Program Format

The SLA Grant offers a number of flexible options that allow you to craft your summer language study to specific needs and goals. However, all proposals for SLA study should adhere to the following program format criteria:

  • Language-Focus: All programs must include a rigorous foreign language acquisition component. Programs primarily devoted to foreign language research or cultural study will not be funded. Awardees are not permitted to assume outside employment/internships during their program.   
  • Length & Contact Hours: Proposals should include at least 15-20 hours of classroom dedicated solely to foreign language instruction per week over 6-8 weeks (or 85-120 hours of total instruction). Requests for exceptions should be directed to the Co-Directors of the SLA Program, Alessia Blad and Maggie Mello.
  • One Program & One Language: Proposals are limited to one program and one language of study. Proposals that include the study of multiple languages and/or multiple programs are not permitted. Additionally, applicants are not allowed to combine their SLA Grant award with any other funding or study/research focus.
  • International Programs: Program proposals should be for study abroad, within an immersive environment that maximizes language acquisition and acculturation. 


Award Requirements

SLA Grant awards require recipients to agree to several important program components that are intended to maximize their language acquisition and acculturation outcomes. These include:

  • Journaling: Complete at least 4 assigned blog posts before, during, and after your language study abroad.
  • Images: Submit a headshot and a few photos from your journey for your blog. 
  • Note of Appreciation: Write a thank-you to the Notre Dame alumni sponsoring your SLA Grant award when you return from abroad. 
  • NDI's Travel Safety 101 Course: Complete Notre Dame International's Travel Safety 101 Course before going abroad. 
  • SLA Grant Session and Intercultural Training: Participate in a pre-departure sessions intended to prepare SLA Grant recipients specifically for the intellectual, academic, and practical challenges of language immersion abroad.

In addition, undergraduate award recipients must also complete the following: 

  • Post-Program Language Coursework: Complete at least one foreign language course immediately after your SLA Grant study period. If you are proposing to study a language not taught at Notre Dame, this requirement can be satisfied by a program of independent study developed in consultation with the Director of the SLA Program.

Award Restrictions

In addition to conforming to the Program Format described above, SLA Grant awards also include the following restrictions:

Transfer Credit: The SLA Grant Program is not designed to provide academic course credit; it is intended, first and foremost, as a means of gaining advanced language competency through supplemental summer immersion study. Although gaining transfer credit for SLA Grant summer coursework is not discouraged, such credit is not awarded by the CSLC, and must be arranged and approved prior to your summer language study.

Students are not guaranteed to receive academic credit for SLA language study. These language study programs are usually offered or managed by independent language institutes or accredited institutions of higher learning. If you wish to request that your language study experience be considered for ND degree credit, please bear the following in mind:

  • Official Transcript Required: language study programs must appear as a graded course(s) on an official transcript of an accredited degree-granting institution.  Programs that are recorded on certificates provided by independent language institutes cannot be accepted. In certain cases, independent language institutes partner with accredited institutions who provide official transcripts on their behalf. Such official transcripts are acceptable, however, please be aware that independent institutes often charge a fee (often several hundred dollars) for this official transcript service. The funds at the CSLC’s disposal are not sufficient to cover these additional transcript fees. Please plan your budget accordingly. 
  •  Pre-approval Required: students who wish to have their SLA language programs considered for ND academic transfer credit must submit course syllabi, through the InsideND eForm app, to the Director of Undergraduate Studies of the relevant language department for pre-approval.  Please be sure to see the process and rules for transfer course pre-approval outlined here:
  •  Credit by Exam: certain ND language departments will grant academic credit by exam. Often, this process requires that students take one exam prior to departure and a second exam upon return to gauge the language gains made during the study experience and to grant course credit accordingly. Please be sure to meet with the relevant language department’s Director of Undergraduate Studies well before the beginning of your program to determine whether/how credit-by-exam is managed for your target language. 

Additional Funding: Each student can submit only one SLA Grant proposal. Multiple proposals will not be considered. Students who wish to apply for summer language funding through other campus institutes, centers, or grant programs will still be required to submit a proposal to the SLA Grant Program. The CSLC will coordinate with other campus funding entities for language study abroad in order to ensure that no applicant receives awards from more than one program in excess of the $5,500 maximum—with rare exceptions—and also to guarantee that all applicants receive appropriate funding from eligible programs even if they do not apply to them.

Sponsored Travel Approval: All SLA Grant awards are tentative until travel permission has been received from Notre Dame International. Students who do not receive this permission will not be allowed to use SLA Grant funds for their proposed study abroad location. However, accommodations for an alternate location may be made at the discretion of the CSLC. Travel restrictions usually follow State Department travel warning criteria. Please consult the U.S. State Department’s Travel Warnings Section to find out if any travel warnings exist for the country to which you plan to travel.