UIC Office of International Affairs

The Faculty Language Immersion Program (FLIP)



The Office of International Affairs (OIA) is pleased to describe the UIC Faculty Language Immersion Program (FLIP). In past terms, the Office of International Affairs (OIA) has offered UIC faculty the opportunity to participate in the intense study of a foreign language. Whether faculty plan to teach abroad, conduct research in a foreign language, or communicate with colleagues from overseas, FLIP starts them on the path to language skills that can be used in academic and professional environments.

The expectation is that participating faculty will eventually be able to make full use of additional language capability as they represent UIC through their professional activities abroad. We seek participants at a career stage in which they can invest the time required for the summer immersion experience and for follow-up study during the academic year.

The format of FLIP entails having a maximum of 15 participants per language section. During the summer term, the group meets three hours a day, five days a week, for six weeks, on campus. It is expected that study continues on a less intense schedule during the academic year, contingent on the number of course participants willing to renew their commitment, on a self-supporting basis. The Office of International Affairs organizes and administers the FLIP program. For typical programs, UIC faculty participants are required to pay a course fee of $400 plus the cost of instructional materials. They receive 90 contact-hours of small group instruction, among colleagues, in an informal setting and on a non-credit basis.

In the past, FLIP sections have been offered in French, German, Mandarin and Spanish. Depending on the faculty’s interest and needs, groups may be formed in other languages as well.

Please be advised that funding and instructor availability can limit the number of sections and the variety of languages offered in a given year. However, every effort is made to accommodate faculty interested in this program.

Participants attend three-hour daily classes for six weeks. The majority of the participants then continue to meet two hours per week, for thirty weeks, during the school year. One year from the first summer, participating faculty following this schedule will have completed 150 contact hours, facilitating substantial proficiency. At that point, OIA makes every effort, working with interested UIC faculty, to place them for the second summer in institutions abroad. The intent will be to place them with the option to work in English, but in an environment otherwise confined to the language they will have been studying through FLIP.

Faculties studying a foreign language in FLIP have been drawn from all departments and colleges throughout the university—from Engineering to Emergency Medicine, from Public Administration to Biology. While most participants had some prior study of their FLIP language in high school or college, many started the program at a level close to beginner, and some were true beginners.

FLIP groups are limited to a maximum of 15 participants. For all FLIP languages offered, the relevant academic programs at UIC are very closely involved in the selection of instructor, the development of curriculum, and the monitoring of progress. FLIP instruction is a structured, group-based experience, custom designed for faculty who use language in professional settings. No university credit is involved.

Spanish was taught during the summer 2003 term. The summer 2004 program was conducted in German and culminated in a week-long trip to Berlin and Humboldt University, funded in part by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). Both languages, German and Spanish, were taught during summer 2005. And in 2006 French and Mandarin were added.

For more information, please contact:

Faculty Language Immersion Program
Office of International Affairs (MC590)
University Hall 509
601 S. Morgan Street, Chicago, Il 60607
Tel: 312-996-5455 / Fax: 312-413-7857