Teach Conversational English
in Eastern Europe, China and Turkey
FAQs ASKED BY COUNTRIES
interested in hosting a BFE international camp or sending students to BFE programs in other countries
Q. How do we contact for information about costs?
A. BFE has a contract with each country who hosts a camp. There is no payment to BFE but each country must comply with the terms of the contract. A contract will be sent upon request. Send an e-mail to
Q. Who determines the amount of tuition?
A. Each country determines the cost for their programs based on the local economy and amount of subsidy provided
by the government and other sources. The real cost per student must be stated. The terms of the contract must be complied with in determining the budget for the summer language program. All students must pay the full price unless otherwise agreed.
Q. Who is eligible to join the BFE programs?
A. Students ages 12-14, 14-18 who have studied English for at least one year. They should have as a MINIMUM, a basic ability to read and write in English. They must have a sufficient vocabulary. We cannot teach a
stone to speak in three weeks. Only enroll the best students. They will all be taught
conversational English with a curriculum focused on their speaking needs and a curriculum
designed to promote tolerance and understanding. BFE also has offered programs
for adults in Music and English.
Q.Who is reponsible for advertising and recruiting students?
A. All Camp Directors, with the cooperation of their Ministry of Education, are to notify all schools in their country and notify the newspapers and other media by February 1st. They should also send
a notice of the BFEInternational Camps to all Foreign Embassies and Consulates
in their countries to invite students to join the camps. BFE expects a minimum
of 25% international students per camp. BFE will only work with partners who work
to achieve this mixture of students. BFE will also notify all partner countries, list information on the BFE webpage and other international educational webpages, and contact NGOs and schools through
the internet. BUT BFE's main responsbility is to recruit and prepare the
North American teachers to teach at the BFE camps.
Q. Who is responsible for the BFEwebpage?
A. BFE is responsbile, but all Camp Directors are responsbile for
providing information and photos about their facility to BFE.
If Camp Directors have a webpage they are to notify BFE so links
can be made to BFE and for them to link to BFE on their webpage.
Q. Who selects the students?
A. Each country is responsible for selecting their own students. Students should be selected without regard
to their ethnic or racial or religious backgrounds. The purpose of Bridges for Education is to promote tolerance and understanding using English as a bridge. Please send us your best and brightest. Some countries have used
English language Olympiads (contests) to select students for scholarships to the BFEInternational camp. Students should submit a letter in English stating why they wish to join the camps. They should be strongly recommended by their teachers and have high grades in English. Students who were disruptive in previous BFE camps are not allowed to return to any BFE camps.
Q. Who selects the camp location?
A. Each country determines the choice of location. A representative of BFE will inspect the site to insure that
it complies with the terms of the contract. BFEmaintains the right to disqualify the site which fails to comply with the terms of the contract. BFE reserves the right to recommend sites that they believe are in the
best interest of the program. The country has the final decision in site selection, but if the site proves unsatisfactory, BFE reserves the right to refuse to send teachers to that location.
Q. Who chooses the local staff?
A. The Camp Director is responsible for choosing adequate and qualified staff for the proper administration
of summer language camps. The are to be given a copy of the BFE contract to follow. Generally, there should be one English speaking counselor per ten students. They are responsible for supervision during the day and night and discipline.
Q. Who chooses the Camp Director?
A. Each country chooses its Camp Directors. He or she must be a reliable, diplomatic person with great social
and organizational skills who is committed to international camps. In late fall, BFE hosts an annual Leadership Training Conference for all countries wishing to cooperate with BFE. Please contact BFE for an invitation and check the BFE webpage for details.
Q. What happens at this Leadership Training Conference?
A. Representatives of each country who either host a program or will send students to a BFE camp in another
country, are invited to attend this weekend conference. There is no charge for room and board, but transportation must be arranged by each participant. Sessions will be held to review the BFE contract, webpage and the Camp Director Handbook as provided by BFE. Recommendations will be discussed for improvement in the BFE
program and organization as well as in each country's camps. Arrangements will also be made for the exchange of students.
Q. How many students may be sent on exchange to another country?
A. Each country determines how many students they will chose for exchange. Usually it is best if there are no more than 10-20 students per country in each camp. If there is an even exchange of students, then the students have only to pay the cost of the program in their country. Countries not hosting a BFE camp but wishing to send students to another country, must be responsible for the transportation and tuition costs of their students. Each country must set up their own method for receiving securing reservations and payments from international students. It is strongly urged that a deposit is required by May 1st to insure committment. Each Camp Director is responsible for making sure that each camp has 100 students, no more and no less. (unless otherwise agreed in writing from BFE) Each Camp Director has a goal of 50% international students at each camp.
Q. How will the students go to another country?
A. Each group of ten to twenty students must be accompanied by one or two teachers. That teacher is responsible for the students' safety and discipline while travelling and during the BFE programs. The teacher must stay with the students the entire three weeks of the BFE program. However, the teacher is to encourage all students to interact to promote tolerance and understanding. The method of transportation is decided by each country. Cooperation is strongly suggested with each country agreeing to send a bus one way with their students
and then bring back students from another country when feasible. The Council of Europe has a Youth Mobility program which offers reimburement on train travel for a group of ten students to an international program. Check their webpage at www.coe.fr.
Q. How many international students per camp?
A. Our experience is that international camps are the best way to promote tolerance and understanding using English as a bridge. BFE strongly requests that 50% of each camp be international students with an absolute
minimum of 25%. Camps with less than 50% are not as effective for our purposes. Students and BFE teachers know that all students benefit enormously by international camps...the students must speak English even in their dormitory as well as in classrooms and meals. Foreign Embassies should be notified at least by February of the BFE international camps so they can assist in the recruitment of international students for your camps. BFEwill NOT organize camps just for students from one country.
Q. What is the value of having international students?
A. From a pedagogical point of view, international English language camps are excellent as the students are
forced to speak English at all times. In addition, and perhaps more important, these international camps provide a wonderful opportunity for these young people to meet other young people from different cultures in
a happy and safe atmosphere of tolerance and understanding. How does one change perspective and generate understanding and hopefully tolerance, appreciation and affection? We believe that one very effective way is
to bring young people together in a safe and happy place where they are all treated with the same respect and expectations of behavior. By being together in a cooperative community of good hearted people from many ethnic, religious and racial backgrounds, students learn to trust and feel comfortable about themselves and others.
Depending on the maturity and speaking skills of the students, they are challenged to think about current issues and ideals. For example, what do we mean when we speak of freedom, democracy, community values, heros, ethics, rights and responsibility? All discussions are held with a full committment to an open and free intellectual inquiry.
Q.What kind of curriculum do you have?
A. Each camp is different depending on the background of the teachers and students. The BFE teachers arrive prepared with a three week program with classes in the morning and afternoon and evening activities.
These classes and activities are focused on improving the students' conversational English language skills in a framework of team building, self-esteem, intercultural awareness, and many topics including but not limited to, responsibility, environment, leadership, values, volunteerism, health, leadership, human rights and conflict
resolution, etc. The location and facilities of each camp will also determine variations in program.
Q.Is the host country responsible for program as well?
A.Each host country is expected to have a staff person responsible for sports equipment and activities. In
addition, the host country is expected to have a staff person responsible for arranging weekend activities and cultural performances. The International teachers from other countries who join the BFEcamps are to help the host staff with with all camp programs like international night, talent night, bonfires, etc. and all classes and activities. The BFE teachers will cooperate and coordinate their activities with the host staff.
Q. What sort of weekend activities are we to plan?
A. Depending on the resources available, each country should plan activities that will add to the understanding and appreciation of their country by the international students and BFE teachers. This can include visits to museums, movies, boat rides, beaches, historical spots, a picnic, government officials, and local community events.
Q. What are we expected to provide for the teachers on the last week of travel?
A. Please review theBFE contract for details. Each Camp Director must develop a plan for travel within his
budget and discuss it with the Group Leader soon after arrival. This week of travel will include an English speaking guide, room, board and transportation within the country, and tickets when needed to museums, concerts, theater, boat rides, etc. This is an important opportunity to impress the BFE teachers with the beauty,
history and culture of your country. You want to make all the BFE teachers feel appreciated so that they will want to return and tell their friends to join the BFE program next year. Please keep in mind the age and stamina of all the BFE teachers.
Q. Are we responsible for Opening and Closing Ceremonies?
A. As in all successful ventures, cooperation is the key for a successful program. The Camp Director and
Group Leader are to meet and discuss these events and how to arrange for presentations from the BFE teachers and host country. The Camp Director should invite the local educational authorities, the Mayor and the media.
Outstanding students who win BFE scholarships will be introduced and speak about their experiences in the camp.
Q. Is a certificate given to the students?
A. Yes, BFE provides an official diploma for each student who successfully attends all classroom and afternoon and evening activities. The BFEGroup Leader has the authority to refuse to grant a diploma to students who have not followed the camp rules and/or have not attended classes and activities.
Q. What camp rules?
A. BFEhas a list of camp rules that all students must sign and follow. It is included in the Camp Director
handbook and reviewed at the Leadership Training Conference. It is posted on the BFE webpage. You may add additional rules as needed.
Q. Who is responsible for student discipline?
A. The Camp Director and his staff are responsible for maintaining camp discipline. The BFE teachers are responsible for planning classroom and afternoon activities. They are responsible for class room attendance and order in their classrooms. If a student causes trouble or refuses to attend classes or activities, the BFE Group Leader will report this to the Camp Director for discipline. The decision of the Camp Director regarding punishment for violations of Camp rules is final. However, the BFEGroup Leader is to be consulted and advised of the decision prior to notifying the student. The BFEGroup Leader can refuse to award a diploma to a student who is a discipline problem. If the BFE Group Leader is not satisfied that proper discipline of the camp is maintained by the Camp Director's staff, he/she can refuse to continue classes and activities. The Camp Director staff and international teachers are responsible for maintaining nightly supervision in the dormitories.
The Foreign Embassies are to be called to directly assist in returning any international student who causes problems in the camps.
Q. But this is a summer camp and the students want to have fun. Why have rules?
A. We want the students to have the most wonderful summer of their lives, but we believe that learning and
discipline are intertwined. Students who cut classes or stay up all night are not learning and are wasting their parents money as well as our time and money. Those who violate the Camp Rules are ruining a special experience for other students. Please remember, the BFE teachers are volunteers who have paid for their airplane
tickets to come teach conversational English. We expect the students to show appreciation of this and a strong willingness to learn. Students must attend all classes and activities.
Q. Can the host country staff teachers who accompany the international exchange students, observe the class rom teaching and join in the activities?
A. We welcome and expect the participation of the host and international staff in all aspects of our program. This is an important opportunity for the professional exchange of ideas and methodology. The International staff is expected to assist the BFE teachers in all classes and activities. They are responsible for international night and talent night as well as all camp discipline during the day and night. We welcome and expect their input and assistance.
Q. What is there is a problem with a BFE teacher?
A. The BFE Group Leader is responsible for the discipline of anyone on the BFEteam. BFE has a disciplinary procedure that every teacher must sign and obey. A BFE teacher who refuses to cooperate may be sent home.
Q. What do BFE teachers bring with them?
A. BFE provides dictionaries and T-shirts for all the students. BFE provides diplomas. American flags and BFE banners for each camp. The teachers bring the necessary supplies for their classrooms and afternoon and evening activities. This is a big financial committment on the part of BFE and that is why you cannot simply over enroll the camp without receiving written permission from BFEprior to the start of the camp.
Q. What is the host country expected to provide?
A. Sufficient classrooms, copying machines, paper, overhead projectors, piano, a TV, Universal format VCR, tape
player, etc. As the camps are finalized, correspondences between the Group Leader and Camp Director will establish the unique needs and possibilities of each camp site. Each Camp Director will receive a BFE handbook and a BFE contract for guidance.