Russian Immersion Camp Returns to OCU – Registration Open to High School Students through Sophomores | Community

Oklahoma City University will host an immersion-style Russian language summer camp for high school and college students from July 9-30, 2023, with pre-camp online classes beginning in February.

The summer camp will be followed by free Russian lessons via Zoom from August to December 2023.

The STARTALK program is free for students and is funded by a National Security Agency grant for critical languages.

Applications will be followed by Zoom interviews and requests for letters of recommendation.

Entitled “Contemporary Russian-speaking cultures: diversity and community“, the nearly one-year program is designed to increase proficiency in the Russian language and the cultures of Russia, Eurasia and Eastern Europe, program director Sabina Amanbayeva said.

“Russian is considered one of the ‘critical languages’ for national security and provides job opportunities in government, security, cultural exchange, translation and other fields,” said Amanbayeva, who teaches world literature and Russian language at OCU.

“More than that, our program aims to give students a window to another part of the world – Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Belarus and other independent republics that make up much of the Russian-speaking world. Especially now, during the Russian invasion of Ukraine, we want to use our camp as an opportunity to promote a culturally informed understanding of the region.

The camp is open to 42 students ranging from ninth grade through second year college. Students from any US state can apply.

Students must have at least a beginner level in Russian to be admitted. Students will be divided into three groups based on their skill level.

Amanbayeva, a native Russian speaker from Kazakhstan, said she particularly hopes to reach students who may not have the opportunity to study foreign languages ​​in their schools.

During the program, students will spend three weeks in residence at OCU. They will have four hours of language lessons per day, five days a week, followed by two hours of cultural/artistic activities and a total of 26 hours of experiential learning in visual arts, dance, choir and theatre.

They will also participate in career workshops led by US State Department Foreign Service officers.

About OCU: Founded in 1904, Oklahoma City University is a private, not-for-profit liberal arts and sciences university that prides itself on developing transformational leaders in a variety of disciplines. OCU is located in the heart of Oklahoma City, nestled between the city’s Uptown 23rd and Asian neighborhoods. At OCU, students from around the world follow their passions and excel in science, religion, business, nursing and health care, fine arts, law, and performing arts. More information is available at

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