Undergraduate Language Grants

ULGs provide up to $5,000 (up to 75% of total expenses) towards the cost of intensive summer language study either in the US or abroad. The program’s goal is to fund students for whom this language training is central to the achievement of specific academic or professional goals.


Friday January 29, 2016 for Summer 2016 study.


Undergraduates who will be returning to Northwestern in the fall following the summer language study. Students cannot receive ULG funds to participate in language programs following graduation from Northwestern.

Undergraduate Language Grants


What It Is: 

You identify a summer language-learning program, and this grant helps defray the costs of attending (up to $5,000 and up to 75% of total expenses).


Language programs must be at least six weeks in duration, and language instruction must be the predominant (if not the sole) aim of the program. You can apply for any level of language study.


ULGs fund students who plan to use the summer intensive language training in the pursuit of specific academic and/or professional goals. You must make a case in your proposal for why it is critical for you to undertake this specific program of language study at this point in your Northwestern career. Applications from heritage speakers are very welcome, but like all applicants you must demonstrate how a summer of intensive language study will help you achieve specific academic or professional goals.


The language-learning program you choose must provide:

  • The equivalent of a year's worth of college-level language instruction.
  • An “immersion” or “intensive” format to study and engage with the language approximately 3-5 hours/day, 4-5 days/week.
  • A clearly defined curriculum or instruction plan for a significant proportion of those hours.
  • Instructors with training or credentials in teaching (e.g. “conversation partner” activities or experience with untrained native speakers cannot constitute the bulk of the program).
  • A focus on the multiple modalities for language use (not just speaking/listening or writing/reading, but speaking, listening, reading AND writing).


You can apply for the ULG before applying to your summer language program.  Grant recipients will later need to provide proof of registration in the language program in order to receive the funds.


At the end of the summer, you’ll need to provide a transcript showing successful completion of the language program.


A minimum of six weeks in the summer. You’ll apply for the grant at the end of January and receive notification from the committee within 4-6 weeks.


Abroad or in the United States. Read international projects for important travel restriction information.

Faculty Role: 

Talk to faculty members and advisors about:

  • Great summer programs you might want to do
  • How you might benefit from summer language study
  • What options you have for using your language skills both while at Northwestern and in the future.


Applications require endorsements from two faculty recommenders (aka sponsors):

  1. one from a language instructor with whom you have taken language coursework,
  2. a second from a faculty member who can address the ways which a ULG will contribute your  academic and/or career goals .


Outside faculty may be used as recommenders. Graduate students and post-docs are not eligible, unless they are the student's primary language instructor. If a recommender falls into one of these categories, contact the ULG Coordinator prior to the deadline for details, as additional steps are required to get access to the online system. 


Talk to your faculty sponsors about your language study plans prior to submitting your application.  Ask your recommenders to review Info for Faculty and provide them with a draft of your application materials (proposal and resume) well in advance, to give them time to write their endorsements.


Faculty endorsements are due within four days after the student deadline. Unendorsed proposals will not be considered. Make sure faculty see the Info for Faculty page to show them how to access our system and the endorsement questions asked.


Selection Process: 

Applications are evaluated by a faculty review committee. Grant recipients are selected on the basis of merit with consideration for:

  • Academic record and potential to successfully complete and benefit from the summer language study
  • Appropriateness of the chosen language program for the student's goals
  • Plan to continue studying the language
  • Plan to use the language in pursuit of specific academic goals or in future career


You’ll receive notification from the committee within 4-6 weeks after the submission deadline. The review committee will approve a ranked waiting list. Grant recipients will have a month to accept or decline the award (often depending on their acceptance to the program involved), and students on the waiting list will be notified as soon as either a slot becomes available or the final recipients have accepted the award.


Before grant funds will be released, grant recipients must provide a) proof of registration in the language program, and b) if studying abroad, proof they have completed Northwestern's Travel Registry requirements.