About the Academy
The Penn State STARTALK Arabic Academy for Students, held virtually for summer 2021, provides an ambitious, theme-based program for 20 high school and college students to take an introductory college course in Arabic; typically starting with no prior knowledge of Arabic, students will reach novice-mid or novice-high levels.
For 4 weeks (June 21–July 16), a dedicated team of instructors trained to teach in this specific program, along with interns who are usually previous participants in our STARTALK program, will provide instruction virtually (remotely) in Arabic. Instruction includes 3 hours of synchronous instruction and a break in the morning and 2 hours of asynchronous activities that can occur in the afternoon or evening each day (Friday’s asynchronous learning time can extend into the weekend). Members of the instructional team will be available before the start of classes in the morning, and during asynchronous times, to assist students if needed. (If there is interest from local students and if COVID-19 conditions permit, we plan to offer some optional in-person activities, with equivalent activities offered remotely to other students).
Upon successful completion, students will earn 4 Penn State college credits (one semester of college Arabic). Through student-centered, task-based, and communicative activities, including video-conversations with native speakers overseas, our students will learn to communicate in Arabic, become acquainted with Arabic cultures, and prepare a website to welcome Arabic-speaking international students to our communities.
Benefits of the Academy
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.
Who Should Apply
This program will be of particular interest to high school and college 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.
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 (three weeks) of study.
Scholarships may cover up to 100% of tuition (excluding fees) for the STARTALK Arabic Academy (in-state tuition or the equivalent dollar amount toward out-of-state tuition) and are typically awarded to 20 students. All students accepted for the STARTALK Arabic Academy will be considered for tuition support (funding). You do not need to submit a separate scholarship application.
Students applying for the STARTALK Academy should NOT enroll themselves in any of the Language Institute’s summer Arabic courses. Students awarded a scholarship for the STARTALK Arabic Academy 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.
How to Apply
Download and complete the STARTALK Arabic Academy for students application form:
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, optional)
- A letter of recommendation
- A personal statement describing your interest in studying Arabic
Questions regarding the application process should be directed to: