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2023-2025 Spelman College STARTALK Chinese Program

The selection results will be announced on Tuesday, March 5.

Both accepted applicants and those placed on the waitlist will receive an email notification.


STARTALK is a federal grant program managed and funded by the National Security Agency. STARTALK grants fund innovative programs with strong language learning outcomes for K-16 students in support of the STARTALK goals. STARTALK grants currently support programs offered in the following critical need languages: Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Persian, and Russian.


  • Increase the number of students enrolled in the study of critical languages
  • Increase the number of highly effective critical language teachers in the U.S.
  • Increase the number of highly effective materials and curricula available to teachers and students of critical need languages
  • Enhance workforce development in the federal government to meet national security needs through the study of critical languages

The 2023-2025 Spelman College Chinese STARTALK Program is made possible by a STARTALK grant funded by the National Security Agency. The program aims to provide Chinese language and culture education to middle and high school students in the United States, with a focus on students from schools Georgia.

The theme of the Spelman STARTALK program will be Chinese dance, cuisine, and geography. Through a virtual travel across mainland China by high-speed trains, student participants visit places of interest in different regions of China. During their visits, they make friends with people they meet, taste and learn to cook famous local food, learn the regional dance, and tour famous tourist attractions, and get familiar with administrative regions of China.

The Spelman STARTALK Program will integrate modern digital technology, authentic materials and experiences, and meaningful, hands-on activities to enhance student participants’ learning experience and effectiveness. Upon completion of the three sessions of the program, participants entering the program without prior knowledge are expected to reach mid-novice proficiency, and participants with low intermediate proficiency will reach upper-intermediate or low-advanced proficiency. All participants will be prepared to enroll in the next level language classes.

The 2023-2025 Spelman College Chinese STARTALK program consists three sessions: 22-hour virtual pre-camp activities, two-week in-person residential summer camp in June, and 40-hour virtual post-camp activities.

Program Timelines:

  • Pre-camp Activities (Virtual, 22 hours)
    March 23, 2024 to April 27, 2024
    (Saturday Morning 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.)
  • Residential Summer Camp (on Spelman College campus, two weeks)
    June 9, 2024 to June 23, 2024
    (Including weekends)
  • Post-camp Activities (virtual, 44 hours)

    September 7, 2024 to March 29, 2025
    (Every other Saturday morning)

Application deadline is February 10, 2024 !

The program is free and open to all rising 7-12 graders who are American citizens. We strongly encourage eligible students to apply for this program and we look forward to having an unforgettable experience with all participants.

Please scan the QR code or click the link below to start your application. Application deadline is February 10, 2024. Selected applicants will be notified by March 2, 2024.

Apply to the STARTALK Program

For questions, please contact program director.

Dr. Zhengbin "Richard" Lu
Associate Professor
World Languages & Cultures

STARTALK Program QR code

Scan the QR code to apply

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