Bridgette Dawson

International Experience Country:
Cohort Year:
Home Institution:

University of Pittsburgh | Johnstown

Heinz Programming Area:
International Experience Summary:

While Bridgette Dawson studied abroad in Alicante, Spain she learned a lot about the Spanish language and culture.  She was fortunate enough to live with a host family who were more than happy to let her spend time with the children.  She both learned from and taught the family’s children many things about the difference in culture and every -day life.  In order to immerse herself into the culture she took salsa dance lessons and cheered for Spain as they won their way to the World Cup.  Most of Bridgette’s free time was spent talking with natives about a variety of subjects but mainly about the Spanish culture.  Furthermore, her program director in Spain had asked her to visit a local school (which has class all year long) to speak to the children in both Spanish and English and to teach the children new vocabulary words.  Bridgette’s passion is working with and teaching children so she more than happily agreed.  During the short English lesson Bridgette was thrilled to see how excited and curious the Spanish children were to learn another language.  This experience was a tremendous opportunity for Bridgette since she is attending the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown to become a Spanish teacher.  In addition, to the teaching experience Bridgette took advantage of the opportunity to travel Spain and so on the weekends she visited several cities in Spain including: Barcelona, Granada, Valencia, Calpe and Madrid.  She learned that in every city the locals had a different dialect of Spanish as well as different customs and traditions.  She was intrigued to learn more about the differences between cities in Spain in addition to observing the differences between Spain and the United States.  Bridgette’s experience in Spain helped her to observe and experience Spanish culture and way of life while also practicing speaking Spanish with locals and the children she taught.

Community Engagement Experience Summary:

CEE Title: Opening Communication Between International Students and American Students at UPJ