University of Washington

Foreign Language and Area Fellowships

The Center has a Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) grant from the US Department of Education, International Programs. Annually, six to eight fellowships are awarded to UW students studying/researching Canadian topics and acquiring language skills. The Center is extremely proud to be the first Title VI program in the nation to award three FLAS fellowships in least-commonly taught languages—Inuktitut, Dane-zaa and Musqueam Salish.

2010–11 FLAS Fellows

Melanie Beckwith
Law, French (Academic Year 2010–2011)
I am pursuing research in refugee and immigration law, and will be studying primarily the business immigration policies in the U.S. and Canada. This year I plan to research the underlying policies upon which both countries have built their current refugee and immigration legal systems. I will then be researching how immigration law has affected businesses seeking to recruit foreign nationals as employees, as well as how the laws have affected the individuals seeking to work either in the U.S. or in Canada. I am studying French because it will be very helpful as I move forward in my career.
Julia Day
Ethnomusicology, French (Summer and Academic Year 2010–2011)
My research focuses on the role of popular music in francophone West African communities in Québec. More specifically, I am looking at a pop genre associated with Côte d’Ivoire called Coupé Decalé. My goal is to explore different levels of African Canadian identity—as an individual, as a minority community, and as Québécois—through Coupé Decalé. Through this research I hope to achieve a better understanding of the link between multicultural Canada and a francophone African diaspora.

Jennifer Leider
Public Affairs, French (Summer 2010)
Christopher Lizotte
Geography, French (Academic Year 2010–2011)

Bonnie McConnell
Ethnomusicology, French (Summer and Academic Year 2010–2011)
I am a PhD student in ethnomusicology researching the music of West African immigrants in Québec. This summer I pursued an intensive upper intermediate level French course at the Alliance Française in Seattle. This course enabled me to improve my French comprehension, conversation and grammar while researching and presenting material on West African musicians in Québec and the immigrant experience. I will continue to research these topics in my French and ethnomusicology coursework throughout the coming academic year. My interests include the experience of West African immigrants in Québec, the implications of immigration for Canadian society more generally, and the role of music in providing opportunities for cross-cultural interaction and exchange. My research examines the ways in which music expresses and celebrates cultural difference while simultaneously articulating, and sometimes creating, shared identities (e.g. Canadian, Québécois or pan-African).

Mark Weltzer
Spanish, French (Summer 2010)

Foreign Language and Areas Studies (FLAS) Fellow, Melanie Beckwith, Law School, Conducts Research on Canadian and U.S. Immigration Laws

Melanie Beckwith at her office with the U.S. Department of Justice in D.C.
Melanie Beckwith at her office with the U.S. Department of Justice in D.C.

By Melanie Beckwith

I am a third-year law student and recipient of a 2010-11 Canada Studies’ Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship. I am particularly interested in the fields of immigration and international human rights law. This year, I will be completing a research project in which I analyze how both the United States and Canada use immigration laws as a means of enforcing human rights. In order to gain a broader understanding of U.S. law and policy in this area, I moved to Washington, D.C. for the quarter. I am working as a legal extern at the Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section (HRSP) of the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division.

As a legal extern, I am assisting the section’s trial attorneys with various legal research and writing projects related to their cases. According HRSP’s website, the division “develops and coordinates human rights enforcement strategy focused on preventing the U.S. from becoming a safe haven for human rights violators and holding human rights violators accountable for their crimes; targets human rights violators who reside in the United States for criminal prosecution; enforces the federal criminal laws relating to alien smuggling and other immigration-related offenses; and prosecutes extraterritorial violent crimes for which jurisdiction lies under the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act (MEJA) or pursuant to the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States.”

In addition to working full-time as a legal extern, I am also taking French language classes at night. The experience I am gaining at HRSP, combined with my continued study of the French language, will be invaluable as I continue working on my comparative U.S.-Canadian research.

Melanie Beckwith is a student in the UW Law School.

Return to Top

FLAS Fellow, Chris Lizotte, Discusses His Canada-Based Research

Chris Lizotte
Chris Lizotte

By Chris Lizotte, Geography

My research compares education reform in the United States, Canada, and France. I'm particularly in interested in the interaction between national reform policies and discourses and local initiatives - as I have been finding, there is a great deal of international and intranational specificity within the general thrust of market-based reform. The Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship is aiding my investigation by allowing me to take coursework that gives me a comparative view of global economic and political phenomena that are nevertheless nuanced in the Canadian context. English-language learning, welfare policy, and nationalist discourses are just some of the broader trends that inform my more specific work into education.

In addition, FLAS is giving me flexibility to study French language, which is useful in two ways: first, I am reading French-language scholarly literature produced by both Canadian and French academics that will allow me to get a fuller picture of my area of study. Second, I am increasing my language skills in a way that will allow me to most effectively communicate with Québecois and French colleagues in the future. I plan to pursue independent studies in the winter and spring quarters during which I'll meet one-on-one with French department faculty to read both classic social science works and contemporary authors.

Chris Lizotte is a Masters student in the Department of Geography at the University of Washington. He was awarded a FLAS Fellowship for 2010-11. His work centers on citizenship and neoliberal governance with a focus on public education reform. He is particularly interested in the way in which governance at national and international scales interacts with local initiatives in carrying out reform.

The Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship are provided by funding from the Center’s Title VI grant, U.S. Department of Education, Office of International Education Programs Service.

Return to Top

2011-12 Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Graduate Fellowship

The Canadian Studies program has six summer and academic year Fellowships available for students from any schools or departments. Students must demonstrate a commitment to cross-border studies/research and to acquiring proficiency in Québec French or a Canadian First Nations, Métis or Inuit language. Fellowships are prestigious and generous paying up to $18,000 in tuition and $15,000 in stipend. UW graduate students are strongly encouraged to apply - the success rate is currently about 70%.

Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Graduate Fellowship applications are now available online!

Graduate and professional school students planning to take intensive foreign language* classes during Summer 2011 or intending to enroll in foreign language and area or international studies courses during Academic Year 2011-12 are eligible to apply. To qualify, students must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

For graduate student information and application visit:
For further information, contact:

January 18, 2011 is the deadline for submitting applications and supporting materials (recommendations and transcripts).

What do fellowships pay?
Summer awards for all fellows pay tuition up to $5,000, plus a $2,500 stipend. Travel money up to $1,000 is usually available, but is not guaranteed.

Academic year awards Graduate students receive tuition up to $18,000 and a stipend of $15,000. Graduate appointee health care is covered by the tuition allotment. In addition, out-of-state graduate students receive a waiver for the out-of-state portion of their tuition.

What is required?
Summer 2011 FLAS awards require fellows take at least six consecutive weeks of intensive language study that includes at least 120 classroom hours if advanced and a minimum of 140 hours if at the beginning or intermediate levels. Awards may be used at UW, another U.S. university or abroad. Grad student beginning-language learners may only use the award in the U.S. All awardees are responsible for finding a summer program, applying to it and making all arrangements. All study-away-from UW programs must be approved in advance by the U.S. Department of Education through the FLAS Fellowship Coordinator 30 days in advance of departure.

Academic year awards require fellows to take five credits in the language of the award and five credits of area or international studies every quarter. Fellows are expected to remain at the UW for their courses. Awards for dissertation research are granted very rarely and only for students who are finished taking courses and at a very advanced level of language ability.

Last updated: 12/7/2010

Return to Top

Canadian Studies Center
University of Washington
Box 353650
Thomson Hall, Room 503
Seattle, WA 98195-3650
T (206) 221-6374
F (206) 685-0668