STARTALK Arabic Academy for Students

The information below relates to our Summer 2019 STARTALK Arabic Academy. We hope to offer a similar program in Summer 2020. Check back in February for updates!

June 17–July 12, 2019

The STARTALK Arabic Academy at University Park is an innovative program of intensive summer study especially designed for highly motivated students (college and high school) who wish to gain introductory knowledge of the Arabic language and its people. The STARTALK Arabic Academy offers scholarships for qualified students. These scholarships will be of particular interest to students who plan to study Arabic or Middle Eastern languages and cultures, or are interested in a career in government, law enforcement, or the military, among other fields. The STARTALK Arabic Academy is also a great opportunity for those who are simply interested in exploring the language and culture of some of the oldest and most important regions in the world.

Knowledge of a critical language such as Arabic is a great asset on college, graduate school, and job applications, and invaluable in exploring career interests and broadening your horizons. While it can be challenging to learn Arabic, the right learning environment can make all the difference. As part of the STARTALK Academy, you will enroll in four weeks of intensive language study at the Language Institute at Penn State, for which you will earn academic credit for one full semester of college-level Arabic (4 credits of Penn State’s ARABIC 001) upon successful completion of the program. In addition, you will participate in relaxed and enjoyable, twice-weekly afternoon immersion activities that have been designed to meet your interests and learning needs, foster a sense of community, and provide you with “outside the classroom” exposure to the language, customs, and culture of the Arabic peoples. STARTALK Academy instructors have been specially selected to provide you with a high-quality and engaging exposure to one of the most widely spoken languages in the world.

STARTALK scholarships will cover up to 90% of tuition for the Academy (in-state tuition or the equivalent dollar amount toward out-of-state tuition), which is planned to run for four weeks on the University Park campus in State College, Pennsylvania, from June 17 to July 12, 2019. Typically, we award 20 scholarships. Eligible students include high school students or students enrolled at a college or university.

Please note: The STARTALK Arabic Academy at Penn State is NOT a residential program. Students who graduated from high school can apply for University dormitory housing. However, the University cannot provide housing for students who are still in high school.

Application Process

The application form should be submitted to the address on the form, together with:

  • An academic transcript
  • Standardized test scores (high school and home school students only)
  • A letter of recommendation
  • A personal statement describing your interest in studying Arabic

Students applying for a STARTALK scholarship should NOT enroll themselves in any of the Language Institute’s summer Arabic courses. Students awarded a STARTALK scholarship will receive additional information regarding the steps and forms necessary to enroll. Please note that students under the age of 16 at the time of the program require Faculty Senate approval to enroll.

Prior language study is not required to participate in the STARTALK Academy. Due to the intensive nature of the program, however, applicants should be able to demonstrate academic ability. With that said, we also believe that prior academic performance is not necessarily the most important determinant of success in the program, and will, therefore, give consideration to the maturity of the applicant as well as his or her motivation, intellectual curiosity, interest in Arabic language and culture, and postsecondary goals. Students admitted to the program will be expected to complete the full course (four weeks) of study.

Questions regarding the application process should be directed to:

Elena Galinova
Phone: 814-867-1665

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