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FirstBridge

Sarah

Alumna

Alumna Sarah Harper-Johnston graduated in 2017 with a major in Global Communication and a minor in Film. Here, she looks back on her first year at AUP and how the FirstBridge program helped her find her way into college life.

HOW DID FIRST/ENGLISHBRIDGE HELP YOU FIND YOUR PLACE AT AUP?

FirstBridge not only helped me make friends but it also helped me to realize that I was in the right major. I took a FirstBridge course that I knew would interest me and it was just a nice confirmation that I was about to dive into a program that would capture my attention for the next four years.

WHAT WAS YOUR MOST MEMORABLE AND/OR MOST ENJOYABLE BRIDGE EXPERIENCE?

Whenever we left the classroom always made the class more enjoyable. Going out to dinner at the Moroccan restaurant or visiting Musée D'Orsay will always remind me of early freshmen year.

WHAT IS UNIQUE ABOUT THE LEARNING EXPERIENCES OF THE BRIDGE COURSES?

Having two courses directly correlate with each other is unique in itself – but FirstBridge also has a reflective seminar so students completely understand why and how different subjects are closely related.

WHAT HAS THE BRIDGE EXPERIENCE PREPARED YOU FOR AT AUP?

FirstBridge taught me the importance of forming relationships with my classmates and professors. AUP is a small, unique and international community and there is so much to learn from your classmates and professors that helped me inside and outside the classroom.

Don't be afraid to take a FirstBridge in something you've never tried before – you never know what you might learn.

Sarah Harper-Johnston '17
HOW DID BRIDGE ENHANCE YOUR INTERDISCIPLINARY OR CROSS-DISCIPLINARY LEARNING?

By looking for connections between my FirstBridge courses that first semester I learned that by actively linking the subject matters helped me learn the material better. In my last year at AUP I still tried to make those connections between all my courses and it helped me not only understand the content but understand how the entire world is connected and helps me get the most out of the AUP experience.

DID YOU DISCOVER A NEW DISCIPLINE THAT YOU LOVED THROUGH BRIDGE? (PLEASE EXPLAIN!)

I did not exactly discover a new discipline that I loved, but I started Communications not really understanding what it actually meant and the FirstBridge solidified that this would be my major. When we watched Silence of the Lambs I found myself passionate about film analysis and I think this was the start of my Film Minor.

HOW DID THE LIBRARY SUPPORT YOUR LEARNING?

During finals week, I used the group study rooms with my classmates and it was really helpful to have a space where we could all meet and study together.

WHAT ROLE DID ACTIVITIES OUTSIDE OF THE CLASSROOM (VISITS, TRIPS, AND DINNERS) PLAY IN BUILDING COMMUNITY IN YOUR BRIDGE GROUP?

The trips outside the classroom were not only the most memorable part of the course, but they helped to form relationships with my classmates and professors. Everybody who comes to AUP has an interesting international background and I think it is so important to learn from that. Once a class leaves the official classroom space it becomes more casual and opens everybody up – without it FirstBridge would not be the same.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO FRESHMEN AT AUP ABOUT FIRST/ENGLISHBRIDGE?

Don't be afraid to take a FirstBridge in something you've never tried before – you never know what you might learn. Don't be shy! Talk to your classmates, professors, go to the dinners and form your "FirstBridge Family." Take advantage of everything AUP has to offer and enjoy it because it will go by faster than you could ever imagine.