David L. Boren Awards for International Study

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Boren Fellowship Essay Guidelines

Boren Fellow, China

The essays are the most important part of the online application. Essays one and two should be no more than 6,000 characters, not including spaces. Essay three should be no more than 3,000 characters, not including spaces. Essays should be single-spaced, except when spaces separate paragraphs.

  1. Please discuss the following points in one integrated essay, giving equal attention to each point.
    1. Explain the significance of your proposed country, region, and language to U.S. national security. The Boren Awards recognize a broad definition of national security, but you should make a specific, detailed, and focused argument.
    2. Describe how the country, language, and proposed study plan you selected will help you achieve your career goals, including your plans to fulfill the federal service requirement.
    3. Describe how the skills you will gain during your Boren program of study, including linguistic and cultural competencies will help you help you fulfill the federal service requirement. If appropriate, you may also include relevant past academic, extracurricular, volunteer, internship, and professional experiences. Be specific.
  2. Describe your proposed study plan in detail. Boren Fellowships support language and other classroom study, overseas research, overseas academic internships, or any combination of these elements. Explain all significant features of your plan, including institutional or other affiliations, if known.
  3. Describe your specific goals for language study, including the proficiency level you hope to attain and how you plan to develop your language skills to that level. Describe your past experience in studying or speaking the language (or another language if relevant), as well as your plans for continuing to study and/or speak the language following your Boren Fellowship.