Where will I live?
Much of your time on the Global Bridge program will be spent in Magdalena Milpas Altas, a small “indigenous” town made up of roughly 10,000 people that is relatively close to Antigua, Guatemala. You will live in community with other participants at the Global Bridge house located near the town’s central plaza, within walking distance of most ministry sites. During language school weeks, you will stay in carefully selected host homes in the nearby town of Antigua, a World Heritage site town situated in a beautiful mountain valley.
How will I get around?
Much of your travel will be by foot or in vans driven by SI staff. There are also times when you may travel by public transportation.
What will I eat?
A variety of foods are served in our host homes stays and Global Bridge house meals in Magdalena. Typical Guatemalan dishes, pastas, casseroles, tacos, soups, grilled/baked chicken, pancakes, eggs, platanos, fruits, vegetables, sweet bread, and more. Students are responsible for helping with meal preparation.
What if I have a dietary restriction?
We need to know about dietary restrictions early in your application process. If you have allergies or intolerances – for instance, gluten – we will do our best to work with you to make necessary arrangements.
What can I do with my free time?
Free time on the Global Bridge program is limited – we have a busy schedule of ministry, academics, excursions, and interacting with the local culture. When you do have down time, you may exercise, go for a walk, spend more time getting to know the other program participants. You may also have time on the weekends to participate in various different activities in Antigua such as visiting ancient ruins, shopping in “tipica” markets, going to movies and cultural events, eating in one of many delicious restaurants or panaderias.
What are some examples of weekend excursions?
We plan a variety of excursions and cultural experiences on a monthly basis. Opportunities abound to hike volcanos and the local mountains of Magdalena, to enjoy black sand beaches, venture off to Lake Atitlán and Tikal, take in local culture, and visit the historical town of Antigua. Excursions are subject to change, but typically include:
- Antigua, the vibrant former capital
- Lake Atitlán, surrounded by volcanoes, it is one of the most beautiful lakes in the world
- Tikal, a famous Mayan archeological site in the jungle of northern Guatemala
- Volcano Pacaya, an active volcanic attraction near Antigua
- Pacific Coast, featuring quaint seaside villages and black sand beaches
What additional expenses should I expect?
Most of your in-country expenses are covered, though you may want to bring money for snacks, souvenirs, etc. This will vary from student to student. ATMs are available in town and we recommend this as opposed to carrying a lot of cash with you into the country.
Can I communicate with friends & family back home?
You will have internet access at the Global Bridge house for school work, communicating back home, and for leisure activities. SI staff will work with you to set aside time and establish guidelines for social networking to ensure a healthy balance between connecting with friends and family and engaging fully in the program and culture.
Who is on the SI staff in Guatemala?
> Global Bridge Program Directors: Ed & Mable Mendoza – The Mendozas work closely with students on a daily basis. They facilitate community life activities, spiritual formation teaching, life skill and leadership training, guiding students as they navigate the highs and lows of their time in Guatemala.
< SI Guatemala Field Directors: Blake & Christina Davis – The Davis’ oversee the ministry as a whole in Guatemala. SI Guatemala also employs Guatemalan and U.S. staff as ministry site leaders.
> Academic Program Coordinator: Rebecca Keiser – Rebecca is the main U.S. contact person for students. She guides potential students through the application process, and post-acceptance, gives detailed assistance in preparing students for departure. Contact Rebecca at email@example.com.
< Academic Program Director: Darin Mather – Darin oversees Students International’s academic programs. He serves as a liaison between Students International and Crown College. Darin helps students choose their courses and provides academic support throughout the Global Bridge experience. Contact Darin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
> Vice President of the International Service Center: Pam Christy – Pam oversees the team that provides support for SI staff and for students who participate in SI programs.
What types of ministry will I be involved in?
The ministry experience is diverse. You will work alongside SI staff in the local ministry sites such as the carpentry, creative arts, education, tutoring, healthcare, media communications, microfinaces, social work, sports and veterinary medicine. You will work side by side with experienced missionaries who minister in their sites everyday. Learn more about SI’s ministry sites in Guatemala here.
Will there be any discipleship training?
The overall experience in Guatemala is aimed at transforming the heart, mind, and soul. We work on learning to thoughtfully recognize what God is trying to teach us in the midst of the cultural changes and different environments. You will meet regularly with a mentor. We also do a weekly Bible study, as well as target life and leadership skills for your future.
What is Students International?
Students International (SI) is a mission and community development organization with operations in Fiji, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, and Nicaragua. SI’s passion is to provide students with opportunities to volunteer in ministry and service sites that are related to their personal academic and vocational interests. These experiences are transformative spiritually, academically, vocationally and personally while simultaneously focusing on Christ-centered ministry through our long-standing presence within the local communities. SI currently has over 60 staff ministering in five different countries. We partner annually with around 100 groups to provide short-term mission opportunities to over 1,000 students and adults. Academically, we have worked for nearly 15 years providing semester study abroad programs in conjunction with Christian colleges across the country.
What is Crown College?
Crown is a fully accredited Christian liberal arts college that is ranked within the nation’s top 15% of colleges by Money Magazine. Crown’s School of Online Studies has been ranked among the nation’s Top Online Programs, and in the Top 10 Online Christian Colleges.
Can I transfer my classes from Crown to other institutions?
Yes. Crown College is a fully-accredited liberal arts college, whose credit will be accepted by private and public universities across the country. If you have questions about transferring to a specific university, Academic Programs Director Darin Mather can assist you with the process (email@example.com).
How do Students International and Crown work together?
Students International and Crown College are two Christian organizations with a passion for changing the lives of students as they change the world. SI takes care of ministry and logistics in Guatemala. Crown provides online courses and academic advising.
How much does the program cost?
Find out more on our Cost page.
How will I pay for the program?
Airfare and in-country expenses are paid directly to Students International. Students are able to raise support for these costs and donors will receive tax deductible receipts.
Tuition is paid directly to Crown College. Students may contact Crown’s Financial Aid Office to learn more about applying for federal and state aid. Because Crown offers competitively priced tuition (which is further reduced for the Global Bridge program), students are not eligible for institutional grants or scholarships.
Can I get financial aid?
A Crown College financial aid adviser will work with you to explore and maximize your financial aid options.
Can I raise support for my expenses?
Yes, you may raise support for your ministry-related SI program costs. SI will furnish a fundraising packet to guide you through this process.
What courses can I take?
Find out more on our Earn College Credit page.
What are the academic expectations?
The Global Bridge is a program that combines ministry and academics. All students must take a minimum of 9 college credits per semester in addition to their language schooling. Students must remain in good academic standing throughout the program (including maintaining a GPA above 2.0). Those who do not successfully complete their coursework may be dismissed from the program.
What materials will I need for my courses?
You will need a laptop with Microsoft Office installed for your online studies.
Do I have to pay for books?
Yes. Crown will provide information about ordering your books before the program starts. A book list will be provided in your orientation materials. You will purchase your books before you travel to Guatemala. We try to keep book costs as low as possible.
Who can I contact to learn more?
Rebecca Keiser, Academic Program Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org
Darin Mather, Academic Program Director, email@example.com
Can I come home for Christmas?
All Global Bridge participants will return home over the December holiday break for about a month and return for the start of classes in January. Holiday break airfare is not covered in your SI program cost.
Can my family come visit me?
Family members may visit students during specified times.
Check out the Global Bridge Student Handbook!