Foreign Language and International Studies

What's in a name?

Indiana University of Pennsylvania offers a specialized program of study for those who want to combine Spanish with elementary teaching in bilingual or immersion schools.

FLISET, Foreign Language and International Studies for Elementary Teaching, provides exciting study, travel, and career opportunities for students who have had two to three years of high school Spanish or who are already bilingual.

FLISET is making a big name for itself in higher education.We have been successful in preparing and placing our elementary and early childhood graduates in bilingual and immersion schools around the country.

What's in it for me?

Your participation in the FLISET program at IUP will enable you to

  • Further develop your proficiency in Spanish
  • Study abroad and experience another culture
  • Learn how to teach the elementary content areas (science, mathematics, social studies, etc.) in Spanish
  • Receive certification to teach elementary or early childhood education from one of the most reputable teacher education programs in the state

Will it help me get a job?

Across the country, the demand for teachers who are proficient in Spanish is already high and will grow dramatically in the coming years.Bilingual and immersion teachers often receive hiring bonuses or higher base salaries.FLISET will provide you with the skills necessary for obtaining a job in this high-demand area and will be dedicated to helping you secure the type of job you want.

What are the requirements?

An individual program of study is designed for each student, based on the student's oral proficiency level in Spanish.The program components include

  • Coursework in Spanish as needed to attain the oral proficiency level required for the completion of the program
  • Courses in geography and cultures of the Hispanic world
  • A six-week study abroad, completed during the summer months, in Cuernavaca, Mexico, prior to student teaching
  • A student-teaching experience in a selected bilingual or immersion school, such as those located in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and Fairfax County, Virginia, public school systems

Don't just take our word for it.

These former FLISET students tell it like it is:

Participation in the FLISET program enabled me to enhance my proficiency in the Spanish language and to broaden my understanding of Hispanic culture.As a result of this preparation, I was able to get a great job as a Spanish immersion teacher in the Pittsburgh Public Schools.

Tania Shields, third-grade teacher,
Northview Heights Elementary School

I have a job in one of the largest school districts in the country, because I am one of the few recent college graduates with preparation teaching Spanish immersion.Being a FLISET graduate has enriched my career and given me a leading edge in my field.

Jennifer Kozer, first-grade teacher,
Fort Hunt Elementary School, Fairfax County, Virginia

My knowledge of Spanish and how to teach it to elementary school children helped set me apart from other job applicants.I am using my skills in Spanish and my awareness of Hispanic culture on a daily basis as I interact with my Hispanic students and their parents as a teacher of English as a second language.

Melissa Moore, fifth-grade teacher,
Gunston Elementary School, Fairfax County, Virginia

Mexico Experience

The program is currently located in Cuernavaca, Morelos, an hour's drive south of Mexico City.Because of its year-round average temperature of seventy-five degrees and its lush flora, Cuernavaca is known as the "Ciudad de la Eterna Primavera."Internship sites in other countries are being explored, as well.

During your six-week stay in Cuernavaca, you will

  • Live with a family in the local community
  • Take language and culture courses at the Center for Bilingual and Multicultural Studies
  • Complete a three-week pre-student teaching experience in an elementary school
  • Interact with children in a variety of settings
  • Participate in other educational/recreational activities, such as tours to various places of interest

FLISET's Mexico Experience will increase your cultural awareness, strengthen your proficiency in Spanish, and provide opportunities for you to teach elementary content in Spanish.

The FLISET internship in Mexico not only helped to improve my Spanish but also gave me the opportunity to interact with children in another culture.

Cheryl Weitz, FLISET student,
Indiana University of Pennsylvania