STARTALK Program - Overview

In response to the global Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the Lewis University Summer STARTALK 2020 Program is cancelled.

Lewis University Summer STARTALK 2020 
Russian and Arabic language program for high-school and Lewis University students.

Date: June 15-July 10, 2020.


STARTALK is one of the projects of the National Security Initiative, a multi-agency effort to expand foreign language education in under-taught critical languages by funding new and existing programs and to provide incentives and rewards for foreign language learning.

STARTALK’s overall mission is to increase the number of young Americans learning and speaking critical need foreign languages by offering creative and engaging summer learning experiences for students (K-16).

Lewis University has been offering Startalk Program since 2009.

This year’s summer program will offer its participants an intensive instruction in beginning Russian and Arabic. The course will be conducted on the Lewis University Romeoville campus from June 15th to July 10th.

Why should you consider applying for STARTALK?

The three main benefits of the STARTALK program at Lewis University are

  1. There are no tuition costs for the students
  2. Successful STARTALK students will receive 3 transferrable university credits
  3. Free lunch is provided for all students
  4. You will have the rare opportunity to study Russian or Arabic in the engaging culture-rich summer course and to continue studying them in our regular courses.
How long is the program?

The 2020 Startalk language program is four weeks long. Classes begin on June 15th. The Program will conclude with the Closing Ceremony on Friday, July 10th.

What is the class schedule?

Language classes and extracurricular activities will be conducted daily Monday through Friday, from 9 am to 2:30 pm (with a 30-minute lunch break at noon).

Who is eligible?
  • High school students: rising 10th, 11th and 12th graders;
  • Lewis University incoming freshmen, rising sophomores and juniors;
  • Only those without prior exposure to Russian or Arabic will be accepted to the Program.

Admission is competitive
Please note that the program is very intensive. Therefore, it cannot be combined with other commitments (e.g., full-time job, athletic activities) since they may interfere with your participation in the program and consequently affect your grade.

How should you apply?

Go to the following link to fill out an online admission application.

For questions or more information: Dr. Serafima Gettys at or (815) 836-5544.