The Transition from BridgePathways to an American University
There are many benefits to studying English at a BridgePathways language center before attending an American college or university. Pathways students get to meet other international students, improve their English skills, and get accustomed to life on a U.S. university campus. Nineteen year-old Renato Guedes experienced all these benefits before diving into his American university experience at Colorado Mesa University.
Renato, a third year college student from Brazil, received an opportunity to study at BridgePathways with the Brazil Scientific Mobility Program (BSMP), a government sponsored program that sends Brazilian students to study abroad. After filling out a couple of applications, he was matched with the BridgePathways program at Colorado Mesa University, based on his academic interests and his English level. As Renato describes, “BridgePathways was a huge advantage. I took English-intensive courses for six weeks and now I am well-prepared to take American college classes.” He notes that the Pathways program was very challenging and reading-intensive, but he appreciates that his teachers were so attentive to his individual learning progress and pushed him every day to learn and improve in different areas.
Not only did he improve his English before starting his college classes, but he was able to experience other cultures as well. Even though he came with three other Brazilian students from BSMP, in his Pathways classroom he found a diverse set of classmates who came from countries like Japan and Saudi Arabia. He attributes his English improvement to learning alongside students from so many different cultures, saying, “I got to see the differences in culture and customs. We exchanged a lot of stories of our countries. And of course, this was all done in English.”
With his improved English skills from BridgePathways, Renato will study mechanical engineering at Colorado Mesa University. “I am glad to be studying at CMU,” he says, “because I get to take classes that I wouldn’t be able to take in Brazil. For example, I’m taking an economic-engineering class, computer design class, and even a seminar class.” Other than taking interesting classes, Renato is looking forward to joining the Outdoor Program at CMU. “I love outdoor sports,” he says, “I can’t do any outdoor sports in my hometown of Sao Paolo but here in Grand Junction, I am able to go hiking, rafting, camping, and snowboarding in the winter. My friends make fun of me for taking pictures every time I’m outside because the nature is so beautiful here!” After studying at CMU for the academic year, he is planning to apply for a summer internship or research position in the U.S. before finally returning back home to Brazil.
Renato says all of his exciting U.S. college plans could not have happened without the BridgePathways program, “There was no better way to prepare my English and get acclimated to the American university lifestyle.” As a parting note, he recommends every student study at the BridgePathways center at CMU, saying simply, “I love it here!”
Check out some of Renato’s photos as he enjoys his time at the BridgePathways center:
To learn more about the partner universities in BridgePathways, including Renato’s favorite, Colorado Mesa University,click here.
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