High school travel program expands
High school students enrolled in the program can now study in China and Chile for a summer.
In 2014, new sites will be offered in Hangzhou, China and Viña del Mar, Chile, Managing director Stephanie Goetz said.
The program immerses students in an environment in which they can take their foreign language skills to new level, she said.
“It will be the launching of our first program in Asia, as well as our first program in South America,” Goetz said.
Goetz taught IUHPFL courses in Ciudad Real, Spain for four summers.
Since her arrival, the program has continued to grow.
The program began in 1962 with sites in St. Brieuc, France; Trier, Germany and Oaxaca, Mexico, according to the program’s website.
The only original site that remains is St. Brieuc, France, but, as of summer 2013, the program was in nine locations.
Other sites include Krefeld, Germany; Valencia, Spain and Saumur, France, Goetz said.
Goetz said in addition to improving students’ language skills, the program also provides students with a greater cross-cultural understanding.
Students come away with newly developed friendships with host families and fellow participants.
IU alum Wayne Parker went to St. Brieuc, France in 1963.
“It was one of the most important experiences in my life,” he said.
The new site in Hangzhou was chosen for its cultural diversity and strong collaboration between sister cities Indianapolis and Hangzhou.
“Over the last five years since I’ve assumed directorship of the program, more and more schools in Indiana have added Chinese as a language offered to their students,” Goetz said.
IUHPFL has been tracking program alumni’s enrollment at IU since 2008.
About 27 percent of each class of high school students that participates enrolls at IU, she said.
“It was time to expand into China and meet the needs of Chinese students across the state,” Goetz said.
Follow reporter Angela Hawkins on Twitter @angelalhawkins.