Application Process & Timeline

The IUHPFL application process is organized in several distinct steps. To help with planning, students may want to download the Student Checklist for the 2017-2018 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. Registration

Registration will be open from September 15, 2017 through November 15, 2017. Please visit our Application Registration page to complete your Registration before November 15, 2017.

2. Application

If it is determined through the registration process that a student is eligible to participate in IUHPFL the following year, the student will be emailed a link to their personal application.

  • All materials for the student’s personal application must be received by the application deadline listed in the Student Checklist. Note: Only students who received an e-mail invitation may apply to the program. If you did not receive an email link and feel that you should have, please contact us at to discuss it further.
  • The Writing Sample worksheets are sent to the students' language teachers via email when the student's eligibility to apply has been confirmed. Students will need to arrange a time with their language teachers to complete the Writing Sample in person under the supervision of the teacher. No outside sources may be used to complete the Writing Sample, and the question on the Writing Sample is not to be viewed by the student prior to the time when the student completes the Writing Sample. 
  • The IUHPFL selection committee uses a detailed rubric to evaluate each candidate for the program. The rubric includes subsections dedicated to assess official school transcripts, the personal application, confidential appraisals from teachers and non-related adults, parental assessments, and student writing samples.
  • Spanish students may list a preference to study in Chile, Mexico, or 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 Assistance Application (Optional)

Materials for a student’s financial assistance application will be due by February 1, 2018.

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

4. Possible Interviews/Acceptance

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

  • Preliminary Acceptance:  Students are accepted into IUHPFL based on the strength of their application materials. Students may be invited to participate in an interview.
  • Waitlist:  Students will be placed on a wait list as a potential participant for IUHPFL. Students may be invited to participate in an interview.
  • Regretfully Declined:  Students are declined to participate in IUHPFL because it is determined they are not quite ready for the rigorous demands of the program.

Students who do not participate in the current program cycle are welcome to apply again for future programs as long as they continue to meet the eligibility requirements

5. Preliminary Acceptance 

Once students are given preliminary acceptance into 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. Be sure to reference the IUHPFL Student Checklist for important deadline information.

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 IUHPFL, the selection committee makes placement decisions based on a number of factors. The selection committee also attempts to distribute males and females proportionately across programs. 

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. Student-Guardian Orientation

On a Sunday in April, all accepted students and only one of their guardians attend a mandatory all-day orientation on Indiana University’s Bloomington campus. On that day, students and guardians meet program peers and instructors, learn specifics about the program sites, begin to plan for departure, and engage in a variety of teambuilding and language development activities. 

IUHPFL requires attending the Student-Guardian Orientation scheduled for a student's specific site, because it will be the only opportunity for him/her to engage with peers and with site instructors before departure. 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 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 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 IUHPFL to younger students.