Application Process & Timeline

The IUHPFL application process is organized in several distinct steps. To help with planning, students may want to download the Program Schedule of the 2015-2016 program cycle. This list will help students and their guardians keep track of dates and deadlines and when to expect communication from the IUHPFL office.

1. Language Testing

Every September, eligible students interested in applying for the IUHPFL sign up for the language test, administered in several Indiana locations each October. Test registration is open until Friday, September 25, 2015.

  • Students wishing to take the test must complete the test registration information and pay the test fee via credit or debit card. Only students who have submitted the test registration form and paid the test fee will be permitted to take the test.
  • The language test includes assessments in grammar, reading and listening skills. Students will also submit an authentic writing sample on a selected topic.

2. Application

By late October/Early November, students are notified about the results of the language test.

  • Students who pass the language test are invited to apply to the IUHPFL. Invitations to apply to the IUHPFL are communicated via e-mail correspondence from the IUHPFL office. 
  • All materials for the student’s personal application must be received by the November deadline. Students may want to review specific program dates on the Program Schedule. Note: Only students who received an e-mail invitation may apply to the program. Whether or not a student is invited to apply depends on if s/he passed the language test.
  • The IUHPFL selection committee uses a detailed rubric to evaluate each candidate for the program. The rubric includes subsections dedicated to assess language test scores, official school transcripts, the personal application as well as confidential appraisals from teachers and non-related adults.
  • Spanish students may list a preference to study in Chile, Mexico or in Spain on their application. Requests will be taken into consideration, but cannot be guaranteed. The IUHPFL office encourages prospective participants and their guardians to be open to placements in any one of our five Spanish-speaking sites.

3. Financial Aid Application (Optional)

Materials for a student’s financial aid application are typically due by the middle of February.

Financial aid at the IUHPFL is a reduction in program fees and not a loan to be repaid. Even though the Program uses the FAFSA as a tool to determine the expected family contribution (EFC), the need for financial aid is based solely on the pool of program applicants, independent of Indiana University at large.

4. Possible Interviews/Acceptance

Students will be notified of their status as IUHPFL candidates in January. Students will fall into one of four categories:

  • Acceptance:  Students are accepted into the IUHPFL outright, based on the strength of their dossier. 
  • Interview:  Students will be interviewed to further evaluate their status as a candidate for the IUHPFL. Interviews take place from January to early-March. After being interviewed, students may be accepted, offered a spot as an alternate, or declined. Final selection of candidates for the IUHPFL will take place after the last round of interviews.
  • Alternate:  Students will be placed on a waiting list as an alternate for the IUHPFL.
  • Not accepted:  Students are declined to participate in the IUHPFL.

5. Accepted Students

Once students are accepted into the IUHPFL, they are encouraged to begin the process of submitting acceptance materials, which include various documents pertaining to their health, host family preferences, contact information, etc. Accepted students receive a login/password to access all acceptance materials.

Students and guardians should also refer to the deadlines and payment schedule in the Program Checklist for Students which will be available in January. Accepted students are highly encouraged to review the fundraising and sponsorship information as early as possible to obtain ideas on how to offset expenses.

Should students be selected to participate in the IUHPFL, the selection committee makes placement decisions based on a number of factors, the most important being how well they believe students will mesh with the instructors on their program site. 

In addition to compatibility with instructors, the selection committee attempts to distribute males and females proportionately across programs. Language levels, as determined by the scores of the language test, also play a role.

To expand student horizons, the selection committee does its best to distribute students from the same high school evenly across all program sites while creating an academically diverse population at each program site.

6. Orientation

In April and/or May, all accepted students and at least one guardian attend a mandatory all-day orientation on Indiana University’s Bloomington campus. During multiple sessions, students and guardians meet their instructors and learn about their site, the details of traveling abroad, the Honor Code, and preparing to be apart from their U.S. family and friends for five to six weeks.

The IUHPFL highly recommends attending the Orientation scheduled for a student's specific site, as it will be the only opportunity for him/her to engage with peers and with their instructors before departure.

The IUHPFL understands that some conflicts are inevitable and in such cases students may attend an orientation for a different program site. What is not allowable is for students and guardians to miss orientation altogether. Make-up orientation sessions are unavailable.

7. Travel Abroad

After being matched with a host family by the IUHPFL’s onsite coordinators, students will leave the country with their peers and instructors on mandatory pre-assigned group flights. Traveling together not only assures each student’s safety, but also provides an excellent first opportunity to bond with peers and instructors. Upon arrival, students travel to their host city together. Then participants are picked up by their host family. Ideally, students will already have begun to communicate with their host family via e-mail, letter or telephone before arrival onsite.

8. Post Program

After returning from the IUHPFL experience, students will complete an exit survey about the program. By early fall, students receive a final student evaluation of their program performance, completed by their instructors.

Once participants return to their high school, they are required by the IUHPFL Honor Code to support their foreign language program to the best of their ability and promote the IUHPFL to younger students.