Students enroll in Summerbridge for a period of 14 months, which includes two Summer Programs and a School Year Program in between. Students also have the opportunity to participate in Sponsor Engagement activities where they meet different professionals working in Hong Kong. After students graduate from Summerbridge, they have the option of returning to Summerbridge to give back and become leaders in the program. All programs are tuition-free, and aim to provide opportunities to students without resources who need it most. Learn more about our programs below.
The centerpiece of our work is the Summer Program. Following the Summerbridge model of students-teaching-students, older students from around the world come together to provide a unique 5-week summer experience for younger local students. For student teachers, the program lasts 8 weeks, with the additional 3 weeks dedicated to teacher training, summer preparation, and post-summer evaluation.
Summerbridge is an English-only environment, and an ideal place for students to improve their English communication skills. Whether in class or during casual conversation, students dedicate themselves to practicing the language by speaking only in English with their peers and teachers.
Students learn new and interesting subjects at Summerbridge, such as Psychology, Theater, and Astronomy. With only 8 to 10 students per class, classes are designed to give students many opportunities to share ideas, ask questions, and expand their creativity. Lessons are highly interactive and students are exposed to diverse ways of learning, such as debates, experiments, and group projects. Student teachers use English Language Development strategies to make language learning a comfortable and interesting process.
Besides academic study skills, life skills are heavily emphasized at Summerbridge. The goals of self-confidence, teamwork, and leadership are built into every aspect of the program, including classes, performances, and special events. Students are presented with opportunities every day to experience and build on these skills. The skills built here are indispensable for students in school and beyond.
The Summerbridge environment is uniquely shaped by the different backgrounds and cultures of the student teachers who arrive each summer. The Summer Program becomes an exchange of diverse perspectives and provides students and student teachers alike a place to engage in meaningful conversations that broaden their view of the world.
The Summerbridge model offers the opportunity for student teachers to give back to the community in a powerful and emphatic way, by becoming role models to younger students. Student teachers come to realize the impact they can have on the community, while students discover a place to find inspiration, and in turn, believe that they can take ownership of their own education.
After completing their first Summer Program, students participate in the School Year Program, which consists of workshops and activities on some Saturdays during their Form 3 year. This program acts as a bridge between the two summers for students to stay connected with the Summerbridge community, while providing further support to practice their English communication and life skills. Students are also exposed to different contexts and activities to which those skills can be applied. Examples activities include neighborhood visits in Hong Kong and workshops on poverty issues. Furthermore, with Summerbridge staff visiting students’ schools throughout the year, the School Year Program provides an additional avenue of support for the students.
Sponsor Engagement activities are Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) opportunities that are organized by Summerbridge with our sponsors. Our sponsor volunteers have the opportunity to interact with local youth and give back to the community. Students benefit through exposure to new cultural and extracurricular activities and the opportunity to meet professionals from different career fields in the city. Example events include environmental awareness workshops, team-building activities, rock climbing, and beach cleanup.
Upon graduating from Summerbridge, student alumni have the opportunity to give back to the program by returning as office assistants, teaching assistants, or even student teachers. As they take on different administrative and teaching roles, former students are able to experience the unique environment of working with the diverse team of student teachers and gain valuable leadership experience. This culture of giving back has allowed Summerbridge to witness many students paying it forward to support and inspire the next generation of students.