The National Security Education Program’s David L. Boren Graduate Fellowships offer study abroad opportunities for graduate students interested in geographic areas, languages and other fields of study underrepresented in study abroad and critical to U.S. national security broadly defined.
Students propose their own study plans for language study (required), research or an internship in Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America and the Middle East. Boren Fellows must commit to at least one year of federal government service following graduation from their program of study; see information on federal careers for further information.
Preference is given to students seeking one full year of academic study.Back to Top
- U.S. citizens at the time of application
- Currently matriculated in or applying to a U.S. graduate program
- Study or research abroad (including internships, in conjunction with language study) in any one or more eligible countries and languages
- Commit to at least one year of federal government service (Departments of State, Defense, or Homeland Security or within the Intelligence community) within two years of graduation.
- See the Boren and Public Service page for further information.
- Not have completed all degree requirements by the start of the fellowship period on June 3, 2023. Students are expected to return to complete coursework or other degree requirements following completion of the Boren fellowship.
Award Types and Length of Study
- Up to $25,000/year or $12,500/semester for overseas study
- Up to $30,000 for a combined domestic and overseas study
Length of Study
- Minimum of 12 weeks for overseas study with preference given to programs of 6-12 months in duration
- Overseas study can begin no earlier than June 3, 2023 and no later than March 1, 2024
Regional Language Flagship Initiatives
- African Flagship Languages Initiative (AFLI): Offers applicants the opportunity to study African languages and cultures by participating in domestic and overseas language programs. Language study in French or Swahili is required through formal enrollment in a designated provider; study in Akan/Twi, Wolof or Zulu is through an abroad study program proposed by the applicant. See the AFLI page for full details.
- Indonesian Flagship Languages Initiative (IFLI): Offers students the opportunity to pursue intensive study of Indonesian (Bahasa Indonesia). This immersive program begins with an intensive summer domestic language institute at the University of Wisconsin, followed by a fall overseas program in Indonesia at the State University of Malang (UM) administered by the American Councils for International Education. See the IFLI page for full details.
- South Asian Flagship Languages Initiative (SAFLI): Offers applicants the opportunity to intensively study Hindi or Urdu through a domestic summer program and overseas fall program. The overseas programs will take place at the American Institute of Indian Studies (AIIS) centers in Jaipur for Hindi and Lucknow for Urdu; the domestic program will be at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. See the SAFLI page for full details.
- Turkish Flagship Language Initiative (TURFLI): Offers students the opportunity for intensive study of the Turkish language through a combination of domestic and overseas programs. The domestic summer portion of TURFLI is hosted by the University of Wisconsin in Madison. The overseas fall portion of TURFLI is adminstered by the American Councils for International Education and hosted by the Azerbaijan University of Languages. See the TURFLI page for full details.
Application Process and Deadline
Applicants should thoroughly review the application instructions before they begin designing their individual program of study. In addition to meeting the criteria of “critical to U.S. national security,” the proposed program also should include study of a foreign language of the chosen country or region; domestic language study in conjunction with abroad study or research also possible under the “combined” award type.
The following components comprise the application:
- Essays (2)
- Program Budget
- Letters of Recommendation (3)
- Transcripts – Required from all schools or universities where a degree was pursued or obtained
- Language Self-Assessment
- Letter of overseas affiliation – Encouraged but not required at time of application
All students considering an application or looking to apply for a Boren Graduate Fellowship are strongly encouraged to contact Elizabeth George (firstname.lastname@example.org), Campus Representative for the Boren Graduate Fellowship Program, for guidance with the application. Students should also consult the applicant resources and review profiles of past Boren Fellows to ascertain appropriateness of plan of study or research topic.
Deadline: January 24, 2023 at 5 p.m. (ET)Back to Top
- Steve Bennion (Security Studies): Mandarin Chinese
- Dea Dodi (MSFS): Arabic
- Maddie Fisher (Arab Studies): Arabic
- Max Levine (Arab Studies): Arabic
- Taylor Miller (Global Human Development): Portuguese
- Diarra Molock (Asian Studies): Mandarin Chinese
- Sydnee Wilke (Eurasian, Russian, and East European Studies): Russian
Georgetown University is proud to be a top-performing institution for graduate-level Boren Fellowships for the 2021-2022 award cycle. Congratulations to the following recipients!
- Bailey Brya (Asian Studies): Taiwan
- Robert Kobza (Security Studies): Kyrgyzstan
- Will McChesney (Foreign Service): Ukraine
- Martin Pimentel (Arab Studies): Jordan
- Salwa Saba (Foreign Service): Taiwan
- Keegan Scott (Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies): Azerbaijan
- Coby Vail (Global Human Development): Tanzania
- Abbie Wilt (Security Studies): Jordan
- Greg Wood (Asian Studies): Taiwan
- Sophie Wright (Asian Studies): Taiwan
2020-2021 Awardees’ Country Destinations:
- Japan, Taiwan, Senegal, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, China, Mozambique
2019-2020 Awardees’ Country Destinations:
- Tanzania, Jordan*, Russian, Brazil, India*, Japan, Kazakhstan, Mozambique, Korea, Estonia, Japan, Brazil
2018-2019 Awardees’ Country Destinations:
- Belarus, South Korea, Jordan, Taiwan, China, India*, Japan*, Poland
2017-2018 Awardees’ Country Destinations:
- China, Latvia, India, Jordan, Ukraine, Guinea, Taiwan*, Latvia
2016-2017 Awardees’ Country Destinations:
- Jordan, China, Tajikistan, Japan*
2015-2016 Awardees’ Country Destinations:
- Jordan, India, Japan*, China*, Brazil, South Korea, Turkey
*Student declined awarBack to Top