The Language Flagship is a national effort to change the way Americans learn languages. We offer language programs at schools across the United States for undergraduate students in critical languages such as multiple African languages, Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, Urdu, Korean, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Swahili, and Turkish.

Designed as a network of programs, the Flagship community is made up of 31 Flagship programs at 24 institutions of higher education, and 7 Overseas Flagship Centers. Programs are led by nationally recognized leaders and innovators in language education. Flagship institutions are forming connections with K-12 programs nationwide to promote language education at all levels.

Domestic Flagship Program

Flagship programs at U.S. colleges and universities provide a 4-year curriculum for undergraduate students aiming to reach professional-proficiency in Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Persian, Portuguese, or Russian. Students engage in immersive study, cultural experiences, and a rigorous, outcomes-based approach while pursuing the major and career of their choice. Following the competition of the domestic program, qualified students embark on a Capstone year overseas, where they have the opportunity to study and intern in their chosen field while fully immersed in the target language of study.

Regional Flagship Language Initiatives

Regional Flagship Language Initiatives offer intensive programs of study in Akan/ Twi, Wolof, Zulu, Swahili, French, Hindi, Urdu, Indonesian, and Turkish for Boren Scholars and Fellows. These programs include an intensive summer domestic component followed by an immersive fall semester overseas, providing in-depth knowledge of the language and culture of the host country. All FLI programs offer the option for students to extend into the spring to continue intensive language study as well as optional research or internship opportunities. With the exception of French, there is no minimum proficiency requirement for these programs. Boren award recipients represent diverse academic, professional, and personal backgrounds and are committed to public service, working in positions critical to US national security throughout the federal government.

The Language Flagship is sponsored by the National Security Education Program (NSEP) which was created by Congress in 1991 to address the need to increase the ability of Americans to communicate and compete globally by knowing languages and cultures of other countries. NSEP recognizes that the scope of national security has expanded to include not only the traditional concerns of protecting and promoting American well-being, but also the new challenges of a global society, including sustainable development, environmental degradation, global disease and hunger, population growth and migration, and economic competitiveness.


This program is funded by the National Security Education Program

Logo: National Security Education Program