An intensive Arabic course for 40 high school students, supported by the STARTALK Project

Application Information

The Arabic Summer Academy provides a dynamic academic environment where students from a variety of backgrounds can express their full selves, communicate with each other, and develop as life-long learners and global citizens.

Due to changes in the STARTALK program’s grant application and award timeline, the Arabic Summer Academy will not be held in 2022. Information about future programs will be posted as soon as it is available.

Why Arabic?

There are so many reasons! We’ve listed our favorites below. Learn more about these and others at the #ispeakarabic website.

It’s Free!

There is no tuition at the Arabic Summer Academy and all of the materials you need will be supplied by the program. Similar programs around the country usually cost thousands of dollars.


You’ll set yourself up for great jobs. Knowledge of Arabic and Arab culture will offer expanded access to high-paying careers in business, diplomacy, journalism, defense, public policy, health care, and more.

Future Study

Arabic will help you get into college! By learning Arabic, you will distinguish yourself as a student who is willing to break the mold and try something different. You will stand out when applying for colleges, scholarships, and special programs.

Engaging Activities

Students will take part in engaging activities, interacting with each other and creating a language learning community.

Arts & Culture

You’ll experience the fun and beauty of Arab arts and culture directly, learning how to sing Arabic songs, master Arabic drum rhythms, and create beautiful designs with calligraphy and geometric patterns.


Arabic is the fifth-most spoken language in the world, with over 200 million native speakers. In the United States, it is the fastest growing second language since 2010.



At A Glance

The Arabic Summer Academy is an intensive program that welcomes high school students to learn Arabic and explore the cultures of the Arabic-speaking world in an engaging and supportive environment. The program is designed both for beginning students who are new to the language and for highly motivated students who have studied some Arabic before. The Arabic Summer Academy is a 15-day online program, with 40 students in total.


Every day, students rotate between Arabic language and culture classes that are focused on communication from day one. All students learn the alphabet and learn how to talk, write, and read in Arabic. The curriculum is organized to prepare students to communicate in real-world situations.

In addition to providing intensive language training, our program stives to help our students become global citizens who are aware of the peoples, cultures and customs of the Arabic-speaking world. Students will complete their time at the Arabic Summer Academy excited for future learning, with a newfound energy to explore the cultures of the world.


The program runs Monday through Friday each week and includes both synchronous and asynchronous elements. Students join online sessions from 8:00 AM until 12:15 PM, including large-group community building periods as well as small class sessions with a language or culture focus. Each day students will complete approximately 45-60 minutes of asynchronous skill-building work after the conclusion of the synchronous program.


Arabic Summer Academy students come from a variety of backgrounds. They are as young as rising 9th graders and as old as graduating 12th graders. They have in common a curiosity to explore the Arabic Language and Arab cultures together.


Due to changes in the STARTALK Program grant application and award schedule, we will not be holding a program in the summer of 2022. This page shows application information for a previous summer.

You, the student must complete the application yourself, not your teacher, parent or guardian.

Double-check that you are available for all of the program dates.

Prepare the following before clicking on the application link below:

  • Contact information for you and your parent or guardian
  • Name and email address of a teacher who knows you well
  • A short statement on why you want to study Arabic (25 – 150 words)
  • A short statement on your background, interests, and what makes you unique (25 – 150 words)

Applications to our program are accepted on a rolling basis.

Apply to Arabic Summer Academy 2021


Program Director

Richard Cozzens has been teaching, assisting, or directing at the Arabic Summer Academy since 2008. During the academic year he serves as Preceptor in Arabic at Harvard University.

Academic Director

Alaa Razeq has been teaching at STARTALK programs since 2010 and has been with the Arabic Summer Academy since 2015. She is the school-year Arabic language teacher at Charlestown High School.

Lead Teacher

James Soares has been teaching at the Arabic Summer Academy since 2013. He studied Arabic in Jordan and currently teaches English and literacy at Charlestown High School.

Administrative Director

Alex Kalamaroff has been working with the Arabic Summer Academy since 2009. He is the Director of Development at New Mission High School.