Teach Conversational English
in Eastern Europe, China and Turkey
FAQs BY STUDENTS
The students who join our camps will be the future leaders of their countries and region!
We ask those of you who have decided to participate in any of BFE camps to read, complete, sign and bring with you to the camp the STUDENT RULES AND RESPONSIBILITIES.
You can download the rules as an RTF file here or as a PDF file here.
Q. How long is this program?
A. Three weeks in early July or last week in July into August.
Q. Do I have to pay?
A. The tuition cost varies from country to country. Sometimes the Ministry
of Education, Soros, UNESCO, International office of Migration, and other
foundations help to subsidize the cost of the camps. Students usually contribute to the cost based on their financial needs, unless they are international students. Then they must pay the full
costs of the camp unless they have other sources of funding.
Q. Who pays the transportation to the camps?
A. All students are responsible for their transportation. Camp Directors who agree to exchange students may
arrange to send one bus each way to save costs. The Council of Europe has
a train reimbursement program for groups of ten students traveling to an
international program. Check here to learn more.
A. What does the tuition cost include?
A. The tuition includes all meals and room for three weeks - twenty one days. If you wish to buy souvenirs,
or eat other than where the group is eating, that cost is to be paid by
you.You also receive Conversational English lessons and activities for
three weeks from the BFE teachers. BFE also provides the dictionaries
and T shirts per 100 students per camp. Teachers who bring a group of ten students
receive free tuition. Please tell your teachers about this. Camp Directors
prefer that international students who wish to join the BFE camps come as a group so that they are supervised
by their teacher.
Q. How do we pay the cost to the Camp Directors
A. Students may directly contact the Camp Directors in their own country. But the coordinators of international students will collect the tuition and arrange to deposit it in the Camp Directors bank
account or bring the money with them depending on the Camp Director's rules
Q. What are the accommodations like?
A. We stay in boarding schools and college dormitories. We stay together as a group. There are usually four
to six students per room. The bathroom may be down the hall. There is no
air conditioning. A BFE representative inspects all facilities. Descriptions
and pictures of each campsite will be posted on the BFE Webpage once it
has been approved
Q. Where do we eat our meals?
A.In a cafeteria. The food is what
the locals eat. Special restricted diets usually can not be accommodated.
If you are a vegetarian, then ask that you not be served meat. If you do
not eat pork for religious reasons, then have your teacher notify the Camp
Director in advance. Whatever products are in season will be served.
Q. What's the food like?
It is good, filling, often plain food. It is not like what you are
used to at home. Of course, you are not at home. If perfect is your favorite
word, stay home. This is not for you. Remember this is an adventure, enjoy it.
Q. Do we eat meals with the teachers?
A. Yes, every moment is used to foster conversational English. Some
of your most relaxing and enjoyable moments are shared over meals.
Q. Where do the teachers stay?
A. In the same dormitory, usually on another floor.
Q. Do we receive a certificate from BFE?
A. Yes. Those students who atttend classes and follow all camp rules will receive an official BFE certificate, those who do not, will not receive one.
Q. Are there student rules at the camps?
A. YES. NO smoking, alchohol or drugs is permitted. Attendance is required at all classes and activities. You are not permitted to leave the campus without permission. Students and
parents must sign the rules of the camp. They are enforced by the host
country. The BFE Group Leader may
refuse to give a BFE certificate as a disciplinary action. Since the purpose
of BFEis to promote tolerance and understanding using English as a bridge,
students who do not respect others will be disciplined accordingly. Students
may be sent home.
Q. What if I get sick and have to miss classes?
A.Attendance is taken at all classes and activities. There is a Camp Doctor who may give a medical excuse. Three excused absences only are permitted. Students cannot learn English if they do
not participate. Students who are not serious and misbehave will be sent home
at their expense. These camps will only be reorganized if there is a demonstrated English language skill improvement. We expect you to work as hard at learning as we do at teaching.
Q. How long are the
A. Three weeks. Three hours of classes in the morning, two hours of activities in the afternoon and two to three hours for evening activities. Weekend activities with the students are
prepared by the host country.
Q. How are we taught?
A. You are taught conversational English.The emphasis is on making the students speak English. Our motto is, We talk 25%, the students speak 75%. BFEprovides each teacher with a
curriculum focus handbook. The BFEteachers prepare a full three
week program prior to departure. They bring materials and camp supplies.
Your job is to speak English as much as possible.
Q. How do I do learn to speak English?
A. By participating actively in all classes and activities. The best
learning comes through an active approach. We provide the opportunity for
you to speak with native speakers of English. You must try to speak English
all the time.
Q. Do I have to know any English before
I join the camp?
A. Yes, you have to have basic reading and writing skills. You need to have a learned vocabulary so we can help you to put the words together in sentences. The program is only three weeks.
We cannot make stones speak. You must participate in all lessons and activities. Bring a bilingual dictionary with you to camp.
Q. Are the students divided according to English
A.Yes, a quick evaluation is given at the beginning of the camp to divide the students into three or four
groups. There will be beginning, intermediate, and advanced groups. Each group will rotate through each team of teachers. This rotation of all the students through all the teachers each week is to develop a more flexible
ear, so they can become used to different accents.
Q. What curriculum is used in this program?
A. As the purpose of Bridges for Education is to promote tolerance
and understanding using English as a bridge, we emphasize activities that
will promote team building, consensus, debates, leadership development,
self awareness and esteem, cultural awareness, and conflict resolution.
Q. What is a day like?
A.Morning sessions are held in classrooms. Afternoon and evening activities are filled with field trips, movies, sports, dancing, singing, interviewing and writing for the newspaper and literary
magazines. There are also skits, arts and crafts, role-playing, debates and round table discussions with invited speakers. The BFE teachers and local staff plan these activities.
Q. Who supervises the BFE teachers?
A. BFE Group Leaders are certified teachers.
The Group Leader will observe classes and hold staff meetings to discuss
any problems and prepare for the daily and weekly program.
Q. Can I bring a Bible or Koran?
A. Yes, but only if it is for your own purposes. BFE
is not a religious or ethnic group. All teachers and students are recruited
without regard to their ethnic or religious backgrounds. There is to be
no proselytizing of any religion at any time.
Q.What should I bring?
A. Be prepared to bring your talents in singing, playing guitar or piano, reciting poetry, dance, gymnastics, sports, acting, writing and speaking. Students put on a talent show for
the camp. Each country at the camp is expected to make a presentation for
the International Night. Bring your country flag and national song on an
audio cassette tape. Bring a sense of humor and a willingness to learn
about other cultures and ways of thinking. Think flexible. Leave behind
all bad habits, please! Bring clothes that you can wash in a sink and that do not need to be ironed. Bring some money for any snacks and gifts you might want to buy. Cellular phones are not permitted in classes,
meals, or any activities.
Q. Do I qualify?
A. Each country and its organizers chose their own students. Contact your Ministry of Education and UNESCO
organization to see if they cooperate with BFE. Please refer them to the BFEwebpage for further information on how to send students to the BFE International camps.
Q. Can I get a letter of recommendation from the
Camp Director or BFE?
A. If you do a fine job, the Camp Director and BFE Group Leaders will
be glad to write a letter of recommendation for you. An experience like
this will look wonderful on your resume. It will also give you great confidence
and you will be changed by this great adventure. Students have written
on their evaluations that these camps are wonderful. Your knowledge of
the world will expand and your understanding of the value of other cultures
will enrich your life. But like most things in life, you get out of this
what you put into it.
Q. Are there any scholarships?
A. Yes. The BFE teachers will select one student per camp to receive
a full tuition scholarship to attend a BFE camp the next year.
COME JOIN US FOR THE BEST SUMMER IN YOUR LIFE!