FAQs

General Questions

Questions about the Application

Questions after Receiving an SLA Award

General

I am interested in the SLA program. How can I find out more about it?

The CSLC holds an information session every fall semester for undergraduate and graduate students interested in applying for an SLA Grant. In Fall 2020, the session will be conducted through a prerecorded video shared with students and a online subsequent Q&A session. Please contact the CSLC desk staff at cslcstaff@nd.edu for more details.

I cannot attend the information session; can I still apply?

Yes. The information session is not required; however, any student, undergraduate and graduate who is thinking about applying to an SLA Grant is strongly encouraged to attend.

I am a senior. Can I apply?

No (unless you meet the criteria in the next question).

I am a graduating senior this year, but I have been accepted to a graduate program at Notre Dame starting next year and have accepted the offer. Can I apply for an SLA Grant?

Yes. Students are eligible to receive one award as an undergraduate and one award as a graduate student. You would be eligible to apply as a graduate student, and thus should fill out the graduate application.

How can I receive credit for my summer program?

The SLA Grant Program is not designed to provide academic course credit; it is intended, first and foremost, as a means of gaining advanced foreign language proficiency 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. See more information on receiving credit here.

Will an SLA Grant cover the total cost of my program?

SLA funds can only be used to cover essential travel, housing, program tuition, and GeoBlue Insurance. The exact dollar amounts awarded vary according to proposed budgets and funding availability; however, no SLA award will exceed $5,500. For some languages/countries, this will cover all essential travel, housing, tuition, and insurance. 

When is the application due?

Applications are typically due at the end of January. The exact application date can be found here.

How do I apply?

Once you have read through the SLA website, you should begin applying by following the steps outlined here.

Application

There is no SLA Faculty Advisor for the language I want to study.

If there is no SLA faculty advisor for the language you wish to study, contact Alessia Blad, CSLC Director for assistance in choosing a program. The program should be rigorous and include between 90 and 120 hours (15-20 hours a week for 6+ weeks) of classroom time, learning to speak, listen, read, and write the target language. 

How do I complete the post-program coursework requirement if I am proposing to study a language that Notre Dame doesn’t offer?

You will be responsible for creating a post-program independent study plan that must be approved by Alessia Blad, CSLC Director, and discussed on your SLA application. This post-program study could be a directed reading with a faculty member, substantial time spent doing self-study, etc. This work can be a credited course or an informal course of study.

I am looking at a program that is less than 6 weeks long. Can I still propose that program?

If the program still includes at least 90 hours in the classroom learning to speak, listen, read, and write the target language, then the program meets the requirements. If it does not include at least 90 hours, you must either find another program or, if no other appropriate program exists, come up with a plan of additional study with a qualified ND faculty member in consultation with Alessia Blad, CSLC Director.

Should my program be connected to a university?

We prefer that programs be university-affiliated, but we will consider any program provided it meets the SLA program requirements and has been approved by your Faculty Advisor.

Do I have to go to France to learn French?

No. You may seek funding to attend a program in any country or city in which the target language is the most widely spoken language. 

How competitive is the SLA Grant Program?

In the past, the SLA Program has funded approximately one-third of applicants. However, there is no guarantee that this trend will continue and every reason to believe that the grant will grow more competitive each year.

Can I get a job while abroad?

No. In addition, you may not hold an internship or perform any research during the designated SLA Grant period. The SLA Grant is to be used solely for an intensive language program, during which your focus must be exclusively the study of the target language. You are welcome to hold a position or perform research before or after your grant period, using either your own funds or funding from another source. However, no SLA money may be used to support this activity.

Do I need to apply to the SLA Grant before or after being accepted into a program?

You should apply to the SLA Grant by its deadline in early spring; likewise, you should apply to your selected program (and possibly some backup programs) according to that program’s application schedule. If you receive an SLA Grant but are not selected by the program you list on your application, you may switch programs in consultation with the CSLC Director and your SLA faculty advisor by submitting the Change of Program Form.

I am an undergraduate student, and don't have a major, supplementary major, or minor in the College of Arts and Letters or a supplementary major or minor in the Keough School of Global Affairs but am very interested in furthering my language ability. Can an exception be made?

No.

Can I study two languages while abroad?

No. You must choose one language for intensive language study.

Do I have to ask for a recommendation from someone who is proficient in the language I seek to study?

No. But recommendations from faculty who can attest to your commitment to language acquisition and/or language acquisition ability will be well received.

Will graduate students and undergraduate students be gauged against one another?

No. All applications are evaluated using the same application rubric.

I missed the deadline. May I still apply?

No. We encourage you to get a jump-start on applying for next year, assuming that you remain eligible for a grant.

Awarded

I have received an SLA Grant but now I want to go to a different school than I initially proposed. Is this possible?

Please fill out the Change of Program Form and have it signed by the appropriate SLA Faculty Advisor.

When will the funds be disbursed? How will they be disbursed?

Funds will be disbursed by either direct deposit or check (the latter if you do not have direct deposit set up) when awardees have completed all the “Before You Go” requirements.

I am trying to register my travel with NDI but do not know my exact travel dates.

Register with approximate dates. You can then email travelregistry@nd.edu with your exact dates when you have them. 

I will be going abroad the fall after my summer study. Can I complete my post-program coursework in the spring?

Yes. Please let your Department Advisor and SLA Faculty Advisor know about your deferment.