Program Overview

The 2019 KU Kiswahili STARTALK Academy program is four-week intensive summer day camp for *7th – 12th graders from June 3 - June 28, 2019. The program is hosted by the Department of African and African American Studies and the Kansas African Studies Center at the University of Kansas, and is sponsored by the National Security Agency and the National Foreign Language Center. The program is non-residential. Students in the program will earn 5 KU course credits equivalent to one semester instruction of an elementary foreign language course.

Students will learn the Kiswahili language and culture through student-centered and performance-based activities in small groups inside and outside classroom settings. Throughout the program, students will also participate in various East African cultural activities such as daily conversation tables, Taarab and Bongo Flava music and dance, open-air market simulations, field trips, Swahili cuisine cooking demonstrations, games, and will watch Kiswahili films. Additionally, students will participate in the KU STARTALK Kiswahili Academy Showcase at the end of the program to demonstrate their learned language skills. Students will also learn more about African language programs at KU, and funding opportunities available to enable them advance their language skill beyond high school level.

* Students entering 7th grade and those exiting 12th grade in 2019 are eligible to apply.



  • Students entering grades 7 - 12 for the 2019-20 academic year
  • Little or no prior Kiswahili language instruction
  • Willingness to commit to an intensive Kiswahili language program, and adhere to the attendance requirements
  • Highly motivated learners
  • High academic standing


  • June 3  – 28, 2019
  • Monday – Friday
  • 9:00 am – 3:00 pm (1 hour break for lunch)

Application Deadline:

  • 5 PM, Saturday April 20, 2019

Program Cost:

There is no cost associated with the KU Kiswahili STARTALK Academy. The program is FREE.

This FREE - KU KISWAHILI STARTALK ACADEMY covers the following expenses:

  • Program Tuition/ Classroom Fees (including technology fees)
  • Daily Lunch
  • Daily Snack
  • Program T-Shirt

STARTALK Start Talking!
Department of African & African-American Studies