The Three Pillars

Academic Focus

The focal point of the Program is intensive study conducted entirely in the foreign language. For nearly seven weeks, IUHPFL students participate in daily classroom instruction, followed by daily afternoon activities in choir, theatre and/or dance. Each site is led by a team of three to four experienced instructors and an onsite coordinator who is native to the host country. IUHPFL instructors are either graduate students enrolled at Indiana University Bloomington or seasoned middle school or high school teachers, many of whom have lived abroad themselves. IUHPFL instructors can be native or non-native speakers of the foreign language. 

IUHPFL students participate in four to five hours of daily courses and activities, designed exclusively for them by their instructors:

  • Academic classes include grammar, culture, communication, literature, introduction to linguistics and phonetics. The courses carry compositions, projects and daily assignments. The objectives for all classes onsite aim to improve the four basic language skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing. Each class has between eight and 13 students, allowing individuals to maximize participation while at the same time instructors are able to give special attention to each group of students. 
  • In addition to formal courses, afternoon activities are designed to enhance a student’s progress in the foreign language and to promote unity among the group of students and instructors. Each Program site offers choir or theater three times a week, while sports activities are offered once a week. Sports may vary by site and may include activities such as soccer, yoga, dance and hiking. At the end of the Program, students present a farewell show to their host families which incorporate the choir and theater pieces they have prepared throughout the duration of the summer.   
  • Students receive feedback from their instructors intermittently throughout the Program. Instructors provide formal evaluations in each class as well as other aspects of the Program experience at regular intervals. Students receive a copy of the final evaluation in early fall after the Program is completed. The student’s high school also receives a copy of the evaluation for their records.

The IUHPFL is not a summer “off” nor is it a cultural vacation abroad. It is an academic experience, an experience that will require significant work and effort outside of the four to five hours of daily courses and additional afternoon activities.