Welcome to the STARTALK student programs at San Diego State University!

Language Acquisition Resource Center (LARC) at San Diego State University (SDSU) has hosted nationally recognized and federally funded programs in less commonly taught languages since 2008. Currently, we offer programs in Chinese, Persian, and Russian. These programs are offered for free to all eligible high school students. 

All LARC SDSU programs use a thematically organized curriculum and focus on language learning through authentic texts and resources. Students acquire their language of choice through lessons that are culturally rich and cognitively engaging and through meaningful real-world activities that prepare them to communicate outside the classroom. In addition to being immersed in the language, students also participate in a variety of authentic cultural activities that deepen their understanding and appreciation of the target language cultures.

By attending the program, students may earn 4-5 units of undergraduate college credit, and students from San Diego Unified School District may also receive high school credit. At the moment, LARC is working actively with the San Diego County Office of Education and other San Diego County school districts to create a pathway for all students to receive the Seal of Biliteracy and high school credit.

  • Format: hybrid (pre-summer and post-summer sessions) and in person at San Diego State University campus (summer camp)
  • Cost: The program is offered for free

Click on the sections below to view more information.

We will host three online information sessions:

  • Friday, September 15, 2023, 5:30 pm - 6 pm
  • Friday, October 13, 2023, 5:30 pm - 6 pm
  • Friday, November 3, 2023, 5:30 pm - 6 pm


Participants must be:
  • High school students in grades 9-11
  • US citizens or residents
  • Available for the entire duration of the program
  • Highly motivated and committed

Rolling admission closes on December 1, 2023. Apply early as spaces are limited!

Step 1: Complete and submit the application any time before November 17, 2023. You will receive a notification that your application has been received. As part of the application, you will be required to submit a short essay outlining the reasons why you would like to attend the program and what career you would like to pursue after their university education.

Step 2: You will be informed whether you have been accepted to the program within two to three weeks of your application.

Step 3: If you have been accepted to the program, you will have until December 8, 2024 to submit the refundable deposit of $100.

student preparing a presentation
student presentation
student playing an instrument
student group picture
students working

Point of Contact

Shahnaz Ahmadeian
Nadezda Novakovic
STARTALK Program Directors
Phone: 619-594-0846


NSA logoSTARTALK is a national project funded by the National Security Agency. STARTALK’s mission is to increase the number of U.S. citizens learning, speaking, and teaching critical-need languages, with programs nationwide for students (K-16) and teachers. startalk.umd.edu