Federal Service Language Academy (FSLA)
Applications - Staff and Student
FSLA Program Dates
Session 1: June 5-24, 2016
Session 2: July 10-29, 2016
There are several different scholarship opportunities for the FSLA Dahlonega program.
We've taken the Federal Service Language Academy to the next level -- FSLA Abroad! For information on the FSLA Germany and FSLA France programs, please visit the FSLA Abroad page.
View the FSLA video transcript.
- About FSLA
- Typical Day
- Student Testimonials
- Additional Language Opportunities
- Past FSLA Programs
The FSLA has received national recognition for its high-quality high school language program. Our languages are taught in low-stress settings by highly-trained instructors using communicative language teaching methods. FSLA students come from all across the USA, from many foreign countries and from public, private and home schools. Our outstanding applicants come from every background, ethnicity, and religion, but all have similar interests in language learning and international understanding. If you are interested in international affairs or in a federal service career in organizations such as the FBI, CIA, Department of State, or US Military after graduation from college, then you should consider applying to the FSLA.
At the end of one of our three-week sessions, you will have a solid understanding of the fundamentals of your language of study, a grasp of general cultural norms, and a jump-start in preparing for college-level foreign language or international affairs education leading toward a potential career in federal service. You may (with the agreement of your school) also be awarded one or two high school unit(s) of academic credit for successful completion of first and/or second-year Arabic, Chinese, Russian, Korean, German, Japanese, Cherokee, or Portuguese language.
You will live in a residence hall in the same vicinity as your fellow students who are learning the same language. This facilitates group study and practice in the language when class is not in session. You will be asked to communicate in your language as much as possible. The classes will be taught by highly qualified foreign language teachers possessing native or near-native proficiency. The university will provide a college student tutor and counselor to assist with after-hours study, activities, and supervision. You will be supervised 24/7 during the FSLA experience. There is little to no free time. You will spend three weeks on-campus with your language group. There is a physical fitness component designed to promote a healthy and active lifestyle. For career exploration purposes, guest speakers from federal agencies like the US Department of State, FBI, CIA, Army or Homeland Security will present information on careers in their specialties. In addition, an exciting cultural-related field trip and a common adventure trip will complete the curriculum.
Am I eligible to participate?
To participate, you:
- must be a rising sophomore, junior or senior in high school when you start FSLA: graduating seniors may also apply to the Portuguese module. The academy is open to Georgia residents as well as out-of-state students.
- must have at least a 3.0 cumulative grade point average on a 4.0 scale in your college-preparatory courses (does not include electives such as band, chorus, technical courses, etc.).
- must be interested in exploring federal service careers or international affairs.
- must be in good physical, emotional and athletic condition. Physical and athletic condition means that you are able to participate in PT (all students participate in PT; no exceptions - it is not optional) as well as walk around campus and around town. We cannot provide accommodations for students with physical injuries or ailments. Good emotional health means no diagnosis of depression or suicide ideation, nor prone to physical violence or severe home sickness.
- must plan to pursue a degree in higher education after high school.
- You will be given special consideration if you have previously taken one year of any foreign language, with a grade of B or higher, during your high school career.
- If you have already taken your target language in high school (Arabic, Chinese, German, Korean, Portuguese, Japanese, Cherokee, or Russian), then you should either apply for another language that you have not previously taken, or take the Level II course offered in your target language.
- We're looking for students who have integrity. Therefore, if you provide inaccurate information on your application, you will not be admitted to the academy. If you are already enrolled, and we discover an inaccuracy, you may be removed from the academy.
- We will conduct the proposed sessions if there is enough demand. Therefore, we may cancel sessions if we don't have enough students interested.
- You are welcome to attend both the June and the July sessions. You may take the Level I course in the 1st session, followed by the Level II course in the second session. Total cost for both sessions will be $4,390.
Session 1: June 5-24, 2016
Arabic 1, Chinese 1, Russian 1, German 1, Korean 1, Portuguese 1
Session 2: July 10-29, 2016
Arabic 2, Chinese 2, Russian 2, German 2, Korean 2, Portuguese 2, Cherokee 1, Japanese 1
*Please note that these classes are available based on demand. If there is not enough students that are interested for/pay for a course, the course will be canceled.
The FSLA was developed in part through collaboration with the Center for the Advancement of International Education (CASIE) and the Georgia Department of Education (GA DOE) under the supervision of Jon Valentine, Program Specialist for Languages at the GA DOE. Each course features 145 hours of instruction (contact hours). The FSLA features a 90-10 model of language instruction whereas the instructors use the target language at least 90 percent of the instructional time. Based on the use of the Georgia Performance Standards (GPS) curriculum, highly qualified, native speaker instructors trained in the use of GPS and LinguaFolio assessment, and the collaboration with the GA DOE, it is acknowledged that these courses meet all the requirements for first-year and second-year modern language in Georgia. For that reason, the GA DOE recommends that first-year or second-year modern language high school credit be awarded for these courses.
One session will cost $2,195. Students who choose to participate in both sessions will pay $4,390.
The application is available through the FSLA homepage.
The academy is limited to 16 students per language per three-week session. Therefore, admission to the FSLA will be competitive. After the application window closes, we will select and notify the participants as soon as possible. If you're accepted into the program, you will receive an electronic notification and additional information that explains the details of registering and paying for the program.
Please note: there is no requirement for additional information other than what is specified in the application. Additional documentation will not be accepted.
We have had as many as 220 applicants for 144 slots. Admissions decisions are based primarily on the 250 word essay, with secondary emphasis on grade point average and physical fitness. There is no format to the essay; however, we will consider those who most closely fit the intent of the FSLA, as set forth in the criteria for participants. In your essay, you should clearly address these topics: interest in a federal service career, interest in foreign languages, and interest in fitness.
After you have been accepted to the program, you may pay by credit card, personal check or cash. Detailed instructions will be provided with your registration packet.
If you are flying into Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, there are a few things to keep in mind.
NOTE TO STUDENTS WHO WILL TRAVEL BY AIR:
For an additional fee per student requiring these services, UNG will contract with a shuttle service to provide transportation from the Atlanta airport to the UNG-Dahlonega campus. On FSLA check-in day, there is one shuttle-run picking up students at the airport at 3:00 pm EST. Students must schedule their flight arrival time to allow adequate time to disembark, retrieve luggage, and meet the shuttle by 3:00 pm. On the last day of the program, there is one shuttle-run taking students to the airport. Outbound flights should be scheduled to take off after 4:30 pm EST.
NOTE TO STUDENTS WHO WILL FLY AS UNACCOMPANIED MINORS:
Each airline has different age requirements/additional fees for students flying as Unaccompanied Minors. BEFORE APPLYING TO THE FSLA PROGRAM, each student should check with their airline to be sure:
- If the student will be required to fly under the Unaccompanied Minor program, and
- What additional fee will be charged (it can be quite expensive).
Please note that if students are flying internationally, parents should check with the airline both at the departure and arrival locations as international airports tend to be less strict than United States airports. The rules at the departure location may be different than those in the United States.
Because of the restrictive nature of Unaccompanied Minor policies, UNG does not provide chaperone service for students flying as unaccompanied minors. It will be the parent's responsibility to provide someone to meet the student upon arrival and escort them to the shuttle pickup location. Parents will also need to provide someone to meet the student for the return flight home, accompanying them to check-in, and wait with the student at the departure gate until the outbound flight takes off (if required by the airline).
Please double check this information shortly before your arrival to campus and your departure from campus as it is subject to change. If you are unfamiliar with campus, please refer to a UNG campus map.
Check-in for each session is on the Sunday start date. Check-in is held between 3:00 and 5:00 at the residence hall at which the students will be staying for that session. Please check your welcome letter that you receive with the acceptance packet for more specific details, including the appropriate residence hall on campus. FSLA staff will be posted around campus to help you locate the appropriate building, and there will be signs directing your way as well. If you know that you are going to be after 5:00 arriving on the day of check-in due to unforeseen circumstances, please call to notify us.
Check-out for each session is on the Friday end date. Parents are welcome to attend the Certificate Ceremony on the last day. This ceremony will begin promptly at 11:00 am, so please arrive at least 10 minutes early to be seated. The location of the ceremony will be announced at least one week prior to the ceremony via email. The ceremony will last for approximately 1 hour.
At the conclusion of the ceremony, shuttle riders are released to go back to the residence hall to catch the shuttle bus.
After the release of shuttle riders, remaining students will be released to check out.
All students must be checked-out and off campus by 1:00 pm.
Student Release at Check-Out
Students are released only to the person or persons the custodial parent has designated. Release information must be written on the transportation form or on the parent release form prior to the start of the session. If circumstances during the camp require changes, notification must be sent to the FSLA Coordinator via email.
Students taking air transportation are released at the check-in counter of the airline listed on the transportation request form.
6:00 AM Wake up
6:30 AM Physical education
7:30 AM Showers, personal hygiene
8:30 AM Breakfast
9:00 AM Classes Begin
12:00 PM Lunch
1:00 PM Classes Begin
5:00 PM Class Ends
5:00 PM Dinner
6:00 PM Cultural and language-related activities
8:00 PM Personal time and study
10:30 PM Bed, lights out
Many jobs in the federal government require their employees to be in good physical condition. Some jobs require you to live and work in remote, austere and/or hostile environments. For these reasons, the academy includes a mandatory physical fitness component. Five days per week, you will participate in a one-hour physical education session with your fellow students. These sessions will consist of aerobic, anaerobic, endurance, muscular strength, movement and flexibility exercises and activity. To avoid the heat of the day, sessions are scheduled for the early morning hours. Students will be divided into "ability" groups so that those who are in outstanding physical condition will be in a group of well-conditioned students. Similarly, those who are less conditioned will be in a lower ability group. These physical education sessions are not designed to embarrass anyone. Students who do not recognize the value of physical conditioning should not apply. Students who wish to improve their condition are welcome. Fitness sessions will be supervised by a highly experienced university staff member who will ensure that the activities are conducted safely.
You will be living in one of our newest Corps of Cadets residence halls. You can find more information and see a video tour of our Military Village housing.
There is a 24-hour-per-day, 7-day-per week highly professional University Police force. In addition, students will be supervised 24/7 by counselors, teachers and tutors. There will be no unsupervised time! A highly trained university staff member will oversee the physical education component to manage risk and ensure the safety of students. A highly trained and experienced staff member will be in the residence hall during all night hours. Moreover, the FSLA staffs a full time camp director who is responsible for student welfare, supervision, and discipline.
"FSLA has been an amazing experience for me. I have completed two sessions and during both I have gained an extensive vocab and comprehension of the Chinese language. I’m confident that in my two sessions of just three weeks, I have learned more than if I had taken two years at high school. I now want to continue Chinese as a major in college and hopefully take that knowledge into a job that would require it. I would recommend FSLA to anyone willing to put in the work to learn a language."
"FSLA was a life changing experience. It has made me passionate about learning a new language and given me a yearning to travel the world. The memories and friends made will last a lifetime. The cultural activities, trips and class time were extremely fun and have also taught me leadership and cooperation, in addition to the language itself. FSLA rocks!!!"
"My FSLA experience was amazing. The teachers and counselors were so nice, and they helped in as many ways. Don’t expect to come here and waste time. There is a lot of studying involved, but the knowledge I gained was worth the effort. Class was fun and not just sitting listening. We all got up to play games, and the games helped with vocabulary. Overall, my time here was a once in a lifetime experience, and I don’t regret a minute. I leave here with a basic understanding of my chosen language, which is a great first step in pursuing the language further."
"FSLA is a great opportunity to learn a new language, expand your vocabulary, and meet great people who will turn out to be your lifelong friends."
"Attending the FSLA is an experience unlike any language class you will ever have. Exploring and learning about a new culture and language alongside like-minded students has been an adventure that will definitely benefit your future and inspire you to explore paths formerly unknown. My only regret is not finding out about FSLA sooner!"
"FSLA provided me with rigorous language classes, an extremely fun and safe environment, and great new friends."
"Ich liebe Deutsch! I was already a fluent German speaker, but I joined up in German to learn the grammar and better writing skills. FSLA has done exactly what I expected! I’m excited to come back next summer!"
"The FSLA program administered by UNG provided stellar education in various ways. The language education was high quality and the learning took place in an immersive, engaging, and collaborative environment. In addition to an unquestionably effective language learning experience FSLA provided cultural teachings and excursions, physical education, and informative briefings on federal service career interests. In addition with the passionate staff conveyed a genuine concern to ensure all participants’ benefit, growth, and skill development for lifelong language learning, cultural understanding, and global engagement."
"I believe that this program is the epitome of language-learning organizations in the Southeast. Total immersion led by native-speaking faculty allows students to rapidly progress in their target language, and also converse with natives of their respective cultures. A friendly atmosphere, a beautiful campus, and an effective curriculum are a testimony to the phrase 'more bang for your buck.' Come to FSLA and make some lifelong friends and learn a language that will last a lifetime."
"FSLA was a wonderful opportunity for me to learn not only the language but also more about the culture. The combination of Russian being spoken all of the time, games, catchy songs and repetition allowed a good portion of the information to stay in my head. I leave this camp with the ability to hold a conversation in Russian about a variety of subjects, as well as read and write with an adequate level of proficiency. It was more than I was expecting and I would encourage everyone to take this course if you are into language because it opens an entirely new world of possibilities."
"This was an amazing experience where I learned language at a fast enough pace and more than I could have in a traditional high school classroom. I also learned more about culture. What’s best is I experienced the whole thing with an amazing set of people. I’m very happy with my experience."
"Participating in FSLA was the best choice I could have made in my high school career. The environment and people in the program truly made the three weeks a once-in-a-life time experience. FSLA opened my eyes to a whole new path of language and I can’t wait to continue learning more about Russian language and culture."
"As a rising sophomore in high school, I was extremely nervous coming into FSLA, as I was substantially younger than my peers and rather shy. However, all my nervous anxiety was immediately washed away as I found that FSLA had an extremely inviting atmosphere and treated everyone equally regardless of any circumstances. Not only were my peers easy to get along with, but also the FSLA staff was also extremely helpful to keep everybody involved from morning PT to evening classes. While I originally saw FSLA as only a place for language acquisition, it has meant so much more to me. Along with learning Arabic, I have lost my dreaded shyness and gained confidence."
"FSLA is an amazing program--less of an immersion, more of an intensive language boot camp. Eight hours a day studying the language is intense but worthwhile. We also learned about careers involving languages and experienced the culture though field trips."
"I’m not sure why, but I dreaded taking an Arabic I class with FSLA. I thought I was going to be bored in class because I already knew some basic Arabic. However, they allowed me to learn extra vocabulary during class, and I actually improved my pronunciation as I learned new vocabulary words. Overall, you get more knowledge in FSLA than in a regular language class. I have first-hand experience with that."
"I have never had an experience where everyone was so focused on learning and fitness at the same time. To be surrounded by a group of diverse individuals who genuinely care about performance on the field and in the classroom was refreshing. I have not only learned so much about the German language and culture, I also learned about myself and my capabilities. I couldn’t have found a better way to spend my summer!"
"My experience at the University of North Georgia with the Federal Service Language Academy was unforgettable. The program is designed in such a way that all facets work hand-in-hand to create a unique and genuinely beneficial experience. The immersive classroom environment helped me learn my target language in a way that I did not know was possible. The UNG campus has a very pleasant atmosphere. The FSLA program has been fantastic."
"After three days, it dawned on us: we had just experienced 21 intensive hours of instruction in the Arabic language. As babies in this language, we could already carry out an extensive conversation with unknown native speakers! For the following 18 days, a medley of Arabic music, jokes, and food accompanied our classroom and excursions to create a culturally-rounded experience that opened our minds to, not only the culture of our target language, but also the varying cultures surrounding us."
"I came to this camp with no knowledge of Portuguese, and after only three weeks, I’m confident I could have conversations, write, and read in Portuguese. This camp wasn’t only about learning a language; we learned about the culture! The connections I’ve made here will be life-long friendships, not only with my classmates, but my teachers, tutors and other campers as well."
"I feel like FSLA was a great springboard to hopefully launch me into more intensive, in-country immersion programs, giving me the edge I’ll need over other prospective college students when applying to military academics and prestigious universities. I can already feel my service career, the desire of which was further strengthened by the excellent speakers, becoming a reality. I greatly appreciate the opportunity."
"FSLA gives bright, motivated students the chance to pursue their goals and interests above and beyond what is offered in the home school system."
"FSLA at UNG benefited me in a multitude of ways. The friends I have made here I know will last a lifetime, and my knowledge of the Russian language became more advanced than I ever expected. This program solidified my idea of studying international relations as well as pursuing a future job in the federal government. It also inspired me to continue studying Russian, and I developed an avid desire to travel to Russian-speaking countries. I love FSLA!"
"I only regret one thing about FSLA, and that is that I didn’t do it earlier. I enjoyed the love and care for teaching that the instructors, staff, counselors, and tutors put into my experience."
"Programs like this are very important because they target a very diverse group of people with very important and specific common interests. The Federal Service aspect of the camp was especially vital to giving us a unique experience. And the people have been marvelous.""FSLA has not only given me the opportunity to learn a less commonly taught language but also the opportunity to stay on a college campus and hear from speakers who take part in very prestigious programs and careers."
Each year FSLA alumni compete for a number of national and international scholarships for further language study opportunities devoted to high school students. Despite intense competition, FSLA students have an outstanding record in obtaining the following scholarships:
National Security Language Initiative for Youth Program
The National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) program, sponsored by the US Department of State, provides merit-based scholarships for eligible high school students and recent high school graduates to learn less commonly taught languages in summer and academic-year overseas immersion programs. NSLI-Y is part of a US government initiative that prepares American citizens to be leaders in a global world.
Youth Exchange and Study Abroad Program
The US Department of State's Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study Abroad (YES Abroad) program provides competitive, merit-based scholarships for US secondary school students (ages 15-18) to study for one academic year in select countries. The US Department of State also provides scholarships for secondary school students (ages 15-17) from countries with significant Muslim populations to study for one academic year in the United States through the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) program.
Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange Program
The Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange Program (CBYX), funded by the US State Department, is for motivated high school students who want to fully immerse themselves in German culture by living with a host family and attending a local high school. No previous language experience is required.
Arabic 1 & 2, Russian 1, Chinese 1 & 2, Korean 1, Portuguese 1, German 1 & 2
Dates of 2015 Program
June 7-26 and July 12-31
Arabic 1 & 2, Russian 1 & 2, Chinese 1 & 2, Korean 1, German 1 & 2
Dates of 2014 Program
June 8-27 and July 6-25
Arabic 1 & 2, Chinese 1 & 2, Russian 1 & 2, German 1 & 2, and Portuguese 1
Dates of 2013 Program
June 9-28 and July 7-26
Arabic 1, Chinese 1, Russian 1, German 1 & 2, and French 2
Dates of 2012 Program
June 10-29 and July 8-27
NSLI-Y Scholarship Updates
Five of our students from 2012 FSLA were selected semi-finalists for the NSLI-Y Scholarship Program in Arabic, Russian, and Chinese.
See a news story on three of our 2012 participants.
Arabic 1, Chinese 1, and Russian 1
Dates of 2011 Program
June 12-July 1 and July 10-29
NSLI-Y Scholarship Updates
Four of our students from 2011 FSLA were semi-finalists for the NSLI-Y (The State Department's National Security Language Initiative for Youth) Scholarship Program in Arabic and Russian. Of the four, two students were selected for an eight-week study program in Morocco.