FLAS Undergraduate Fellowships

Portuguese Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowships for Undergraduates – Academic Year 2020-2021 Deadline: February 1, 2020

The Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS), through funding made possible by the U.S. Department of Education (US/ED), invites eligible undergraduate students to apply for academic year fellowships (two awards) for the study of intermediate or advanced Portuguese language in combination with Latin American and Caribbean area studies courses. UWM Letters and Science students and those from the professional Schools/Colleges, as well as underrepresented students are all encouraged to apply. Courses may be taken at UWM or through study abroad that is pre-approved by US/ED.

FLAS Funding, Eligibility and Conditions

Each Undergraduate FLAS Fellow will receive:

  1. Up to $10,000 for tuition and required fees (up to $5,000 each semester, not to exceed the actual cost of tuition and fees each semester, and taking into consideration the recipient’s other student aid and financial need level); and
  2. A $5,000 subsistence allowance ($2,500 each semester).

Eligibility Requirements: Applicants must meet all of these eligibility requirements:

  1. Meet with the FLAS coordinator prior to applying;
  2. Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident (if permanent resident, attach copy of immigrant visa);
  3. Be enrolled in a UWM Bachelor’s degree program with preference given to applicants who demonstrate an academic interest in Latin America through current and prior course work;
  4. Demonstrate a strong academic record in all course work;
  5. Be ready to enroll in at least Portuguese 203 or equivalent at thestart of the fellowship (Fall 2020);
  6. Have filed a completed FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) with the UWM Financial Aid office;
  7. Submit their completed application in accordance with the application format and instructions on the following page.

Conditions of the Award: As a FLAS Fellow the following terms and conditions are required:

  1. Each semester, fellows must enroll in full time coursework (12-18 credits) that includes:
    1. One or more Portuguese language courses at the Third Semester/intermediate level or higher;
    2. One or more area studies courses that incorporate substantial learning about aspects of Latin America and/or the Caribbean.
  2. Fellows’ studies must take place at UWM and/or on a US/ED pre-approved study abroad program to Brazil (must be at intermediate or advanced language level to go abroad and must apply through the UWM Study Abroad Office and follow their policies and procedures for studying abroad).
  3. All coursework must be taken for graded credit and passed successfully. Note: Failure to maintain good academic standing and satisfactory progress results in dismissal from the fellowship and repayment of fellowship monies already awarded.
  4. Fellows must complete an instructor-administered FLAS language assessment before and after their fellowship. This information will be entered into the International Resource Information System (IRIS), a database used by the US Department of Education to track the FLAS Fellowship program’s contributions to national language proficiency attainment.
  5. Fellows are required to stay in regular contact with their FLAS coordinator and to respond to a survey regarding their use of Portuguese language and Latin American and Caribbean studies in employment, education or training every two years for eight years following the fellowship.

Application Guidelines

Late and incomplete applications may not be considered. It is your responsibility to confirm with your recommenders whether letters have been submitted. A complete application consists of:

  1. Personal and Academic Information.
  2. Personal Statement. This typed response should be 2-4 pages long, and must:
    1. Identify the courses you plan to take during Fall 2020 and Spring 2021, including whether the courses will be taken at UWM or on a study abroad program.
    2. Explain in detail how the foreign language and area studies courses relate to your academic goals and how you envision utilizing these combined skills in future career and employment aspirations using specific examples.
    3. If studying abroad to Brazil, Department of Education pre-approval is necessary and you must:
      1. Identify the program you plan to attend, at which institution, the program sponsor, semester dates, courses you will take, and language(s) in which the courses are taught. Attach a program brochure or web description and link to the program website
      2. Collect information that indicates the language instructors have a background in language pedagogy training (CV or bio) and proof that the language courses are performance-based (course description, syllabus, grading scale)
  3. Copy of your unofficial Undergraduate Transcript (available on PAWS). Send electronically from your UWM email account or deliver in-person, with your name and fellowship on the envelope (see below). Please wait until fall semester grades have been posted so you have an up-to-date academic record.
  4. Two (2) Letters of Recommendation from faculty with whom you have recently completed a class. One of the letters must be from a Portuguese language instructor. These should be on department letterhead and addressed to the FLAS Faculty Review Committee, Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies. These may be sent electronically from their university email account or delivered in-person with the envelope sealed and signed by the recommender with your name and fellowship on the envelope (see below). Please ask that each recommender address the following:
    1. The context in which they know you;
    2. Your academic performance in the classroom as compared to that of your peers;
    3. To the extent that they are aware, your interest in and enthusiasm for Portuguese language as well as in Latin American and Caribbean area studies.

The selection committee reserves the right to request additional pertinent information. Applicants will be notified of their application status approximately two weeks after the application deadline.

Selection Process

Applications will be reviewed by a committee composed of UWM faculty from a variety of departments, schools and colleges, including the languages, in accordance with the following ranking criteria:

  1. Strength of student’s academic record, overall and in Portuguese language classes;
  2. Student statement relating applicant’s academic/course profile with future career/employment goals; interest in utilizing Latin American/Brazilian Studies at a professional level
  3. Strength of recommendation letters.

Preference will be given to students who demonstrate financial need consistent with the U.S. Department of Education’s priority for the FLAS Fellowship program.

Electronic submission or hand delivery of faculty recommendations and transcripts go to:
Aimee Orndorf, aorndorf@uwm.edu, UWM Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Northwest Quadrant B-2488

Funding for the Foreign Language and Areas Studies (FLAS) Fellowship program is made possible through the Office of International and Foreign Language Education, U.S. Department of Education (CFDA 84.01B; Title VI, Higher Education Act).