After a long application process that consisted of about twenty-nine short essay questions, three applications from a parent, teacher, and the foreign language teacher, and the students transcript, four students from Brown County High School were accepted into the, or IUHPFL, to study Spanish. Cassidy Davis and Katie Trapp will be studying in Merida, Mexico, Myka Snyder will be studying in Leon, Spain, and Allison Stogsdill will be studying in Oviedo, Spain..
IUHPFL provides high school students in Indiana with an opportunity to study abroad for six weeks during the summer. This program requires students to understand intensive academic instructions, speak only the targeted language, and participate in a host family while they are in the country. Created in 1962, this program provides studies through Chinese, French, German, Japanese, and Spanish.
The girls will be spending their week days in school in classes about literature, grammar, culture, phonetics, and an art class like dancing or singing. One day a week they will be participating in sports. Their weekends will be spent with their host families taking part in activities such as sight seeing and hanging out at home. The experience costs roughly $4400 for the program fees with an additional cost of the plane ticket. Whether working with their churches, having garage sales, or raising money at school events, all four girls have been working hard to raise money to cover the costs.
Cassidy Davis expressed her excitement about learning about the culture of people in Mexico saying, “I want to learn about the politics over there [in Mexico] because I feel like it is a lot different than how the United States works.” She stated how she is excited to participate in a host family as well. She expressed her excitement on the bond she intends to build with her family so that she can go back to visit them again.
Myka Snyder hopes to be able to come back to help inform other students about the Spanish-speaking world. She also would like to participate in missionary work using the knowledge she gains and also to possibly use Spanish later in her career in the medical field. She also expressed how excited she was to work on her Spanish saying, “ I am so excited to fulfill the language commitment of only speaking Spanish and just seeing how much I grow as a Spanish student.”
Katie Trapp wants to work on becoming proficient in her language study during her time in Mexico saying, “I’m hoping to become fluent in Spanish and this will help me further my education in the language because I want to go on and study it in college.” She is excited to connect with new people and learn about the difference between cultures in Mexico and cultures in the United States. She is looking forward to stepping out of her comfort zone to experience a whole new world.