2023-2024 Undegraduate FLAS Recipients

“I applied for the FLAS program because I had an express interest in becoming fluent in my native language, Yoruba. Growing up within the American school system, it was unheard of to gain experience in different areas of education outside of the United States. Being able to experience the African Cultural Studies program has been extremely fulfilling. My academic experience has been elevated while learning Yoruba. Along with learning Yoruba, I take a second African Cultural Studies class to accompany Yoruba. It is amazing to be able to learn about things I experience in my daily life, especially as an African. It feels extremely fulfilling to be able to learn my
own culture and history at a university level. A challenge I have faced while learning Yoruba is the difference between the “structured”, and “grammatically correct” version of the language and the more “local” version. I grew up speaking a more local, relaxed version, so having to adapt to a more official version was quite challenging. I overcame
this small barrier by reading works of literature in Yoruba and watching cultural videos
by teachers of the Yoruba language. My personal goal is to regain my confidence
to speak Yoruba with my parents again. Being a part of the FLAS program has helped me
to know that I don’t have to be perfect as long as I am learning.” ~ Favor Olubi

“Five years ago, I began learning Arabic in the heart of the old city of Marrakech. I had the opportunity to live in Morocco for a summer with a wonderful host family with the State Department’s National Security Language Initiative for Youth program. I am forever grateful for that summer because studying Arabic has completely broken open my world. These past five years have been challenging because Arabic is definitely not an easy language to attain and master. But it’s a challenge that I have found to be very rewarding and one that I am proud of working towards. Arabic has been huge entrance into my learning and understanding of different cultures and religions and ways of life. At UW-Madison, the language has been the gateway for my studies of Islam and my African Studies certificate. The FLAS award has supported me during my last academic year of studying Arabic in preparation for traveling to Jordan this summer to carry out research on Sufi love for my senior honors thesis. I’m very grateful for this fellowship and all it has given me!” ~ Amelie C Rosenhagen

“I applied for the FLAS scholarship because I was interested in learning Yoruba. I come from a Nigerian household where both of my parents speak Yoruba, so it is important for me to be able to speak my native language. My academic experience while studying Yoruba was at times challenging, but very enriching. I really enjoyed the time I spent in class learning and talking about Yoruba. The FLAS Fellowship supported my studies by supplying me with any resources I needed. FLAS also helped me develop interest in other classes in the African Cultural Studies program that I haven’t heard much about. Learning Yoruba through the FLAS Fellowship contributed greatly to my personal goals because I improved my proficiency and learned more about my language and culture throughout the academic year.” ~ Ade Onabule