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, and why students 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.
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.
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 alumni think of their host families as second families, maintaining communication and returning to visit when possible. 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.
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.
"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."
On site, IUHPFL students become immersed in a new language and a new culture — that in and of itself is quite a challenge! Our Honor Code serves to ensure their trip is as smooth as possible by preventing the complications that could come from alcohol consumption, independent traveling, and staying out past curfew. A safe and successful high school immersion experience is no easy task- it takes hard work from the students as well as the instructors, host families and the IUHPFL office. 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!