Registration is open now for free Chinese language camp at UAB

Students in grades six through 12 can learn Chinese through the STARTALK Chinese Program at UAB, which includes a tuition-free, on-site summer camp in June 2024.
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Registration is open now for a free Chinese language learning camp set for 2024 at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, funded by the National Security Agency to support and promote Chinese language education.

The STARTALK Chinese Program at UAB is provided by the College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of World Languages and Literatures. It is designed for students with no prior knowledge of Chinese who want to embark on a journey of language and culture.

Through an immersive festival-themed curriculum, students will learn a new language and use innovative artificial intelligence technology to demonstrate their language proficiency in a fun and interactive way.

The program will begin in January with online synchronous learning as a pre-camp activity. In June, students will attend a tuition-free, on-site summer camp on the UAB campus, which will include breakfast, lunch and two snacks each day, plus complimentary camp T-shirts, water bottles and learning materials. The program will conclude with more online learning, and by the end, students are expected to reach a novice-mid to intermediate-low level of proficiency.

The program is open to 30 students in grades six through 12, with 15 middle school and 15 high school students accepted. Applicants must be United States citizens or permanent residents. Spaces are limited. Apply online. Read more about the program at

STARTALK grants, provided by the United States’ National Security Agency, fund innovative programs to increase the number of American citizens learning and teaching less commonly taught languages and inspire them to explore language careers. Critical-need languages currently include Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Persian and Russian. 

The grant program aims to increase the number of students and teachers in critical languages, along with an increase in materials and curricula. The goal is to enhance workforce development in the federal government through the study of critical languages to meet national security needs. Future critical language needs are also anticipated in collaboration with other federal agencies, such as the Department of Defense.