Boren Fellowships Recommendations and Language Proficiency Evaluation


As a Boren Fellowships applicant, you are required to submit three letters of recommendation. All letters must be submitted through the online application.

Recommendations should:

  • Be academic and comment on your academic, linguistic, and personal preparation for the study abroad program, especially as they relate to Boren Fellowships objectives.
  • Speak to the feasibility of your plan, your U.S. national security argument and your career interests.
  • If your Boren Fellowships application includes a research component, one of your letters should be from your research advisor at your U.S. institution.
  • If you are not currently enrolled in graduate school, you are strongly encouraged to include a letter of recommendation from a professor or advisor at your future graduate program in order to demonstrate feasibility.

For strong recommendations:

  • Give the person adequate time to complete the letter. Recommenders who do not have ample time may neglect valuable details when writing the letter.
  • Explain what the Boren Fellowships are and why you have decided to apply.
  • Visit potential recommenders during office hours to discuss the award.
  • Provide a resume or short biography along with the Boren Fellowships essays.
  • Send a friendly reminder about the competition to recommenders, if necessary, in order to ensure that letters are completed on time.

The recommendation form asks recommenders the following questions:

  1. How long and in what capacity have you known the applicant? 
  2. Please comment on the applicant’s academic, linguistic, and personal preparation for the study plan, especially as they relate to Boren Fellowships objectives. Please comment on the feasibility of the applicant’s ability to carry out the plan in the allotted time. If possible, comment on the applicant’s understanding of the relationship between his or her plan and U.S. national security, broadly defined, as well as his or her career interests.
  3. Please add anything else that you think is relevant for the reviewers to know.

Language Proficiency Evaluation

This optional form that should be filled out by a language professor who can assess your level in the language you have chosen to study during your Boren funded program. If you have not yet begun to study the proposed language, your application should not include the language proficiency form. The language professor should assess your language level based the LinguaFolio® Self-Assessment guide and will comment on:

  • Interpretive Listening
  • Interpretive Reading
  • Interpersonal Person to Person Communication
  • Presentations Spoken Production
  • Presentations Written Production

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