Lewis University
Russian or Chinese
For high-school and Lewis University students


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 was awarded with Startalk grant four times and launched its first program in the summer of 2009.

This year’s summer program will offer its participants intensive instruction in two critical languages. Those accepted to the Program will be able to choose to begin to study either Chinese or Russian. Both programs will be conducted concurrently on the Lewis University Romeoville campus from June 16th to July 12th.

Why should you consider applying for STARTALK?

The two 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 university credits

How long is the program?

The 2015 Chinese and Russian language programs are four weeks long. Classes begin on June 16th with the orientation meeting to be held on Monday, June 9th. Both participants and their parents/guardians are expected to attend the orientation session. The Program will conclude with the Closing Ceremony on Saturday, July 12th.

What is the class schedule?

Language classes conducted daily from Monday through Friday, from 9 am to 1:30 pm will be supplemented by extracurricular activities. Students should expect to stay on the campus until 2:30 pm. Lunch will be provided for all participants at no charge at the University cafeteria. Two separate days, June 9th and July 12th, will be allocated to the Orientation Day and Closing Ceremony respectively. During the Orientation Session both students and their parents will be asked to complete Startalk Documentation, parents will be asked to sign and turn in paper work. The Program will end with a Closing Ceremony on July 12th. During this ceremony, students will demonstrate their achievement by performing for parents, community, University administration, School District officials, and others.

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/Chinese 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, or (815)836-5544, or Iwona Lech,