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10 Linguistics Programs for High School Students

Exploring linguistics as a subject not only fosters a deeper understanding of languages but also sharpens critical thinking, problem-solving skills, and cultural awareness. In this blog, we have curated ten exceptional language programs across the United States for high schoolers seeking an academic edge in this subject. These language programs often emphasize cultural immersion and awareness. By delving into different languages and their associated cultures, students gain a broader worldview and develop a heightened sensitivity to cultural diversity.

In this blog, we cover 10 linguistics programs for high school students.

NSLI-Y, led by the U.S. Department of State, offers fully-funded scholarships for American youth to study abroad. Through intensive language classes, cultural immersion with host families, and either a summer or full academic year stay, participants gain deep linguistic and cultural insights. The initiative highlights cultural engagement through casual conversations with locals, practicing language skills at markets, and cooking traditional dishes with host families. At present, courses are available in eight languages: Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, Indonesian, Korean, Persian (Tajiki), Russian, and Turkish. You can learn more about this scholarship initiative in our guide. 

Location: Estonia, China, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Korea, Latvia, Morocco, Taiwan, Tajikistan, and Turkey, among other countries.

Fee/stipend: Fully funded travel, classroom instruction, cultural events, and accommodations in the host country. You are financially responsible for acquiring passports and visas, receiving medical and document examinations, and any other miscellaneous expenses.

Application deadline: To be announced

Program dates: To be announced


  • You should be a U.S. citizen or applying to become one.

  • You should be between 15 and 19 years old when the program starts. You can still apply if you’re under 15 but will turn 15 before the program begins.

  • Even if you have graduated before the program starts, you can apply during your senior year to attend the summer NSLI-Y.

  • Your GPA should be at least 2.5 out of 4.0. If your school uses a different grading scale, make sure your GPA is comparable to this.

In the heart of Minnesota’s North Woods, Concordia’s Language Villages are camps that blend cultural authenticity with language learning. Students get to immerse themselves in a native speaker’s world by learning to live a new language. From music to dining, every aspect of the Language Village reflects the culture it represents. The goal is to help learners appreciate diverse perspectives, communicate confidently in multiple languages with cultural sensitivity, and foster compassion. Camps run from anywhere between 2 days to a full year.

Location: Bemidji, Minnesota, and at camps across Minnesota.

Fee/stipend: Variable based on the type of camp.

Financial assistance: Scholarships available that usually cover no more than 30% of the cost of tuition.

Application deadline: 2-days to year-round

Program dates: Camps are on throughout the year. Dates will vary depending on the type of camp selected.


  • Open to high school students

  • Specific eligibility requirements vary for each program, so it’s advisable to check the program’s webpage or contact their admissions office for detailed information.

The Language Workshop at the Hamilton Lugar School provides intensive in-person, online, and overseas programs led by top-notch instructors. Beyond classes, students can immerse themselves in language and culture through various activities like conversation tables, networking events, and alumni presentations. Regardless of their proficiency level, students can enjoy in-state tuition, and find funding options available for all languages. Online programs are about two months long (variable depending on the language) while immersion programs are 8-9 weeks long.

Location: Location will depend on the type of program selected. There are online, study abroad, and immersion programs based in Indiana.

Fee/stipend: Cost will depend on the number of credits your course issues, whether you opt for supplementary courses, whether you study abroad, whether you are a summer student and more.

Financial assistance: Financial aid options are available through multiple fellowship and scholarship options listed here.

Application deadline:

  • February 2, 2024: Priority Admission and all Scholarships except Project GO and FLAS.

  • March 1, 2024: Rolling Admission begins for self-funded applicants (no scholarships).

  • May 17, 2024: Final Admission deadline.

Program dates: 

  • Online programs with study abroad classes toward the end will run from May 19 — August 9. Online programs without study abroad classes will run from June 2 — July 26.

  • Immersion programs run from May 26 — July 27 and from June 1 — July 27. 


  • High-school students born before May 29, 2007, are eligible to apply. 

  • No need for previous language study to enroll in a 1st-Year course. For higher levels, you will need to take a placement test before enrolling.

Middlebury Language Schools’ Summer Immersion Programs cater to language learners of all levels, from beginners to advanced. This program, which sees over 1500 successful students each summer, takes place in Vermont amidst highly skilled faculty, while the English program is based in California. Immersions run between 2 weeks to 8 weeks long, with most languages being taught in a 7-week program. Language courses include Abenaki, Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.

Location: Middlebury Language School, Vermont, Massachusetts. 

Fee/stipend: $75 Application Fee (non-refundable). 

Financial assistance: Need-based financial aid is available on a first-come first-serve basis. Fellowship and scholarship options are also available for securing funding. More details can be found here

Application deadline: 

  • 1st round by February 1

  • 2nd round by March 15

  • Final Deadline by May 15

Program dates: Variable based on the language program selected. Immersion programs run between 2 weeks to 8 weeks long. 


  • Recent high school graduates or students aged 18 are eligible to apply. 

  • It is recommended that students have completed at least one year of college before applying. 

The University of Virginia’s Summer Language Institute offers rapid language acquisition with intensive eight-week courses in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Latin, Russian, and Spanish. Classes run five days a week, totaling up to seven and a half hours per day, focusing on enhancing listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills in a student-centered environment. In just two months, students cover the equivalent of two years of language study (12 credits) in French, German, Latin, Russian, and Spanish, and one year (8 credits) in the Chinese and Arabic programs. 

Location: University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia. 

Fee/stipend: All participants must pay an institute Fee of $60 and a $453 (Virginia residents) OR $513 (nonresidents) comprehensive fee. Tuition is variable for each type of student and can be learned by visiting this page

Financial assistance: Fellowships, and scholarships are not available for this program. Need-based financial aid is only available for currently enrolled, degree-seeking students at the University of Virginia. 

Application deadline: March 28

Program dates: June 15 — August 9


  • Rising junior and senior high school students can apply. 

  • The program is open to non-traditional students.

  • It is recommended that students be motivated language learners.

The University of Mississippi’s Summer Language Institute offers high schoolers a chance to study crucial languages for college credit. In Arabic and Chinese programs, students earn 6 college credits while residing on the university campus. Focusing on practical skills, it’s an academically rich and personally fulfilling experience. Alongside classes, students explore career and education paths, gearing up for scholarships and selective programs after high school.

Location: Residential College South, Oxford, Mississippi.

Fee/stipend: $1,970 — $1,990 not including estimated discretionary spending at $300, international registration and program fee of $500, and medical insurance and TB testing for $350.

Financial assistance: Every student enrolled in Summer College receives a UM Outreach Tuition Scholarship covering all tuition costs, including non-resident and international fees. Additionally, Summer Language Institute students get an extra $1,000 Outreach Scholarship to help cover their program fee.

Application deadline: April 1

Program dates: May 27 — June 25


  • Be in 11th or 12th grade AND have a GPA of at least 3.0 out of 4.0.

  • Provide a School Approval Form signed by the principal and guidance counselor.


  • Achieve a minimum ACT composite score of 30 (or SAT equivalent) AND maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher out of 4.0.

  • Submit a School Approval Form signed by your high school principal and guidance counselor.

CUNY’S language acquisition internships encompass diverse projects, including language analysis in children and adults and exploring language learning processes. While unpaid, interns receive comprehensive training under the supervision of Dr. Valian and graduate students, engaging in discussions on research methodologies and theoretical frameworks. Essential attributes include maturity, adeptness in working with various age groups, strong teamwork skills, meticulous organizational abilities, and a penchant for precise transcription work.

Location: Hunter College, Lexington Ave, New York

Fee/stipend: Unpaid. However, the commitment demands approximately 18 hours per week in the summer and 14 hours per week during the semester.

Program dates: Internships run throughout the year, might be full-time or half-time, and have a minimum duration of 8 weeks.


  • Applications from high school juniors, current college students, and individuals holding a BA or pursuing other degrees are welcome.

  • Proficiency in English along with Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, or Hebrew is recommended.

  • Interest or prior experience in Psychology, Cognitive Science, or Linguistics is recommended. 

  • Proficiency in word processing, database management, graph and slide presentations, basic programming (e.g., E-prime), and website maintenance.

  • Knowledge of Python or similar programming languages, and proficiency in Excel, SPSS, or R is recommended.

The NSA’s STARTALK Language Program is designed for U.S. K-12 students, undergraduates, and teachers specializing in critical need foreign languages, and offers dynamic and immersive summer experiences. Administered by select U.S. colleges, universities, and non-profit organizations, the programs cover languages such as Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin/Cantonese), Hindi, Korean, Persian (Dari/Farsi/Tajik), Russian, Turkish, and Urdu. These opportunities take place across the United States and typically run for two months or less during the summer. For further details and applications, visit the Startalk Program webpage.

Location: Different locations throughout the United States.

Fee/stipend: Variable based on the type of program selected.

Application and Program dates: Programs run throughout the summer for 2 months or less. Variable based on the type of program selected.

Eligibility: Open to K-16 students based in the United States. 

Remote Linguistics Programs for High School Students

SLIYS, a one- to two-week online summer program by The Ohio State University’s Department of Linguistics, introduces high school students to the scientific study of language. Participants explore language intricacies across various levels and compare the similarities and differences among different languages. The program delves into linguistic data collection methods, engaging students in consultations with native speakers of languages like Chinese, German, Greek, Serbo-Croatian, Korean, and more.

Location: Remote

Fee/stipend: Each week of SLIYS is $525. You can either opt for $25 (non-refundable deposit) + $500 for one session, or $25 (non-refundable deposit) + $1025 for both SLITS I and II.

Financial assistance: SLIYS offers need-based financial aid. You may contact Dr. Liz McCullough at for more information.

Application deadline: May 8

Program dates: 

  • SLIYS I (June session): June 10–14

  • SLIYS II (June session): June 24–28

  • SLIYS I (July session): July 8–12

  • SLIYS II (July session): July 15–19

Applicants can apply to just SLIYS I, to both SLIYS I and SLIYS II, or just to SLIYS II if they have completed SLIYS I in a previous year.


  • High school students (entering 9th-12th grade) from all around the world who are interested in language learning may apply.

  • Preference for students who demonstrate a keen interest in languages and language learning.

The UChicago Summer Language Institute is a distinguished online program designed for high school students seeking accelerated language mastery. This intensive remote opportunity accommodates both beginners and advanced learners, offering courses in modern and ancient languages. The curriculum emphasizes comprehensive language skills, including speaking, listening, reading, and writing. Ancient language courses also delve into textual analysis and cultural context. Spanning 6–8 weeks, each course is equivalent to three traditional sessions, ensuring a minimum of 90 contact hours. The Pre-College Summer Language Institute offers 300 credit units, corresponding to 15 quarter hours or 10 semester hours.

Note: Prospective students are encouraged to review course prerequisites for enrollment considerations, which can be found here

Location: Remote

Fee/stipend: $7,725 

Financial assistance: $1,000 — $6,000 partial financial aid is available to students in need of aid and is provided on a first-come, first-served basis.

Application deadline: To be announced

Program dates: To be announced

Eligibility: Students who are current high school juniors and older can apply.

If you’re eager to delve deeper into linguistic research beyond typical study, consider applying to the Lumiere Research Scholar Program. This selective online high school program, co-founded by researchers at Harvard and Oxford, offers a unique opportunity to explore research in linguistic fields and beyond. Last year, the program received over 4000 applications for 500 available spots. To apply, you can find the application form here.

Also check out the Lumiere Research Inclusion Foundation, a non-profit research program for talented, low-income students.

Stephen is one of the founders of Lumiere and a Harvard College graduate. He founded Lumiere as a PhD student at Harvard Business School. Lumiere is a selective research program where students work 1–1 with a research mentor to develop an independent research paper.

Image Source: NSLI-Y logo



Arthur Davido
Arthur Davido

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