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malubra

Boren 2018-2019

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Hello, I was wondering if anyone is applying for the Boren Scholarship/Fellowship this time around!

I am a Junior applying for Korean in (duh) Korea, I am majoring in Political Science with minor in National Security. I have studied in Korea two times already (at Kyunghee University in the summer of 2014 and at Yonsei for the 2016-2017 school year) but my Korean is seriously lacking. 

I am really scared because I have a GPA on the lowish side, but a do have more experience than the average person and I am really passionate about IR in East Asia. 

 

What is everyone applying for?? 

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@malubra I would say don't worry too much about your GPA as it's only one number in your application, and you can use lots of other numbers to balance it out. For example: 200 hours in community service, 180 hours in research on nuclear proliferation, 50 hours in research on North and South Korean conflict resolution, etc. These can sometimes be more meaningful than a GPA, though if you have low grades in critical courses that relate to what you're proposing in your Boren essays, then it might be a bigger issue. However, getting a C in Philosophy or B- in General Biology wouldn't be such a big issue.

For the 2017-18 Boren Scholarship, IIE received 791 applications and 194 were awarded (24.5 percent), and so the odds aren't so bad compared to other scholarships. In addition, with the current administration and atmosphere in the government, there may be fewer people pursuing a career in government and so maybe this is the best time to submit an application. If you're interested, you can also read the 2016 NSEP Annual Report for inspiration and deeper understanding of the program when you're writing your essays--it certainly helped me.

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I don't see much action on this thread, but I did apply for the new IFLI Boren Fellowship program for Bahasa Indonesian.  I'm a PhD student in Anthropology.  Interested to see if anyone else on this thread is also applying for IFLI or studying Indonesia.

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In one of the webinars it was said that GPA is not so much of a concern as it is for other programs. They want applicants to be good students and hard workers, but that can be shown in many ways other than GPA.

I am a sophomore majoring in music and English with the intention of going to graduate school and working in the federal government. I am applying for a year in Japan. :) 

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I applied for the scholarship. I want to study a year of Mandarin in China! 

Also, I was curious about the correlation between budget emails and acceptance rate for last year? I know there used to be a correlation between acceptance and budget update emails. However, I know that was not true for 2016-2017. What was the case for 2017-2018?

Edited by nharms

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Cool, it sounds like we're applying for a bunch of different languages.  I can't speak to the budget update emails, but during a Fellowship webinar they did mention that less people applied this year than usual.  Unfortunately, I think it's just a waiting game at this point.

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15 minutes ago, Arianna827 said:

Cool, it sounds like we're applying for a bunch of different languages.  I can't speak to the budget update emails, but during a Fellowship webinar they did mention that less people applied this year than usual.  Unfortunately, I think it's just a waiting game at this point.

I wonder if the same is true for the scholarship and fellowship. Honestly, some people may be put off of working for the government given the current administration, government shutdowns and such that we have had in the past year. That could explain the decrease in applicants.

And yes, let the waiting begin! 

Edit: I just saw @kbui said the said the same thing.

Edited by nharms

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Yup, that was the biggest explanation I could think of.  I also wonder if maybe less people are going to grad school now than they were a few years ago.  I really have no idea.  I think it's great that you're applying in undergrad, it gives you a lot of options.

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HI! I applied for the Boren Scholarship for studying Mandarin in mainland China. I am a senior in the Chinese Flagship program double majoring in Marketing and Chinese. Any other Flagship students?

 

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Hello!!! I applied for the Undergraduate Boren 2018-2019 scholarship this year!! I'm getting my Associate's in Tourism/Hospitality, but I am going on to a 4 year Uni to double major in Arabic and French with a minor in Mandarin. I applied to study abroad in China for the 2018-2019 academic year!!!

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Hello everyone! Seems like we are all playing the waiting game. I am a grad student and applied to study Urdu under the SAFLI Fellowship. Looking at last years' Boren thread, most of the folks received a budget confirmation email by this time. Any updates for you guys applying for this cycle?

Edited by InGrad

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On 3/6/2018 at 12:10 PM, InGrad said:

Hello everyone! Seems like we are all playing the waiting game. I am a grad student and applied to study Urdu under the SAFLI Fellowship. Looking at last years' Boren thread, most of the folks received a budget confirmation email by this time. Any updates for you guys applying for this cycle?

It looks like budget emails were sent this afternoon. Good luck next month! 

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3 hours ago, lposmanick said:

It looks like budget emails were sent this afternoon. Good luck next month! 

Interesting, I didn't get a budget email.  Maybe I didn't make it through the first cut.  I applied to IFLI.  Do 'FLI' students get those budget emails?  Posts from last year suggest that we don't.

Edited by Arianna827

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13 minutes ago, Arianna827 said:

Interesting, I didn't get a budget email.  Maybe I didn't make it through the first cut.  I applied to IFLI.  Do 'FLI' students get those budget emails?

No, the "FLI" students were not e-mailed. From the e-mail "We are emailing all 2018 Boren Fellowship applicants (with the exception of AFLI French/Swahili/Portuguese, IFLI, and SAFLI applicants) to offer an opportunity to update your fellowship budget, if necessary. "

 

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4 minutes ago, LutherF said:

No, the "FLI" students were not e-mailed. From the e-mail "We are emailing all 2018 Boren Fellowship applicants (with the exception of AFLI French/Swahili/Portuguese, IFLI, and SAFLI applicants) to offer an opportunity to update your fellowship budget, if necessary. "

 

Oh good. :) 

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In past years' forums, some have said that this budget update e-mail comes to applicants who Boren Awards are considering, but from the e-mail it certainly looks like all fellowship applicants got this e-mail. So, no new info yet...

Just wish we could find out sooner! I'll have only a month-ish to get a job if I don't get Boren. Ack!

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7 minutes ago, LutherF said:

In past years' forums, some have said that this budget update e-mail comes to applicants who Boren Awards are considering, but from the e-mail it certainly looks like all fellowship applicants got this e-mail. So, no new info yet...

Just wish we could find out sooner! I'll have only a month-ish to get a job if I don't get Boren. Ack!

I actually got rejected from a big fellowship today.  If I don't get Boren it's going to be a real challenge for me to figure out what I'm going to do from here.  I really feel you because a lot of us are in the same boat.

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Hi everyone, I'm an ex-Boren Scholar and I'd like to share a few things that I wish I had known through the Boren process and after receiving my Boren.

1. On the Boren Scholarship, you have 31 days of travel maximum and you can only spend them two weeks at a time which means if you are staying for a year and you want to go home for Christmas, you can only be home for 14 days maximum. I stayed in my host country during my Boren, but many of my other cohort members who were Boren decided to return home and were left with 0 travel days when they returned for the second semester. You also cannot travel when you have class days unless you have a letter from a program director, you will also need to fill out travel requests which tell the Boren staff exactly where you will be staying at least two weeks before your trip. I do however know Borens that do not tell IIE about their travel, but I would never do this and so shouldn't you. You can travel without wasting your days before your program starts with your own money or after you program ends with your own money without telling IIE but during the program, you can't.

2. If anyone here is applying for a country with a travel warning, prepare yourself mentally if you get the Boren because you will not be going to that country at all. Not even to visit, this is specifically relevant if you are applying to study in Russia or Ukraine. We cannot even travel to those countries for tourism during our Boren. I met many Russian applicants in the orientation who really wanted to go to Russia or Ukraine but they were being sent to Kazakhstan or Kyrgyzstan, I felt so sorry for these kids, so please prepare yourself mentally to not cross the border, this can be especially depressing to those who are studying in border cities.

3. There are multiple complaints (including angry complaints) in the private Boren group about the service requirement. The impression overall is that Boren does not really help you vitally in getting employment with the federal government but it is a good milestone for other competitive scholarships such as Pickering or Rangel or Paynes. I am not in this stage yet but this is what I have seen written.

4. My biggest shock during my Boren was meeting Borens (this is not all Borens; it was just an experience I had) who had absolutely 0 passion for their areas of respective study who just thought it would be a practical language to learn. As can easily be seen, the majority of Borens are PoliSci or IA or Global Studies majors, there was also a slight lack of diversity. Boren wants to see you have a clear path for your language and how you will use it in your government job, you should connect the dots in your essay. This is not like CLS where creativity and passion are heavily valued, Boren merely requires a clear track of you studying the language because of its specific mission. This is why some Borens do not get awarded a CLS.

5. The IIE staff can be a little difficult to deal with at times but they are nice.

6. Do not be disappoint if you do not get the Boren or are named alternate, it does not make you any more or less of a person. I personally met an alternate who did not have a clear career track in their resume and a Boren who did for the same language. Ironically, the alternate had much more passion for the area and showed more curiosity for the people living in the area and understanding them than the Boren awardee who just thought it was a good language to have. Having a Boren does not define you as a scholar, and you should not let it define you.

7. Despite its flaws, Boren is a great program that allowed me to study abroad when I just did not have the financial means to do so. It is a great opportunity which distinguished me when I met my congresswoman. Inflate your costs in the budget email! Remember to keep in mind the possible change in currency now that the dollar is so weak! Do not sell yourself short, I also know Borens who did not inflate their costs and tried to be frugal only for them to deeply regret it.

Feel free to ask me any questions, in the year I applied, all Fellows got a budget email and a week later all scholars got a budget email.

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11 hours ago, Arianna827 said:

I actually got rejected from a big fellowship today.  If I don't get Boren it's going to be a real challenge for me to figure out what I'm going to do from here.  I really feel you because a lot of us are in the same boat.

Yeah I am right there with you guys! There's a lot riding on this-NO PRESSURE lol

Did the budget update email specifically say that FLI fellows were not emailed, or is that something you inferred? 

7 hours ago, Rivai said:

Hi everyone, I'm an ex-Boren Scholar and I'd like to share a few things that I wish I had known through the Boren process and after receiving my Boren.

1. On the Boren Scholarship, you have 31 days of travel maximum and you can only spend them two weeks at a time which means if you are staying for a year and you want to go home for Christmas, you can only be home for 14 days maximum. I stayed in my host country during my Boren, but many of my other cohort members who were Boren decided to return home and were left with 0 travel days when they returned for the second semester. You also cannot travel when you have class days unless you have a letter from a program director, you will also need to fill out travel requests which tell the Boren staff exactly where you will be staying at least two weeks before your trip. I do however know Borens that do not tell IIE about their travel, but I would never do this and so shouldn't you. You can travel without wasting your days before your program starts with your own money or after you program ends with your own money without telling IIE but during the program, you can't.

2. If anyone here is applying for a country with a travel warning, prepare yourself mentally if you get the Boren because you will not be going to that country at all. Not even to visit, this is specifically relevant if you are applying to study in Russia or Ukraine. We cannot even travel to those countries for tourism during our Boren. I met many Russian applicants in the orientation who really wanted to go to Russia or Ukraine but they were being sent to Kazakhstan or Kyrgyzstan, I felt so sorry for these kids, so please prepare yourself mentally to not cross the border, this can be especially depressing to those who are studying in border cities.

3. There are multiple complaints (including angry complaints) in the private Boren group about the service requirement. The impression overall is that Boren does not really help you vitally in getting employment with the federal government but it is a good milestone for other competitive scholarships such as Pickering or Rangel or Paynes. I am not in this stage yet but this is what I have seen written.

4. My biggest shock during my Boren was meeting Borens (this is not all Borens; it was just an experience I had) who had absolutely 0 passion for their areas of respective study who just thought it would be a practical language to learn. As can easily be seen, the majority of Borens are PoliSci or IA or Global Studies majors, there was also a slight lack of diversity. Boren wants to see you have a clear path for your language and how you will use it in your government job, you should connect the dots in your essay. This is not like CLS where creativity and passion are heavily valued, Boren merely requires a clear track of you studying the language because of its specific mission. This is why some Borens do not get awarded a CLS.

5. The IIE staff can be a little difficult to deal with at times but they are nice.

6. Do not be disappoint if you do not get the Boren or are named alternate, it does not make you any more or less of a person. I personally met an alternate who did not have a clear career track in their resume and a Boren who did for the same language. Ironically, the alternate had much more passion for the area and showed more curiosity for the people living in the area and understanding them than the Boren awardee who just thought it was a good language to have. Having a Boren does not define you as a scholar, and you should not let it define you.

7. Despite its flaws, Boren is a great program that allowed me to study abroad when I just did not have the financial means to do so. It is a great opportunity which distinguished me when I met my congresswoman. Inflate your costs in the budget email! Remember to keep in mind the possible change in currency now that the dollar is so weak! Do not sell yourself short, I also know Borens who did not inflate their costs and tried to be frugal only for them to deeply regret it.

Feel free to ask me any questions, in the year I applied, all Fellows got a budget email and a week later all scholars got a budget email.

Thank you, this is honestly really helpful! 

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14 hours ago, Arianna827 said:

Interesting, I didn't get a budget email.  Maybe I didn't make it through the first cut.  I applied to IFLI.  Do 'FLI' students get those budget emails?  Posts from last year suggest that we don't.

Arianna, did you take the option to extend the program and add a spring component? Or did you just stick with the Summer-Fall that the program is organized for?

I think we're the only flagship fellow applicants so it might bring some relief to be on the same page lol

Edited by InGrad

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6 minutes ago, InGrad said:

Arianna, did you add a spring component to your program? Or did you just stick with the Summer-Fall that the program is organized for?

Yes, I did add a spring component.

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2 hours ago, Arianna827 said:

Yes, I did add a spring component.

I also should mention that I studied Hindi for two years and I know people who did SAFLI.  You are in good company here lol.

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