PiLA is not an immersion program for language study. Our fellows must be able to conduct day-to-day business and life in the local language from the moment they arrive in the country. Therefore, working knowledge of the target language (Spanish or Portuguese) is necessary. We learn about applicants’ language skills through the required foreign language evaluation and through our Skype interviews with semifinalists, which are conducted in whole or in part in the target language(s). All applicants, regardless of formal study, must request a language evaluation from an academic or professional recommender.