The University of Montana has been offering the STARTALK Montana Arabic Summer Institute (MASI) for high school students since 2008. STARTALK is a program that is administered by the National Foreign Language Center at the University of Maryland, and funded by the National Security Language Initiative (NSLI) announced by former President Bush in 2006 to expand and improve the teaching and learning of strategically important foreign languages.
STARTALK MASI offers two levels:
- Level 1 (no previous knowledge of Arabic), and
- Level 2 (previous knowledge of Arabic).
Students develop Arabic language skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing) and cultural knowledge in a fun and academic environment.
The program is open to American high school students and permanent US residents only, with priority to Montana students. The program covers tuition fees, instructional materials, and transportation for field trips. Students receive five college credits.