In just one semester, you can do so much! BRIDGE organizes an activity at least once a month, plus one field trip to a local attraction. BRIDGE groups will plan events for the other BRIDGE members throughout the semester. Events include potluck dinners, sporting events, holiday celebrations, and so on. Be creative and bring your own ideas to BRIDGE!
Intercultural Leadership Workshop (for U.S. students)
At the beginning of each semester we require that the new U.S participants join us to address some of the intercultural topics and issues that they may deal with while helping new international students adjust to life on campus and in the U.S. This workshop addresses topics such as culture shock, stereotypes (of both international and U.S. students), making friends in an unfamiliar environment, and adjusting to life in a new city and culture. The workshop allows U.S. participants to obtain some cultural knowledge and practical skills in order to be able to provide a helping hand to their international partner throughout the semester.
This event serves two different purposes. The first portion of the event is for international participants only and it covers many of the same topics that the ILW serves for U.S. participants. It also encourages the students to share their own culture with their U.S. partners. After this portion, the U.S. students join and participants break off into small groups to find their partners. Time is then allotted for partners to begin to talk to each other, to get to know each other and to share some pizza unique to Madison. The rest of the event is used for team building allowing partners to experience some fun activities together.
Event Planning Meeting
This event helps partners get to know each other more and gives time for teams to plan their events. The majority of the time is spent planning the large group events for the remainder of the semester. At this event, different options are given for the field trip, which is then voted on by the large group. At the end of this event, all the events for the semester are planned and organized and the semester calendar is finally revealed.
Every participant is required to schedule a time to meet with one of the BRIDGE staff members to discuss what the participant and their partner have been doing so far in the semester, to check in with how their semester has been going academically, to address any issues that the participant is concerned about, and to ask if they have been able to start their journals. This allows the BRIDGE staff to gauge how each participant and partnership is doing and to make any suggestions or facilitate partnerships for the remainder of the term.
Banquet and Awards Ceremony
This is our end of the semester celebratory event. It is a time when we get a chance to reflect on the semester and enjoy a meal together. The banquet gives BRIDGE participants an opportunity to share their BRIDGE experience with the larger group. We also use this event to recognize outstanding BRIDGE members and give out awards for different categories of recognition.