To break away from the less exciting classroom activities, we like to chat with our students about their experiences here in Colorado. Taking the time to connect with them is important to us, because we want to make sure that their time spent outside the classroom is just as enjoyable (if not more) as their time spent at our school. Romulo, one of our current BridgeEnglish Denver students, has been taking advantage of our 300 days of sunshine by actively immersing himself into the outdoors culture here. He’s excited to share his Mile-High State adventures that have greatly benefitted his learning inside and outside of the classroom:
When my wife and I considered going to the USA, we had many cities as options to choose from. She needed to take a biology course for her profession and I needed to improve my basic English skills (check out the General English Program!). After some weeks of study and reading about the possible places we decided to go to Denver, Colorado.
I am the kind of person who thinks that passion moves the world, and if you find the place where your passion is a human value, you are in the right place. One of my passions is architecture, and the other is outdoor sports. I’ve found that I can explore both in Colorado.
The people of Denver and the surrounding cities like Golden, Louisville, Boulder and many other places live and breathe the outdoor lifestyle. For this reason, Colorado is one of the healthiest places to live. The people here are very active and friendly. In every season, you can see people going to school and work by bike or walking on the many trails existing inside and outside Denver.
At the beginning of my stay, I thought that practicing outdoor sports in winter would be difficult but here in Colorado the reality is different for many reasons. First, there are a lot of winter sports like skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, cyclocross (bike racing), and fat-biking (wide tire biking). Second, the weather! I’ve learned one motto about the weather here, “if you don’t like the weather in Colorado, wait 10 minutes.” That means in winter you can have warm and spectacular sunny days (Denver has a 300 sunny days on average per year) to practice traditional sports like running, trail running, cycling, and mountain biking. Third, if you don’t want to take a risk with the weather you have a lot of options for gyms or indoor sports like swimming, yoga, or rock climbing. One way or another, with good or bad weather, Colorado always has choices for sports and activity.
Practicing outdoor sports is an excellent tool for improving my English because I must share ideas and advice with my teammates. Also, I need to read about how to properly use the equipment, so no one gets hurt; this is the case for skiing. Two weeks ago I went to Keystone to try skiing for the first time. It’s a fantastic sport in an amazing environment, but first, you need to understand the theory and technique to avoid accidents. This applies to any outdoor sport like cycling, climbing, or mountaineering.
On the other hand, it is easier to learn English in a context that you enjoy and where you can share experiences. Many times in class, individually or in groups, we need to prepare homework or presentations about certain topics, and sometimes I choose sports as a topic to motivate my classmates to live the “Colorado Outdoors Experience.”
Behind the fun, adrenaline, and emotion of outdoor sports I can always find new human values, different experiences, and new life lessons. This lets me slow down and see the world in more detail, not in the frantic way many people see life today. I enjoy every day (when the winter weather lets me) riding my bike and going to class for a day of knowledge and new experiences in Denver.
Learning a new language is a lot like learning to ride a bike, skiing, or climbing a mountain. You must pay attention, persevere, and work hard to improve day by day to reach your goal. Try it! Here in Colorado, the outdoor-friendly atmosphere is more than a game, it is a lifestyle.
If you’re ready for some fresh mountain air, contact us to get more information about Colorado and learning English in Denver.