IUHPFL Spain Trip - Learning Through Travel

Learning Through Travel
Posted on 02/29/2024
Huntington North Senior Gloria Friesen

Over the summer, one Huntington North student had the experience of a lifetime. Senior Gloria Friesen received the opportunity to spend six weeks in León, Spain, through the IU Honors Program in Foreign Languages. The duration of the summer program consisted of a full immersion Spanish language learning process that consisted of daily classes and living with a Spanish host family. A typical day for Gloria while in Spain started with her classes at 9:00 a.m. The students would receive announcements and assistance during study time for the day before beginning their lessons, starting with grammar and communication. They would continue with linguistics and phonetics, have a break, and finish with culture and literature before a lunch break at 1:15. 

The Indiana University Honors Program in Foreign Languages offers summer programs such as this to high school students who have completed level three or higher of Spanish, German, or French. The four pillars it upholds and encourages students to pursue within the program are language commitment, academic instruction, community engagement activities, and host family experience. The summer program is designed in such a way as to allow participants to experience these four pillars.

One of the enticing incentives offered to Huntington North students interested in the program is the opportunity to win a scholarship covering a significant amount of the cost for the trip. The scholarship is offered by Dede Rippetoe-Reed and her partnership with Matt Ditzler of the Huntington Community Foundation, covering the cost of the trip for Friesen, last year’s recipient. Rippetoe-Reed is a former Huntington North teacher who returned to present to Spanish students about IUHPFL. This is what originally piqued Gloria’s interest. This year, Friesen got to give the same presentation about her experiences. Already, more students have presented an interest in the trip based on the stories Gloria shared.

Gloria was able to accrue a myriad of unforgettable experiences in Spain, ranging from forging lifelong friendships, to setting out on excursions to historical sites, and gaining significant knowledge of the Spanish language. She plans to continue her journey in college by majoring in secondary education with a minor in Spanish.

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