Summer Language Institute - FAQs

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Application and Admissions

Who is eligible to apply to the SLI?

One of the most rewarding aspects of the SLI experience is its diverse learning community.  Participants in the SLI are undergraduates and graduates. They are seniors in high school and senior citizens. They are full-time students and they hold full-time jobs. They chant WAHOOWA! and ask Wha? Who? Wha?  Whether you are preparing for an experience abroad, undertaking graduate research, pursing an international career or exploring a new language and culture, the SLI is eager to welcome you this summer!

We welcome rising juniors and seniors in high school to apply to the SLI, but they are not permitted to live in Summer Session housing.

Is it possible to take just half of the SLI? 

The SLI is a cohesive 8-week program that does not lend itself to being parsed into separate courses. The one exception is the Latin program which is structured to allow students to take the first half only, the second half only, or the entire institute. Individual language classes are offered through the regular summer session in a somewhat less intensive format.  Please consult the list of summer language courses to see if the language and level you require is offered through the regular summer session.  If this does not provide a solution, you may contact the SLI program director of the particular language program to inquire about her/his policies.  Please be aware that when exceptions are made, priority admission is always given to students who wish to enroll in the entire 8 weeks. 

When can I expect a decision after submitting my application?

Admissions decisions are made on a rolling basis.  In most cases, you will receive your admissions decision between two and four weeks after you have submitted your completed SLI application online. You may check the status of your application at any time by logging in to your online application.

The application states that some applicants may be considered “overqualified.”  What does this mean?

The SLI is designed for beginning-level students, with the exception of Arabic Level 2, Chinese Level 2, and Latin Level 2.  If you have had considerable background in the language of study, you may be "overqualified." Please contact the program director directly to discuss your eligibility for the program.

Is admission competitive, or can I reasonably expect to be admitted?

Admission is granted on a rolling basis.  If you are in good academic standing, submit your application early, and have clearly stated motivations for studying the target language, then you stand an excellent chance of being offered admission.  The two most common reasons for being denied admission are over qualification (i.e. if the student has previously studied the language) and lack of room in the program.

What are the Virginia residency requirements for the SLI?

If you believe there might be possibility that you qualify for in-state tuition, check the appropriate box on the SLI application. You will be asked to complete the in-state tuition educational privileges form as part of your application.  The Office of Virginia Status will make the final decision as to whether you qualify.  It is the Office of Virginia Status, and not the SLI, that makes decisions regarding eligibility for in-state tuition.

Can my transcript and letter of recommendation be mailed under separate cover from my application?

It is always preferable to upload transcripts (unofficial copies are fine) and request letters of support through the online application system, as this expedites processing. If you need to send a transcript or recommendation letter under separate cover, please be sure to notify our office.

Do you need both my undergraduate and graduate transcripts?

You need only send a transcript from the last institution you attended.

Is there a form or specific guidelines for the letter of recommendation?

After entering the name, title and email address for your referee, s/he will receive an automated request to provide a letter of support on your behalf, with guidelines regarding content and directions on how to submit it to your online application.  The letter should be written by an instructor or academic advisor and should assess your ability to succeed in a rigorous intensive summer language program like the SLI. For non-students, a letter from your employer is acceptable.

Enrollment and Registration

I have been admitted to the SLI and have accepted my offer of admission. How do I register for SLI classes?

Our office completes SLI registration on behalf of all admitted SLI students beginning in May.  Students should log in to the Student Information System (SIS) no later than the week before classes begin to verify that their SLI registration has been completed correctly. Visiting students will receive e-mailed instructions on how to access their SIS record.

Housing, Dining, Insurance

Should we wait to apply for on-Grounds housing until after we have been notified of admission?

It is best not to wait since space is limited. You may reserve a room through Conference Services and then cancel if you need to. 

Does the price of tuition include the price of the housing? Will this include meals?

The price of tuition does NOT include housing or meals.  Housing rates for 2019 were around $30 per person per night for a double room in the summer session dorms. 

How can I find out more information about purchasing insurance for the summer session?

All students are required by the University to have health insurance, either under a parent's plan or purchased independently. You may enroll either in the UVA-endorsed insurance plan through Aetna Student Health or in a plan of your choice. For more information call 1-800-466-3027 or go to UVA Aetna Student Health.

The Student Health Center will be available to participants.  In case of an emergency, participants will be treated at the emergency room of the University of Virginia Health System Center, which is located near Central Grounds.

The Non-Credit Option

If I apply for the non-credit option, can I switch into the credit option before the start of the SLI?

You only have until the first day of class to make such a change.  Switching from non-credit to credit is NOT the same as changing your grading option, which can be done up until the session midpoint. Keep in mind that the SLI overlaps with summer sessions II and III.

Can you give me more information on the non-credit option and any advantages/disadvantages it might have over taking the courses for credit?

In practice, there is absolutely no difference between the credit and non-credit option. Non-credit students are expected to attend all classes and complete all assignments.  The differences lie in the cost of tuition and credits conferred.   Non-credit students pay reduced tuition, and their transcripts indicate that they completed the SLI for zero credit.  Students who want credit to transfer back to their home institution or who are trying to meet a major/minor/elective requirement should choose the credit option.

If I enroll in the SLI non-credit option, what will appear on my transcript?

Your transcript will indicate that you completed the SLI for 0 credits (2 courses in the case of Arabic Level One and Chinese; 4 courses for all other programs).  At the graduation ceremony you will receive a certificate of completion.

Scholarships, Financial Aid and Virginia Pre-paid Education Plan (VPEP)

How do I pay my tuition with a scholarship?

You should contact Student Financial Services to arrange for third party payment of your tuition at (434) 982-6000.

How do I pay my tuition through a Virginia Pre-paid Education Program (VPEP)?

You should contact VPEP directly (1-888-567-0540) and inform them you would like to pay your SLI tuition with your VPEP.  A representative from VPEP will notify Student Accounts at the University of Virginia of your plans.  Contact Student Financial Services for questions about VPEP or Virginia 529 plans at (434) 982-6000.

Are there any scholarships I can apply for to help pay for SLI tuition?

Summer Financial Aid through UVA Student Financial Services is only available for students enrolled in a degree program at the University of Virginia. See Summer Session Financial Aid. For visiting students, it may be possible to apply for a FLAS through your home institution.  You might also consider researching online for additional information on sources of funding. 

Note to Students Applying for Financial Aid

If you are a full time, degree candidate at UVA applying for financial aid, please be sure to request early enrollment by contacting the SLI Coordinator.

Project Go Funding for ROTC Students:
ROTC cadets admitted to the SLI to study Chinese, Russian or Arabic, languages classified as "critical" for U.S. national security, may be eligible to receive financial support through Project Go, a DOD-funded initiative.  For more details, go to

For International Students

How do I pay the institute fee and tuition from abroad?

The University of Virginia partners with Flywire to provide a fast, secure way to submit international and wire transfer payments through UVAPay. Details are available here.

Can I use my overseas health insurance to cover me while studying at the SLI?

Overseas insurance is fine, but it is your responsibility to verify with your insurance company that you are covered during your stay in the U.S.  Please be aware that medical services, even for minor illness or injury, can be very expensive in the United States.

How do I obtain the forms required to apply for my F1 Visa?

International students who need a visa document from UVA to support F-1 or J-1 status must complete the initial I-20/DS-2019 survey after they have been admitted to the SLI. Within 5-6 business days after you submit the survey, students will receive a link to their UVA email with instructions to access UVA’s online platform to complete their visa document request. Please direct all inquiries related to your legal status in the U.S. to the University’s International Student and Scholar Advisors.