Bloomington, IN — The IU Honors Program began in 1962 with three locations: Trier, Germany, St. Brieuc, France, and Oaxaca, Mexico. This summer, the program sent high school students from across Indiana to 11 sites in 7 countries: Austria, Chile, China, France, Japan, Germany, Mexico, and Spain. The sites in Hangzhou, China and Viña del Mar del Mar, Chile were added in 2014. The Graz, Austria site was added in 2015, and Osaka, Japan was added as a program site in summer 2017.
In April, the 1966 group of St. Brieuc alumni held a reunion on the IU campus. Fifty one years after participating in IUHPFL, approximately 30 people (including spouses) gathered to reminisce and catch up. "Spending that summer in France awakened things that were already in my DNA," said Jan Clark. "I learned how wonderful it is be American. I learned to appreciate my own country by being in another country. I learned the importance of citizenship. I learned to see the United States from a different perspective -- a more global perspective. I think when you spend time with people that are not like you it helps you understand who you are and break down barriers."
Students who participate in the IUHPFL study-abroad program are fully immersed in the foreign language and culture, while living with host families, taking academic classes, and going on excursions.
The host family aspect of IUHPFL allows students to become a part of the local community and participate in the daily lives and activities of their families. They often go on weekend outings with their host families and in many cases create lifelong friendships.
Students attend daily classes and afternoon activities, taught by highly qualified language educators, recruited from either Indiana University or Indiana high schools. All are experienced world travelers and highly proficient or native speakers of the languages they teach.
To achieve language proficiency, students follow the IUHPFL Language Commitment from the moment they arrive in the host country, requiring them to speak only the target language during their stay abroad.
IUHPFL will begin accepting registrations via their website in mid-September from Indiana high school students who have completed their sophomore, junior, or senior years, as well as extensive study in Chinese, French, German, Japanese, or Spanish.