Exploring the Madina: Arabic STARTALK Program

Students participate in class activities in the STARTALK Arabic language program at VMI in 2021.Come explore a North African Madina (city) during a simulated study abroad trip to Morocco! Upon completion of this program, students with little to no exposure to Arabic will be able to communicate in real-world situations like bargaining in the market, reading authentic simple ads and menus, and writing short autobiographies among other skills. The STARTALK program, managed by the National Security Agency (NSA), funds tuition costs for 6 hours of college credit for this summer program. This program also includes pre-and post-program linguistic and cultural engagement (90 minutes a week) tentatively starting at the end of February 2023 and continuing until May 2024). For more information about the STARTALK program in general please see the following website:

  • Open to students and cadets who are currently in grades 10-13 (high school sophomores to college freshman) during the 2023-24 academic school year (incoming VMI 2024 Rats may participate in STARTALK but cannot live in barracks). 
  • The STARTALK program, managed by the NSA, pays tuition for 6 total hours of college credits for Arabic 101 (3 hours) and 102 (3 hours).
  • Priority Admission deadline: 2/16/2024, Final Admission deadline: 5/3/2024
  • Tentative summer session 2 Arabic summer program dates: June 24 - July 19, 2024 M-F 9:30 AM-2:30 PM
  • All expenses covered for on campus culture events which may include guest lectures about North African culture, a lecture or performance of authentic Arab music, and an immersive experience of a Mousem festival on campus.

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The STARTALK program, managed by the NSA, pays tuition costs of all accepted applicants to the program pending program funding. All accepted applicants to the program receive a scholarship that covers all tuition costs pending program funding. The scholarship does not cover room and board. Participants may purchase room and board on-Post or arrange their own housing during the program.

NOTE: Only current college students are permitted to reside in barracks.  Students residing in barracks are required to purchase a VMI meal plan. Students living off-post are not eligible to purchase a VMI meal plan but they may purchase individual meals at Crozet hall during the program. If you have any questions please contact Maj. Jason Schroepfer at or 540-464-7241. 

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