IU Honors offers abroad program

An average of 6 students each year decide to take a journey to another country over the summer. These students travel through a program called the Indiana University Honors Program in Foreign Language. The IUHPFL is a five to seven week abroad study program for Indiana high school students.

Spanish teacher Ms. Christine Powell says that the students that are targeted for this program are usually third year, they are pushed more towards it. Although second year students have had brief knowledge of it, it’s usually not for them until the following year. With only being in third year of the language, Powell says that they are prepared enough to go to a foreign country and speak the language for six weeks.

“We encourage the kids, and each one of them are very well prepared,” Powell said. “If there were a students that I didn’t think could do it. I would certainly talk about it with them.”

This year, there are 10 different program sites that students will be going to. Students have been traveling with the IUHPFL to one of ten sites in Austria, China, Chile, France, Mexico and Spain to study five to seven weeks of Chinese, French, German and Spanish.                                 

At each location, students will be going on excursions and seeing different historical sites with the other students that are staying in the same spot. For example, students who will be going to Spain will be visiting places such as La fiesta de Juan, La Covadonga, Las Cangas de Onis and the church of San Miguel de Lillo.

For the upcoming summer, five SHS juniors will be going abroad. Three juniors will be going to Spain, one will be going to Chile and another will be going to France. Each year the number fluctuates depending on how many apply and get accepted.

“This is just a good experience for the kids to experience a whole different culture,” Powell said. “There is only a certain amount of things you can learn in a classroom.”

When students go with IUHPFL they have limited internet access. They are allowed to use one hour of internet a week. Also, while attending, the students have to be committed to the language. They have to speak the language and use it to the fullest.

After returning, Powell says students are always wanting to talk about their experience. They want to tell what they have done, where they went and who they met. They come back with more friends than they left with Powell says. The students tell her they learned so much and it was a great experience.