Bridge English recently hosted two special students, Bastián and Alonso, from southern Chile. These two students were selected to study with us in Denver as part of a pilot for a Chilean government initiative that provides sponsorship for English study in the United States to students who might not otherwise have the opportunity.
Arrival in Denver
Alonso, a 17-year old public school student, and Bastián, 19, came to Bridge the first week in December and settled in with their host family before beginning their three-week general English program at our downtown center. Upon arrival, their experience was kicked off with a customized teacher-led welcome tour of downtown Denver, in which they explored the city’s many attractions, including the Colorado State Capitol, the century-old Brown Palace Hotel, the Denver Art Museum, and Skyline Park. The welcome culminated with a truly American experience– a hamburger in the lively atmosphere of Denver’s 16th Street Pedestrian Mall.
English Classes at Bridge in Denver
General English classes began the following week for both students. Bastián was a beginner student, and Alonso more advanced, though both shared an enthusiasm for English language learning and American culture. They attended class from morning until afternoon each weekday, learning and practicing their speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills in group classes with other international students.
Bastián’s instructors described him as an initially shy student who worked hard and gained confidence in speaking as he progressed with his understanding of grammar. He advanced one full level during his study at Bridge. Alonso, on the other hand, already came to Bridge with an advanced level of English. His instructors described him as having a talent for linguistics, including strong grammar and speaking skills, and he made notable progress with his reading and writing abilities during his three weeks of study.
Activities After Class with Bridge
As part of their English program at Bridge, Bastián and Alonso also took part in various activities after class and on weekends, in order to get authentic language practice and learn about U.S. culture. Both students attended the Bridge social hour, hosted at a local restaurant, where the teacher encouraged speaking practice by moderating a fun discussion with the group. Bastián and Alonso were also given the opportunity to choose activities they’d like to attend. Bastián opted to go to a Denver Nuggets basketball game and Alonso chose to join a group visiting the Christmas market and well-known Larimer Square in downtown Denver.
The boys also took a teacher-guided day trip to the historic Western mountain town of Golden, Colorado, about 20 minutes outside Denver. There, they hiked Lookout Mountain, visited Buffalo Bill’s Grave, and had dinner at a famous Golden restaurant, Woody’s Pizza. It was, in the words of Bastián and Alonso, “amazing!”
Bridge Graduation and Goodbyes
Bastián and Alonso’s three-week study abroad experience at Bridge in Denver wrapped up with a graduation ceremony and Bridge holiday party. This parting event was a chance not only to build gingerbread houses and take part in other activities related to U.S. culture but for this close-knit group of students from around the world to reflect on friendships made and goals reached during their time at Bridge.
Are you thinking of studying abroad in Denver, Colorado? Meet more Bridge students here!