Since 1962, Indiana University Honors Program in Foreign Languages (IUHPFL) has been providing to Indiana high school language learners the opportunity to experience language and cultural immersion through summer study abroad programs. Today, 260-320 students attend 5- or 6-week programs every June and July in 7 countries - Austria, Chile, China, France, Japan, Mexico, and Spain - learning Chinese, French, German, Japanese, and Spanish.
IUHPFL’s combination of intensive academic instruction, a mandatory Language Commitment to speak only in the target language while abroad, and full-time integration into a host family allows for students to participate in a total immersion experience. IUHPFL students not only gain an exceptional knowledge and understanding of the host culture while abroad, but also make significant strides linguistically.
On average, 30-35 students are selected to participate on each program site with IUHPFL during the months of June and July. In addition to daily academic instruction and afternoon activities, students learn the host country’s rich history through cultural immersion, visiting museums and memorials, and participating in regional and overnight excursions.
When students return from a summer abroad with IUHPFL they have evolved in numerous ways, including:
- Highly advanced language proficiency — on average fifth semester college-language level worth of an average up to 6 retroactive credit hours*
- Greater self-confidence and independence
- Broader world view
- Lifelong bonds and friendships with fellow students, host families and culture
- Profound understanding of the word "culture"
- Greater tolerance for fellow human beings, including peer students, teachers, and host culture
*According to research done at Indiana University, Bloomington