USF STARTALK Chinese Academy for High School Students

Dates: July 19 – 31, 2015

Instruction: Patel Center at the University of South Florida, 4202 E. Fowler Avenue, Tampa, FL 33620
Lodging: Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott, 12260 Morris Bridge Road, Temple Terrace, FL 33637

Eligibility: Rising 9th to 12th graders who are committed to learning Chinese language will be awarded Academy positions. Levels of proficiency ranging from beginner to intermediate.

$30 Application Fee: USF Registration Fee (for first time participants)
$375 Program Fee (FL Residents): Tuition (3 USF credit undergraduate course in Chinese), room and board, instructional materials and field trip. (Non-Florida residents, please contact Annie Tai for Program Fees.)

Motivated high school students are invited to participate in an intensive two-week residential Chinese language immersion experience designed for non-native learners of Chinese. Instruction is offered at three proficiency levels: beginner, novice high, and intermediate.

Participants earn three USF undergraduate credits in Chinese. Tuition is subsidized. Certificates of completion are provided.


All accepted participants must sign and abide by the USF STARTALK Code of Conduct, Media Release Form, Medical Release Form, and Forms required by STARTALK Central.

Application Deadline: April 30, 2015. Apply early. Spaces are limited.
Application Checklist >> ( READ FIRST )
Application >>

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can I apply if I have never taken Chinese?
Yes! If you are motivated and ready to learn Chinese, you can have zero Chinese proficiency. It is an intensive program but at the end of the program, you will be surprised at how much you'll be able to do in Chinese!

If I did STARTALK last year, can I participate in the program again?
You will still have to fill out the current USF Startalk application and obtain the letters of reference. We will evaluate the application and the participant's performance from the previous year. There is no guarantee of acceptance for former participants.

How do I apply for the programs? And what is the application process?

Application Checklist: READ FIRST for detailed instructions of each step of the application process and the materials needed.
Step 1: Complete USF Startalk Application and Letters of reference
Step 2: Schedule a Language Assessment via Skype to determine eligibility
Step 3: Complete USF Non-Degree Application (Provide proof of Florida Residency)
Step 4: Complete Mandatory Medical History Forms
See "Application Checklist" for detailed instructions of each step of the application process

What will the Language Assessment be like?
The Language Assessment will be conducted via Skype in Chinese by a member of the USF Startalk team. It will last approximately 15 minutes. We will ask you a series of questions and based on your responses determine your eligibility and proficiency level. If eligible, this assessment will determine which level class you would most benefit from being in. Please do not fill out the USF Non-Degree Application prior to the Language Assessment (eligibility determination). The $30 USF Non-Degree Application Fee is not refundable if you are not eligible.

What does the Program Fee cover?
The Program Fee of $375 combined with a federal grant covers the 3 USF credit undergraduate course in Chinese, room and board, instructional materials and a field trip to a local Chinese restaurant for an authentic Chinese banquet. All students who successfully complete program coursework receive subsidized tuition rates.

Where will I stay and who would be my roommate? Will there be a curfew?
All participants will stay at the Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott located just minutes from campus. Each participant will stay in a double occupancy room with another participant in their same program. Male and Female floors will be designated with chaperones living on each floor.

A hot breakfast will be served every morning and in the hotel lobby and a Market Place for snacks and supplies is open 24/7. For more information about the hotel, please click here.

While at the hotel, participants will be supervised by staff and will not be able to leave the hotel in the evenings. A nightly roll call will occur between 10 and 10:30 pm.

Where would we eat and what would we have for our lunches and dinners?
Lunches will be catered and will range from sandwiches & wraps, to pizza, and of course, Chinese food (chopsticks included)! Dinners will be at the campus dining hall (all you can eat) giving the students a college campus experience.

Upon acceptance into the program, medical and dietary restriction information will be requested from the participants and accommodations will be made when planning meals.

What will we do in a typical day?
Mornings will start with a hot breakfast at the hotel. Then the participants will be shuttled to USF's Patel Center where classes will be held. In the morning, participants will take language classes which continue again after lunch. Additionally in the afternoons, students will participate in cultural activities (such as Chinese Calligraphy, Chinese Paper Cutting, Tai Qi, etc.). After dinner, teachers and staff will help students complete homework assignments and prepare for the next day's classes. Throughout the day, Chinese Peer Mentors sessions will be available to help students as well.

Will I get a grade? What is it based on?
Yes, students are assessed throughout the program. Grades are based on student's completion of homework, preparedness for class and their level of participation in all classes and activities. A final oral exam is also factored in the grade.

Are the three USF undergraduate credits from STARTALK transferrable to another university?
Usually yes, however, each university has its own set of criteria for accepting transfer credits; most universities will accept credits only from those institutions accredited by one of the accrediting agencies/commissions recognized by that university. However, they reserve the right to deny credit for specific courses. The receipt and evaluation of total transfer credit are the responsibility of the Office of Admissions at each university.

When will I know if I have been accepted?
Once the entire application is submitted, we will review the application and determine acceptance. There are only a limited number of spots therefore it is highly recommended to apply early.

Other details, pertinent only to those who are accepted, will be mailed to students once they are accepted. This includes: orientation information, help with travel details, daily schedule details, packing lists, etc.

All accepted participants must sign and abide by the USF STARTALK Code of Conduct, Media Release Form, Medical Release Form, Field Trip Form and Forms required by STARTALK Central.