One of the best ways to grow as a person is to delve into the lifestyle of other people, to put ourselves in others’ shoes. This way, we expand our ways of seeing and being in the world, and at the same time realize that there’s a lot we have in common with people; that we can connect with others if we reach out and come into it with open arms.
At The Bridge we are constantly in touch with the locals, doing community service with them, teaching them English or learning Spanish, playing sports with them, working together on their projects, or just sharing a special moment laughing and trying to communicate. These experiences create flexibility and adaptability in students, both of which are essential skills to independent living.
To learn more about how "complexity" is developed, watch this presentation by Dr. Danny Recio and Andy Myers called "Coming of Age in Foreign Lands." You will learn about how we learn and grow as well as how appropriate, supportive cross-cultural immersion experiences can greatly enhance our cognitive complexity, resilience, perspectives, and growth. If an hour is too long for you, skip over this one to the 4:27 minute video made by students themselves about cultural immersion at The Bridge. Enjoy!
"Being immersed in a culture where people don’t speak English challenges you in a way that really prepares you for life."
"Hanging out with the staff and the locals, they are very accepting and take everything lightly; this helps you be who you are.
You don’t have to perform."
"The concept of a home stay family is another brilliant concept of The Bridge program, as it helped our son appreciate the value of family and that relationships and that caring for others matters more that material things."