Mississippi StarTalk is a program funded by the Federal government to provide high school students with intensive instruction in Chinese on the Ole Miss campus in Oxford during the Second Summer Session. In addition to studying Chinese inside and outside of the classroom, students will participate in a cultural program introducing them to China, its people, and its culture. Students will receive StarTalk scholarships that cover the cost of their instruction and books, and provide them with housing and meals on the Ole Miss campus. All students who complete the program will receive college credit in Mandarin Chinese.
Current high school sophomores and juniors with outstanding academic records may apply to the StarTalk Program. Up to twenty-five students will be selected to participate in the program upon consideration of their academic record, letters of recommendation, and personal essay. Students who have never studied Chinese are encouraged to apply. Students who have also studied Chinese for one or two years may apply as well, and a higher-level course may be offered depending on the background of the applicants.
China is emerging as an economy whose size and productivity is propelling it to new global prominence in the fields of business, diplomacy, economics, politics, and science. The United States currently has too few speakers to meet our nation’s need for purposes of national security and economic competitiveness. Students who have become highly proficient speakers of Chinese during their high school and college careers will find themselves with unlimited career opportunities when they finish their education over the coming decade. Mississippi StarTalk is a chance to begin the study of Chinese under ideal circumstances and with opportunities to continue during the coming year and into college. The University of Mississippi has one of the premier undergraduate Chinese language programs in the country and it receives special Federal funding to send students to study in China.