The Boren Fellowships are designed to give graduate students maximum flexibility to pursue their academic goals alongside their study of the target language. Boren Fellows may concentrate only on language study during their time abroad — such an application will be given equal consideration. Language study throughout the duration of the grant may be supplemented with any or all of the following activities:

  • Academic Internship: Boren Fellows may conduct internships related to their degree programs while abroad. Internships conducted during the period of a Boren Awards grant may not be remunerated, nor may they be conducted with the U.S. or a foreign government. If you have questions about an internship with an organization with ties to the U.S. or a foreign government, please contact us at boren@iie.org or 1-800-618-NSEP (6737). Boren Fellows also may not work as journalists while abroad, even if the work is freelance or unpaid.
  • Classroom Study: Boren Fellows may enroll in or audit courses in their academic disciplines at host-country institutions while abroad.
  • Research: Boren Fellows are encouraged to conduct research related to graduate theses or dissertations while abroad.

Award Amounts

The Boren Awards promote long-term linguistic and cultural immersion. Proposed programs of two or more semesters are strongly encouraged. Preference will be given to Boren Awards applicants proposing overseas programs of at least 25 weeks’ duration. The minimum duration of an eligible program is 12 weeks for most Boren Awards applicants.

Boren Fellowships Maximum Award Amounts:

  • 12-24 weeks: $12,000
  • 25-36 weeks: $20,000
  • 37-52 weeks: $24,000

Boren Fellows have the option to apply for up to $12,000 for domestic summer intensive language courses. If requested, the maximum total combined domestic and overseas award amount is $30,000.

Program Preferences

All Boren Awards-funded programs must include language study as a core element for the duration of the grant. Applicants are encouraged to select or design programs that will provide an immersive environment both in the classroom and through extracurricular activities in order to demonstrate their commitment to language study.

Boren Fellows must have a serious language component in their overseas study proposals. This is the only required element, so proposals to enroll in a traditional language program will be sufficient. Graduate students are encouraged to simultaneously pursue research relevant to their degrees, additional academic coursework, and/or internships. If these activities are conducted in the target language, they may be considered part of the language component of the proposal. Graduate students may also supplement their overseas study with private tutoring.

Application Deadline

The Boren Fellowship national application deadline is February 5, 2020 at 5 p.m ET. Please see your campus representative for your earlier on-campus deadline. For more information on the application process, please visit, how to apply.


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About Kathleen Aycock

Kathleen Aycock is the Director of Communications at the Graduate Division.