Veterans seeking both federal service and key critical language study should consider the Regional Flagship Languages Initiative (RFLI). The NSEP RFIL initiative is a joint effort between the Boren Awards program and The Language Flagship to improve language proficiency outcomes in targeted languages. The RFLI instructional program draws on the best practices developed by The Language Flagship. 

RFLI award recipients are selected and funded through the Boren Awards process. Once selected participants complete eight weeks of domestic, summer language study, followed by an intensive, semester-long overseas study program. Through the RFLI model, NSEP equips students with substantial proficiency gains in their language, as well as providing meaningful cultural and regional knowledge. As with all Boren Scholars and Fellows awards, recipients commit to working one-year for the federal government after graduation.

Currently there are three RFLI program regions: 

  • African Flagship Languages Initiative (AFLI), which includes language study in Akan/Twi, French (for Senegal), Portuguese (for Mozambique), Swahili, Wolof, and Zulu;
  • South Asian Flagship Languages Initiative (SAFLI), which includes language study in Hindi and Urdu; and 
  • Indonesian Flagship Language Initiative (IFLI), which includes language study in Indonesian.
RLFI seeks out veterans who want to take on the challenge of a highly intensive and immersive language experience, as part of their preparation for future federal service. To find out about how to apply for a Boren RLFI award, please go to