Fire Pits, Festivals & Floating (Or Ways to Have Fun in the Summer)

The days are full of sun, and the nights are pleasant. It’s Summertime, and there is no shortage of ways to enjoy it. Use this as a little guide to help you make the most of it!

Fire Pits

Last night, we had what I would call the perfect summer evening. A small group of international and American friends went to a friend’s house and used their fire pit. We cooked hot dogs and chicken over the fire. But the highlight of any true summer night around the fire is always the s’mores. (This is the tasty treat featured in the above photo). If you have yet to make and eat a s’more, you are missing out! To make a s’more, start by putting a couple of marshmallows on the end of a roasting stick. Let them get toasted by the fire’s edge until they become golden brown and ooey-goey.

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What is freedom?

As a child growing up in America, I always looked forward to July 4th because I knew it meant several things: gathering with family and friends, eating hamburgers, hotdogs, and corn-on-the-cob, and driving in search of the best fireworks we could find.

The 4th of July, more formally known as Independence Day, is the day that Americans celebrate the nation’s independence. Becoming independent in the year 1776 meant establishing a nation with the exact set of values that the people of this nation desired, values which had previously been denied or violated. The people wanted more freedom, and independence promised this. July 4th celebrates the nationalistic freedom that came through independence.

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A Stranger in a Strange Land

Have you ever been lost in a foreign city? A place where… You have no friend by your side. You don’t know the language or the architecture. The cars follow strange new traffic laws. The clothes look, feel and fit wrong and even the smells that surround you each day are nothing like home. I have. It can be a lonely place.

It can also be the best experience of your life if you let it. Through my experiences, I have made mistakes. But I have also learned a lot about myself and about the way I want to live the rest of my life. From what I have learned here are two tips on how to make living in a new culture better. Not only for your present situation but for the cultivation of your soul.

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Interview with Lena from the Congo

This week on the Bridges Blog we wanted to get to you know, our reader, a little bit more. So we’ve started by interviewing students involved with Bridges around the US. Here is our first interview post.
Introduce yourself. What is your first name, what is your major, what is your school, where are you from?
My name is Lena Musoka. (Lena is in the center of the above photo.) I study at the University of Houston and I am majoring in Public Health. I am from the Congo (Kinshasa) and came to the U.S about 3 years ago.
What was your first impression of the USA?
The first impression that I had of the U.S. was definitely that everything was so big. My mother, my friend Josee who also came for studies, and I first arrived in Atlanta, where we had a connecting flight to Orlando. The airport was very big; I remember walking a long distance before getting to our gate. When we arrived in Orlando, I thought, “Wow, the weather is perfect.” Going to a foreign country to study is an experience that brings up a lot of anxieties, and for me, one of them was the weather.

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5 Tips to Improve Your English

I remember sitting on an airplane headed to study abroad in China with my Chinese-English Dictionary gripped in my hands. I only knew how to say a couple of Chinese phrases and could read nothing! I felt both nervous and excited. I knew attempting to learn a second language would be one of the greatest challenges of my life. But as I thought about being able to communicate with people in their heart language, I became motivated and excited to learn.

Perhaps you had similar feelings on your way to America to study English. You probably found out as quick as I did, that learning a language can be frustrating and even heartbreaking. No one ever likes to feel misunderstood, which happens quite often if you are speaking in a second language. No one likes it when others laugh at a mistake or a mispronunciation, even if they do not mean to hurt your feelings. If you have ever experienced

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How to Find Housing in the USA: A Practial Guide

For hours, I stared at my computer screen, dozens of websites open and bookmarked. I knew I was moving to San Francisco, but I didn’t know where, or when, or who I would live with once I arrived. I was frantically trying to find roommates and apartments, researching every detail.

Finding housing can sometimes be stressful, even scary. Especially when you are trying to find a place while in a different country! But, in my experience, everything usually works out just fine.

And I have a lot of experience. In fact, in the past 8 years, I have moved 10 times! I have been fortunate in all the places I have lived to experience good neighborhoods with great people. I hope that as you begin your search, you are as blessed as I have been. So here are a few tips as you navigate the internet in hopes of finding the perfect place to live while you study in the U.S.

Top Tips For Finding Housing in the U.S.
Start looking as soon as possible. Fall might seem far away, but it will come quicker than you

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