For the third consecutive year, Indiana University of Pennsylvania is one of only two universities in the United States chosen to host students participating in the Secretariat of Research, Innovation, and Higher Education State of Yucatan scholarship, a short-term, intensive English language and American culture program.

IUP will host a total of 80 students (two cohorts) during the spring semester for the three-week program. The first cohort of students arrived January 17; the second cohort will arrive February 14.

To date, IUP has received more than $360,000 in funding from the State of Yucatan for the program. This funding provides a full scholarship to the students chosen for the program, including travel costs. A total of 45 students completed the program in fall 2022 (15 students) and fall 2023 30 students). The students come from a variety of universities in Yucatan.

The visiting students will complete coursework at IUP’s American Language Institute, IUP’s long-standing intensive English program. The ALI has welcomed students from around the world for more than 40 years, providing intensive English programs for students who want to improve their language proficiency and cultural understanding of the US.

The students, who will live in IUP’s Ruddock Hall and eat in North Dining during their stay, will participate in a number of excursions to local sites (museums, shopping, and bowling) in Pittsburgh and Greensburg.

“This program has been a wonderful experience for the Yucatan students and for IUP students, faculty, and staff who have had the opportunity to work closely with the visiting students,” Associate Vice President for International Education and Global Engagement and Executive Director of the ALI Michele Petrucci said.

“The reason for the increase in students for this spring semester is because the program officials are so happy with the educational and cultural opportunities that we provide,” she said.

“One of the goals of the program is to help the visiting students improve their English language skills and to expose them to American life and culture,” Petrucci said. “However, it’s also an incredible opportunity for IUP students to meet and learn from our visitors, providing a chance for them to meet new people from different countries and cultures.”

Petrucci learned about the opportunity for IUP to host the students through an international education program. The proposal, developed by Petrucci and Emma Archer (director, International Student Scholar Services and director, American Language Institute), was chosen by the Yucatan program directors, who liked both the strong international reputation of IUP’s Office of International Education and the programming offered by the ALI.

“It’s very gratifying to be selected for this program for a second year, especially as one of only two American universities chosen to be host institutions,” Petrucci said. “It’s been an excellent partnership, enriching the visiting students and IUP students, faculty, and the community,” she said.