GSAS Summer Language Fellowships for International Students


The GSAS Summer Language Fellowships for International Students supports international PhD students in Arts and Sciences programs in the humanities and social sciences who need to study a less common foreign language during the summer. International students who are permanent residents are not eligible to apply for these funds.  They may instead apply for the FLAS award.

Terms of the Award

The summer language course undertaken with the Summer Language Fellowship for International students must be the equivalent of an intensive summer course at Columbia, with a minimum of 50 contact hours.

Languages that are commonly taught at Columbia during the summer, including Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish, are not eligible for study under this award. Information about summer language study of these and other languages at Columbia can be found here.

Applications to study solely with private tutors will not be considered. The summer language course must be intensive in nature and meet the criteria listed above.

The Summer Language Fellowship for International Students has a maximum award of $3,000.

All Summer Language Fellowships are to be used in the year of application, and cannot be deferred.

Students must provide proof of acceptance in the relevant summer language program as soon as it is available.  Students who fail to do so by June 1 will forfeit the award.  Upon completion of the course, students will be required to submit a certificate of completion to GSAS.

How to Apply

Deadline: applications for this fellowship are not currently being accepted.

Please read the directions and information carefully for the online application. The applicant must upload all items electronically, with the exception of the letters of recommendation, which are uploaded by the recommenders or emailed to gsas-fellowships [at]

If you are applying to more than one fellowship through this application portal, you will need to upload all items for each fellowship application; recommenders will have to submit a separate letter for each fellowship application.

Applications must include the following items:

  • Completed GSAS online application form.
  • An up-to-date GSAS transcript (official PDF transcript from the Office of the Registrar). Note: The GSAS Fellowship application does not accept encrypted files for upload. Official Columbia transcript PDFs are encrypted; you may order a paper copy through SSOL or print the official transcript PDF you receive from Parchment, then scan and upload it.
  • A curriculum vitae (three pages maximum).
  • A PDF brochure or website address for the summer language program in which you plan to study.
  • Statement of purpose: The proposal (two pages maximum) should describe how the language and area study relate to your academic and professional plans. Please also indicate previous experience in the target language, both formal and informal.
  • Budget proposal detailing anticipated expenses (maximum one page). The budget proposal should include anticipated travel expenses, language program enrollment fees, and living costs. Please list a budget that does not exceed the maximum award amount of $3,000.
  • One letter of recommendation from an instructor who can vouch for your need to acquire this language for research purposes. Letters of recommendation must be submitted electronically. When the applicant enters the name and email of the recommender, the recommender will automatically receive an email containing upload information and instructions. Applicants can resend the request by clicking on the "Send Reminder" button. It is the applicant's responsibility to make sure that recommenders are given ample time to submit recommendations by the deadline, and to notify recommenders if applying for more than one fellowship.

Below are some suggestions on how to upload a transcript:

  • Scan at the lowest DPI that results in a legible document (we recommend using 200 DPI or less whenever possible).
  • Ensure that the institution name and other identifying marks are not missed during the scanning process and that your scanned copy is clearly legible and can print on letter size paper (8 ½" x 11").
  • Include the transcript legend (found on the final page, in many cases).
  • Save your document as a PDF file.
  • Make certain that its size is less than 1 MB. Scanning in “grayscale” or black and white may produce the best results.
  • If the scanned file is too large, make a photocopy first (experiment with different settings until you find one that results in the smallest file size), then scan the photocopy.
  • You may upload an institutional web-based transcript/academic record.
  • The GSAS Fellowship application does not accept encrypted files for upload. If you receive an error message noting that your file is encrypted, please print your transcript, scan it, and then upload the scanned copy. Note: Official Columbia transcript PDFs are encrypted; you may order a paper copy through SSOL or print the official transcript PDF you receive from Parchment, then scan and upload it.

Note: Columbia students traveling abroad to conduct research, enroll in foreign language or other courses, or attend conferences must register with International SOS (ISOS), an emergency services program that helps with unexpected medical or security issues, prior to departure.  GSAS will not disburse fellowship funds without proof of registration.