Last month, Spirit representative Katherine attended the Wisconsin Dells CSG Forum for Host Employers and community members. CSG stands for “Community Support Group.” The event, which was held in person for the first time since 2019, aims to make the Wisconsin Dells community a welcoming location for exchange visitors, strengthen the BridgeUSA Summer Work and Travel program, and prepare everyone for a successful summer. It was a great opportunity to share information.
Mark Hilbert, a program analyst for the Department of State, spoke about the public diplomacy goals of the program and its strength both nationwide and in the Wisconsin Dells specifically. Kristin DuBois, a Public Affairs Specialist at the Department of State, spoke about how to engage with and share the stories of BridgeUSA participants through social media and local media.
Other presentations discussed strategies for supporting mental and emotional health, taxes and the Social Security process for participants, and all the great work being done in the area to facilitate cultural engagement between BridgeUSA participants and the larger community. Katherine also joined other sponsors in giving a program overview and speaking about guidelines and best practices.
At lunch, sponsors, Host Employers, and community members had the chance to share their experiences with the program. The event concluded with two current BridgeUSA participants placed in Wisconsin Dells sharing what the program meant to them and some highlights from their time in the US.
After the Forum, Katherine joined representatives from Greenheart, Alliance Abroad, Intrax, and Interexchange in hosting a bowling night at Knuckleheads for Spring participants. Participants had a great time trying bowling, spending time with friends, and sharing pizza. Kristin DuBois even taught participants the wave!
Katherine loved speaking with participants about their experiences in Wisconsin Dells and appreciated the chance to meet with so many other Host employers, Sponsors, and community members passionate about cultural exchange.
Learn more about the Spirit Work and Travel Program.