Honor Code

IUHPFL is an “Honors” Program. As such, it requires students to follow a set of clear norms of conduct. The adherence to the Honor Code is an integral part of the IUHPFL experience. A pdf of the complete IUHPFL Honor Code can be downloaded here.

IUHPFL relies on the students’ sense of responsibility and honesty to understand and abide by the Honor Code in order to facilitate maximum language learning and to ensure student safety. Students unable or unwilling to follow the Code should not apply to the program. The abroad experience is most effective and most enjoyable if all participants follow these norms to avoid difficult and/or dangerous situations. While all norms of the Honor Code are crucial to student success and thus expected to be followed, a few norms are worth highlighting as essential: the Language Commitment, the prohibition of alcoholic beverages, drugs and tobacco, the pledge to adhere to host family norms, and the IUHPFL Pledge of Excellence.

Language Commitment

The Language Commitment is the heart and soul of the Honor Code and one of the three pillars of IUHPFL. It is the driving force behind the entire program; it is why students live with host families and not in dormitories, it is why student attend academic classes while in the host country. Without the Language Commitment, there is no Honors Program.

Students pledge to follow the Language Commitment to maximize language learning and allow true immersion. Thus students speak the foreign language at all times with limited communication with family and friends in the US and other countries.Though it is challenging for students to learn to express themselves in a language not native to them, and also to temporarily disconnect with family and friends for the summer, the dedication to do so pays off in the long run. Strategies for maintaining the Language Commitment are discussed at the mandatory Student/Guardian Orientation in the spring.

Students traveling to China pledge a modified language commitment, a necessity to enable communication and ultimately support language immersion learning.

Alcoholic Beverages, Drugs and Tobacco

Though many foreign cultures permit their young people to drink and/or smoke, all IUHPFL participants are prohibited from consuming any type of drug or alcoholic beverage.

Host Family Norms

As one of the pillars, the host family experience is integral to the success of the IUHPFL participant. The host family experience can be extremely rewarding — many IUHPFL alum think of their host families in  Chile, China, France, Germany, Mexico and Spain as second families, returning for visits to them on occasion and maintaining communication with them indefinitely.  Such a close relationship with one’s host family is not automatic, however — it takes effort, hard work and ongoing willingness to communicate on the side of the student and the host family.

Pledge of Excellence

This pledge encompasses all IUHPFL Honor Code norms. In making the Pledge of Excellence, students agree to abide by these norms and to do so with a positive attitude and in a spirit of team cooperation. Students recite the IUHPFL Pledge of Excellence at the mandatory Student/Guardian Orientation in April. Students and guardians alike are expected to understand and respect all of the tenets of the Code.

The IUHPFL Pledge of Excellence:
"As I embrace my IUHPFL journey and commit to the Honor Code, I pledge to speak only the target language, uphold the Eight Core Values, celebrate my host family experience, and remain self-disciplined. I will choose to discover the best in myself and others, foster team unity, represent my school, family, and community with pride, and be a good ambassador for IUHPFL." 

Why the Honor Code?

When going abroad, IUHPFL students become immersed in a new language and a new culture — that in and of itself is quite a challenge. Other factors, including alcohol, independent traveling, staying out too late in unfamiliar places can potentially be a recipe for disaster! The trip abroad should be as smooth as possible, but that doesn’t happen naturally — it takes hard work on the student’s behalf as well as on behalf of instructors, host families and the IUHPFL office. And it takes a lot of training and persistence from all parties involved, which is why the IUHPFL application and orientation process is so thorough.
When it comes to the Honor Code, students and guardians first need to understand the purpose of the Code—which is to ensure student safety and to maximize the immersion experience to yield the greatest results in linguistic proficiency and personal growth. Once abroad, students need to be very self-aware and diligent about abiding by the Honor Code not only for their own safety, but for that of the entire group. 


What happens if a student or others in the group deviate from the Honor Code? A no-win situation. Students who deviate from the Honor Code not only receive an incident report (which is reported on the student’s Final Evaluation), but also send the message to their peers that the student is not committed to the program, therefore encouraging them to de-commit as well. Additionally, infractions happening within a group potentially break the bond between instructors and students, thus adversely affect group dynamic. In the past, some infractions have even led to the cancellation of excursions and the program's farewell show. If a student has a hidden agenda — i.e., deviating from the Honor Code — while intending to apply to the program, s/he should reconsider. We want students to participate for the right reasons!