Scholarships and internships in World Languages and Literatures

Students stand on stage with scholarship awards

Department Awards and Scholarships

How to Apply

To be considered for any and all awards and scholarships, which can be as high as $1,500, you only need to complete the Graduate and Undergraduate Scholarship (GUS) Applicationby February 1st.

Some scholarships require you show financial need. To increase your chances and qualify for those, submit your FAFSA before February 1st. If you are not eligible to complete the FAFSA, be sure to submit the Institutional Methodology for FAFSA-Ineligible Students (IM) by February 1.

After you submit your form, check your MyNevada to-do list regularly, in case any additional documentation is required.

All amounts stated below are contingent upon fund availability.

World Languages and Literatures Endowed Scholarship

Faculty members and the staff of the department have created an endowed scholarship fund. Through gifts and payroll deductions, we are building an ongoing source of financial assistance for our best students. Anyone may donate directly online or contact the College of Liberal Arts Director of Development at (775) 784-6873.


$900, awarded on a rotation basis and divided evenly among three languages each year; odd years: Italian, Japanese, French; even years: Arabic, Chinese, Spanish


  • Majoring or minoring in a foreign language
  • Full-time students (minimum 12 units per semester)
  • Preference given to students with a record of activities that enrich their language and cultural experience
  • Minimum GPA: 3.5

Ana Ciaburri Nickles Prize, Established 1994

Ana Amelia Ciaburri was born in 1941 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She received her Bachelor's degree in English at the University of Buenos Aires, having spent a year as an international scholarship student at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. She taught English at the Argentine Atomic Energy Commission, Esso Oil Company and the Argentine - American Cultural Institute. After marrying Thomas Nickles, Ana came to live permanently in the United States. In 1975, she earned her Master's degree in Spanish from the University of Illinois, Urbana. She taught Spanish and occasionally French at middle and high schools in Princeton, New Jersey; Urbana, Illinois; and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. After moving to the Reno area in 1976, she taught at Pine and Trainer Middle Schools and Reed High School. Ana also authored Spanish language manuals for the University's Division of Continuing Education. She was a gourmet cook and enjoyed music, ballet and world travel.




  • Majoring in Spanish with an interest in Spanish and/or Latin American culture
  • Fulltime students (minimum 12 units per semester)
  • Junior or Senior standing (seniors are eligible only if they plan to attend graduate school)
  • Preference given to students who graduated from Reed High School in Reno, Nevada
  • Minimum GPA: 3.0

Fuji Woon French Scholar Prize, Established 1964




  • Majoring in French
  • Full-time students (minimum 12 units per semester)
  • Preference given to students most accomplished in French Literature
  • Minimum GPA: 2.75

Gottardi Memorial Scholarship, Established 1995

John R. Gottardi was an instructor of languages for 46 years. He was born in Truckee, California in 1899 and graduated from the University of Nevada in 1921. He taught at the Pershing County High School in Lovelock, Nevada prior to coming to the University of Nevada, Reno campus to teach. His postgraduate studies were at the University of Mexico, University of Pennsylvania and the University of California. He taught Spanish and Italian in the World Languages and Literatures Department and served as department chair for many years. Professor Gottardi was the recipient of the "Palmes Academiques" from the government of France and the Diploma de Altos Estudios from the University of Madrid. Professor Gottardi returned in 1965 and was given the rank of Professor Emeritus. He remained active in the University community for many years after he retired. The John R. Gottardi Memorial Scholarship was established by his grandniece, Florence M. Alcorn, in 1995.


$2,300, divided evenly between a French major and a Spanish major


  • Majoring in a foreign language
  • Fulltime students (minimum 12 units per semester)
  • Recipients must show financial need
  • Preference given to native residents. Second preference: residents of Sierra or Nevada counties, California
  • Minimum GPA: 3.0

Jeanette Ponton Leonard Memorial Endowed Scholarship, Established 2016

The scholarship endowment was established by Kathleen B. Leonard '87 (Spanish and Social Psychology), '90 M.A. (Spanish), University lecturer in the World Languages and Literatures Department, in memory of her mother. Jeanette Ponton Leonard placed a strong value on education and international experiences throughout her life.




  • Majoring in Spanish
  • Fulltime students (minimum 12 units per semester)
  • Recipients must show financial need
  • Preference given to students who plan to teach Spanish. Second preference: a demonstrated interest in studying abroad
  • Leonard Memorial Scholars will be asked to participate in department recruitment activities, e.g., class visits, speaking at Spanish Club meetings, volunteering at the Latino Research Center
  • Minimum GPA: 3.0

Michele Basta Memorial Scholarship in French

Michele Maupin Basta (1944-2014) was a wonderful person who loved to read, go on road trips, laugh, visit museums and travel internationally. While the world was her playground, she cherished visiting Paris. She loved anything French: French food, French culture, French people and the French language. After earning an M.A. in French and English literature from the University of Nevada, Reno, Michele developed the first French classes at Western Nevada Community College in the mid to late 1980's. Michele then came back to her alma mater and taught French language and culture from 1989-1992. In 1992, Michele was awarded the Alan Bible Teaching Excellence Award in the College of Liberal Arts. Michele then took advantage of an opportunity to study at the Sorbonne University in Paris in 1994-1995. Michele also chaired the $22 million Knowledge Center Campaign Task Force. She and her friend and colleague in the University's library, Carol Parkhurst, invested an enormous amount of time and energy working with the architects on the design of the Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center.




  • Majoring in French
  • Fulltime students (minimum 12 units per semester)
  • Preference given to students who work at University Libraries
  • Minimum GPA: 3.0

Pinecone Scholarship for Language Study Endowment

Sandra Bitler's love of language began when she started studying Spanish in the 9th grade. As a student at the University of Nevada, Reno Sandra continued her language studies, majoring in Spanish. She fulfilled her dream and spent her junior year abroad in Madrid. She loved it so much that she spent most of the next three and a half years living in Spain and teaching English. Sandra went on to earn a Master's in Hispanic Literature from New York University and years later, a second Master's in International Management from Thunderbird American Graduate School of International Management. Sandra spent the majority of her professional career in Washington, D.C., holding positions at the Library of Congress, the World Bank, the U.S. Department of State and finally the U.S. Office of Government Ethics. Sandra believes firmly that studying languages and learning about the cultures of the people who speak those languages can open individuals' eyes to the ways in which folks have much in common while at the same time having unique ways of living. In establishing this scholarship, Sandra elected to name it in honor of the pinecone, which is a symbol of growth, enlightenment and awakening in many cultures throughout the world. Sandra hopes that this scholarship will give students an opportunity to learn at least one language and use it to advance their careers and engage more deeply with the world.


$1,000, awarded on a rotation basis; odd years: Spanish; even years: French


  • Majoring in a foreign language or a graduate student in a foreign language
  • Fulltime students (undergraduate students: minimum 12 units per semester; graduate students: minimum 6 units per semester)
  • Preference given to students who meet one or more of the following criteria: students with demonstrated involvement in campus or community organizations or clubs; or first-generation students
  • Minimum GPA: 3.1

Additional resources

To learn more about supporting language students, please contact the College of Liberal Arts Director of Development at (775) 784-6873 and consult the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships.

External funds

Federal grants and scholarships

Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship

The U.S. Department of State’s Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship is a grant program that enables students of limited financial means to study or intern abroad, thereby gaining skills critical to our national security and economic competitiveness. The Gilman Scholarship Program is open to U.S. citizen undergraduate students who are receiving Federal Pell Grant funding at a two-year or four-year college or university to participate in study and intern-abroad programs worldwide.

Boren Scholarships and Fellowships

Boren Scholars and Fellows study a wide range of critical languages, including Arabic, Chinese, Portuguese and Swahili. Boren Awards are available to undergraduate and graduate students of all proficiency levels, who are committed to enhancing their skills. In exchange, scholars agree to work for the federal government for at least one year after graduation.

The Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program

A program of the U.S. Department of State, the CLS Program is a fully funded overseas summer immersion program promoting the study of critical languages. Languages currently offered include: Azerbaijani, Bangla, Brazilian Portuguese, Hindi, Indonesian, Korean, Punjabi, Swahili, Turkish, Urdu, Arabic, Persian, Chinese, Japanese and Russian. The CLS Program is administered by American Councils for International Education.

Fulbright Program

A program of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the Fulbright Student Program offers recent college graduates, post-graduate scholars and young professionals grants for individually designed study/research projects or for English Teaching Assistant Programs, in over 140 countries to recent graduates and graduate students.

Project Global Officer (Project GO) Scholarships

A Department of Defense initiative administered by the Institute of International Education, Project GO provides funding to ROTC students for critical language study both at home and overseas.

The Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship Program

Funded by the U.S. Department of State, the Fellowship provides funding for the final year of undergraduate study and first year of graduate study in a field related to the Foreign Service (including specialization in a language). Successful completion leads to employment by the Foreign Service.

Private sector grants and scholarships

Golden Key Joan Nelson Study Abroad Scholarship

The Joan Nelson Study Abroad Scholarship is a $5,000 award given to a Golden Key International Honor Society member to be used toward overseas study.

Qatar Foundation International

QFI offers college undergraduates a variety of scholarships involving Arabic language and Arab societies and cultures.

Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society Study Abroad Grant

The Society awards 75 study-abroad grants of $1,000 to students on campuses with a Phi Kappa Phi chapter who have earned a GPA of at least 3.75 on a 4-point scale. Applicants do not have to be society members but must attend an institution with an active Phi Kappa Phi chapter.

Sigma Delta Pi Honor Society Grants and Awards

The Society provides a variety of grants to Sigma Delta Pi graduate and undergraduate students to support research and study abroad in Spanish-speaking countries, as well as awards to outstanding graduate and undergraduate students.

Foreign languages teacher grants and scholarships

TEACH Grant Program

The U.S. Department of Education sponsors the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program to provide up to $4,000 to education majors who agree to teach in a high-need field, including foreign language and bilingual education. Recipients must work as full-time teachers for at least four years in a low-income school.

American Association for Employment in Education (AAEE) Janice Jones Critical Need Scholarship

The AAEE offers an $800 award to students in teacher preparation programs leading to certification in an area of critical teacher shortage, including many languages.

American Association of Teachers of French Walter Jensen Scholarship

The AATF awards one $2,000 scholarship annually to a future French teacher to help fund his or her long-term study-abroad experience.

American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese Robert G. Mead Jr. Scholarship

The AATSP awards $1,000 Robert G. Mead Jr. Scholarship annually to full-time college students who have been AATSP members for two years and have no experience living in a Luso-Hispanic country.

Delta Phi Alpha Future K-12 German Teacher Award

Each year, the National German Honorary Society awards $500 and a student membership to the American Association of Teachers of German to undergraduate or graduate members seeking certification.

Japanese Language Scholarship Foundation (JLSF) Award

JLSF provides $3,000 and round-trip airfare for current and future Japanese language teachers and graduate students wishing to complete a project of their choice in Japan.

American Classical League (ACL) Scholarships

ACL scholarships awarded to league members may be applied to Latin certification class expenses, among other costs.

Society for Classical Studies Zeph Stewart Latin Teacher Training Award

The CSC offers a scholarship for future Latin teachers preparing for certification. Society membership is not required for consideration.

Internships and training

Career opportunities in government