STARTALK 2016 Program

The South Asia Center is pleased to announce the 2016 Hindi-Urdu Startalk Program! The 2016 program will be completely online!

Interested in learning to communicate in Hindi-Urdu? After completing the 2016 Startalk program students will be able to speak and understand Hindi-Urdu in a variety of real-world contexts. Students will also learn to read and write one script. All materials will be provided in both Hindi and Urdu scripts—the language content is identical. Students will engage with various Hindi-Urdu authentic materials to gain direct experience of culture. Classes will be fun and interactive incorporating games, role-plays, guided conversations with native speakers, and many other engaging activities.

The 2016 program will be held completely online. Classes will be held Monday-Friday evenings from 6:00 to 8:00 pm eastern time, June 30th-August 10th. You will need a broadband internet connection to take part in the program.

The program is open to students who will be college undergraduates or high school students when the program begins. This year’s program targets students at the beginning level. Students who have some limited prior exposure to Hindi-Urdu but are not yet at the intermediate level may also apply.

There is no cost to apply. If accepted to the program there will be a $150 technology fee. The course may be taken on a for-credit or non-credit basis. The program offers a limited number of scholarships to assist covering the tuition for 1 course unit of Penn credit. Please indicate your preference regarding credit in the online application.

To apply complete all of these steps to ensure that all materials are received by May 15th:

1. Fill out the online application.

The online application includes a 250-word-maximum personal statement. Please address these questions in your statement:

·         Why are you interested in studying Hindi or Urdu?

·         What makes you a strong candidate for the program?

·         If accepted, are you interested in continuing to study Hindi/Urdu after this summer?

2. Have a teacher familiar with your work submit a signed letter of recommendation. Please have your teacher address the following questions:

·         How long and in what capacity have you known the applicant?

·         Please comment on the applicant’s academic performance.

·         Please comment on the applicant’s language learning aptitude (if known).

·         Does the applicant demonstrate a consistently high level of maturity and responsibility?

·         Space in the program is limited and it is extremely important that participants have good attendance and complete the program. Do you think the applicant is likely to take part in all program activities and complete the program?

Your teacher may submit the recommendation by mail to the South Asia Center address below or by email to Josh Pien at If submitted by email, please have your teacher use his/her official school email address.

3. Have your school registrar submit an official transcript to the South Asia Center address below:


UPenn Hindi-Urdu Startalk Program

South Asia Center, University of Pennsylvania

820 Williams Hall

255 S. 36th Street

Philadelphia, PA 19104-6305


 Questions? Please contact Program Director Josh Pien at