RFSL welcomes new applications from LGBTQI+ activists for individual or group English Language courses for the 2023 academic year. To be eligible for the Language Courses Fund you must be an LGBTQI+ activist from one of our 4 eligible countries and have sufficient documented proof of leadership experience. You must also follow the application steps and deadline.
What is the Language Course Fund?
The initiative is under the Eastern Partnership Region RFSL, the Swedish Federation for LGBTQI+ Rights and provides a capacity-strengthening opportunity for the LGBTQI+ activists in the region. The overall aim of this program component is to increase individual activists’ access to knowledge of English and strengthen the community’s resilience by opening up job and networking opportunities, abroad or in their respective countries, that may require knowledge of the English language. This intervention also aims to strengthen access to donor funding and to relevant professional materials.
The applicants should have a clear idea of how attending these courses will contribute to their professional development. In 2023 RFSL will financially support about 60 activists regionally in taking English language courses.
The Fund is intended for English language courses that last a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 6 months, online or on-site. If other languages are assessed to be relevant, exceptions may be made. Please contact us and we will come up with a solution if possible.
In order to have a successful application, please make sure you are eligible, complete all steps of the process and that you have the necessary documentation required to finalise your application. Please read through the following information carefully.
What is included?
- Full tuition fee coverage. The fee for the full duration of the language courses is paid directly by RFSL to the educational institution at the beginning of your studies. The courses cover a variety of skills including listening comprehension, writing, speaking and conversational English tailored to your individual needs.
- A limited number of additional financial support to cover internet costs, childcare or transportation to and from the educational institution.
- An English language certificate from the institution upon finishing the course.
- Membership to the Alumni Network, where as a member you get a unique opportunity andaccess to continued capacity strengthening, networking and professional development.
For the academic year 2023, the RFSL Language Courses Fund will prioritise trans, non-binary, gender diverse and bi+ community members from Armenia, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.
Individuals who have been displaced/had to relocate due to the conflict/wars and/or other security risks are eligible to apply as well so long as they can demonstrate other criteria mentioned in this call.
While preference will be given to activists nominated by our financial partner organisations, we also strongly encourage individual activists without a current organisational affiliation to apply.
Previous knowledge of a foreign language is not required. Alumni members are welcome to reapply to continue their studies.
Country of citizenship
You must be a citizen of one of the eligible countries – Armenia, Georgia, Moldova or Ukraine. However, you do not need to reside in the country at the time of the application. If you have dual citizenship, you are eligible to apply as long as you are a citizen of at least one of the eligible countries.
LGBTQI+ activism experience
To be eligible for the Language Courses Fund, you must have a documented leadership experience as an LGBTQI+ activist. Eligibility will be determined by previous involvement in an NGO as an employee, employer, freelancer, intern or volunteer. Eligibility will be verified by two references. Applicants will be requested to certify this in their application.
If you are employed by the time of your application and choose to take the classes during your working hours, you are advised to discuss your application with your employer. It is your responsibility to ensure that you will be granted a leave of absence from your work through the duration of the study hours, in case you are selected as a participant.
Priority will be given to applicants with a strong leadership background, however, it is not required that you are employed at the time of the application.
Requirements after being selected
All applicants must:
- Contact the selected school to take a language placement test and determine their level.
- Plan out their course schedule, hours and intensity, together with the language school.
- Be in communication with the relevant country consultant in case of any questions, difficulties, unforeseen circumstances or an emergency (eg: if you cannot continue the course, need to change the teacher, feel unsafe in class, etc.).
- Provide a short self-assessment and feedback before, during and after the scholarship period.
- Be committed to following the timeline of the language course, to the best of your ability.
It is up to you as an applicant to explain in your scholarship application if/how this opportunity is related to your future goals.
Reporting and evaluation
A short report about the participant’s progress and their use of the learnings from the courses is required within a month from the date of completion of the specific course. RFSL will also touch base with all participants to assess their level of satisfaction with the call and the courses. RFSL will provide templates for reporting.
Timeline and logistics:
- Apply for the scholarship by May 15th.
- RFSL screening and evaluation.
- Notifications for selection by May 19th.
- Beginning of the courses.
The deadline for applications is May 15th. RFSL will notify successful applicants by May 19th and
the courses will start in June.
RFSL will work with Language Institutes or professional tutors who provide language courses to secure the needed number of spots for the applicants. Depending on the individual needs of the applicants, it can be arranged for courses to be tailored to their preferences. Further scheduling and arrangement details will need to be discussed with course providers and teachers/facilitators.
The application forms are available online:
The motivation letter will be the decisive factor in the assessment of your application. You should only submit one application.
After the application deadline, we carry out a screening of all applications and disqualify those that do not meet the eligibility criteria. If you have failed to follow the instructions for the required documents, then your application will also be disqualified. Reasons are given in the instructions in the forms, therefore, please make sure that you read through all available information carefully before filling out and submitting your documents.
RFSL reserves the right to notify you about the status of your application no later than a month after the deadline.
We use the personal information you give us to process your application. If you are granted a scholarship, we will continue to use this personal information to manage it. We deal with this information following the Swedish Principle of Public Access to Information and the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Your personal information is handled by RFSL employees and outside experts who have signed a contract of compliance.
For questions, please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions document. If you find, that your question has not been answered, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact our country consultants and we will discuss it! If you prefer to communicate in a more secure channel than e-mail, let us know in order to agree on a channel of communication.