U.S. Department of Education (USED) has authorized the South Asia Institute as a National Resource Center and to award undergraduate and graduate Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowships.  FLAS fellowships support undergraduate and graduate students who will study a modern South Asian language as an integral part of an academic program focusing on South Asia.  FLAS awards can be for Academic Year study at Columbia, or for intensive summer language study in the U.S. or abroad by undergraduate or graduate students.  All Academic Year fellows must enroll in one language and one South Asia area studies class per term in a given academic year.  Summer FLAS is for intensive language study only - applications for research or non-language programs will be rejected as ineligible.

Languages of Award

SAI is authorized to award FLAS for Academic Year study at Columbia for the following languages: Bengali, Hindi, Punjabi, Persian, Tamil, and Urdu. 

Language Levels

Students may apply to study Intermediate or Advanced level languages.  Elementary level study is not permitted, with one exception: students who have acheived fluency or advanced proficiency in one South Asia language may apply to learn a second South Asian language.  Evidence of advanced proficiency must be reviewed by the U.S. Department of Education before FLAS can be approved for study at the Elementary level.  Such documentation might include one of  the following:  a proficiency exam by a qualified language instructor; transcript showing  Advanced language courses; or having earned a degree in which the target language is the primary language of instruction.

Heritage Hindi and Heritage Urdu

Students planning to enroll in Heritage Hindi or Heritage Urdu language courses in the Spring 2002 term are eligible to apply for FLAS.


All applicants to FLAS must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents.  Spring 2002 applicants must be enrolled or plan to enroll full-time or part-time in an undergraduate or graduate degree program at Columbia University.

Graduate Academic Year FLAS

The Spring 2022 awards consist of $9,000 tuition and a stipend of $7,500.  The Spring 2022 FLAS competition at Columbia is open to students in GSAS, SIPA, and Teacher's College, and the School of Public Health.  All Spring 2022 fellows must enroll in one language class and one South Asia area studies class in the Spring 2022 term. 

Undergraduate FLAS

Spring 2022 awards consist $5,000 tuition and a stipend of $2,500.  The Spring 2022 FLAS competiton is open to all undergraduate students at Columbia College, General Studies, the Engineering School, and Barnard College.  All Spring 2022 fellows must enroll in one language class and one South Asia area studies class in the Spring 2022 term.

Application and deadlines

The application requires an informational Biodata form, statement of purpose, two recommendations, an Attestation Form, and transcripts (official or unofficial).  A resume or c.v. may be included with the application.  The statement of purpose can be used to talk about your academic and career goals, research interests, and how the pursuit of language skills fit into those plans.  The statement of purpose should be at least one page but no more than three pages. Students applying for Intermediate and Advanced language study must submit an evaluation by a language instructor as one of the recommendations.  

Competitive priorities include 1) applicants who demonstrate financial need (via submission of a FAFSA form); and 2) students who will plan to achieve Advanced or Superior levels of proficiency by the time of graduation.  Students at all levels of proficiency, except those who have achieved fluency, are encouraged to apply.  All applicants who are awarded a FLAS are required to have a FAFSA form on file with their school.

All materials should be submitted by email or email attachment to William Carrick <[email protected]>.  Recommenders may send letters by email or email attachment to the same email address.

Appication forms:

Biodata Form

Attestation Form


Spring 2022 awards: Final deadline is December 6, 2021.

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at <https://fafsa.ed.gov>