Reflections and Connections

  • Date: November 3, 2022
    Country: Indonesia

    Winding through the narrow alleys and twisting streets of my neighborhood in Indonesia, it’s strange and beautiful to feel a sense of belonging. For if I come from a far-away land, missing understanding of the complexities that make up this place where I now live, how can these winding streets be my own?

  • Date: September 8, 2022
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    Novogratz Bridge Year Program alumna Yun-Yun Li '17 shared insights with the 2022-23 Bridge Year students at the August 22 send-off reception in the Chancellor Green Rotunda. Her full remarks are featured below.

    It’s a pleasure to meet you all at this very particular time in your lives. For the next few days you will be moving through a threshold to a fresh chapter in your life, from the known and familiar to the unknown. For that deep transition, I’d like to offer a story that a dear friend shared with me last year during a threshold moment in my life.

  • Date: July 28, 2022
    Country: India

    In this series, the Novogratz Bridge Year Program reconnects with past participants to see where life has taken them after Princeton.  In this installment, we check-in with Chhaya Werner ‘14.  In 2009-2010, Chhaya traveled with Bridge Year to Varanasi, India, where she collaborated with NIRMAN, an organization that aims to provide inclusive and innovative learning experiences for people of all ages and backgrounds.

  • Date: July 1, 2022
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    In this series, we're reconnecting with Novogratz Bridge Year alums to see where life has taken them after Princeton.  For this installment, we reached out to Kenny Hubbell ‘16.  In 2011-12, Kenny traveled with his Bridge Year group to Urubamba, Peru, where he primarily collaborated on a ceramic water filter project with ProPeru, an organization that focuses on community development concerns in the Sacred Valley region.

  • Date: April 18, 2022
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    Throughout the spring, our Novogratz Bridge Year Admission Ambassadors have been sharing their thoughts and insights on the Bridge Year student experience. In this installment, Kate Macakanja '23, Aneekah Uddin ’24, Svetlana Johnson ’24, Sydney Eck ’24, Isaac Wills ’23, and  Nicole Williams ’23, reflect on a range of issues including cross-cultural challenges, language learning, relationship building, and identity during their time abroad.

  • Date: April 7, 2022
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    In this series, the Novogratz Bridge Year office reconnects with program alums to see where life has taken them after Princeton. This installment features Agnes Cho ‘14.  In 2009-10, Agnes traveled with the inaugural Bridge Year group to Urubamba, Peru, where she collaborated with ProPeru, an organization that focuses on community development concerns in the Sacred Valley region.

  • Date: March 28, 2022
    Country: India

    Sydney Eck ’24 (Bridge Year India 2019-20) recently sat down sat down with Manish Jain, Shikshantar’s founder and Sydney’s mentor while on the program, to have him share more about the goals and work of Shikshantar

  • Date: March 16, 2022
    Country: China

    Families that host Novogratz Bridge Year students open their homes and lives to participants year after year. In this series, past participants take an opportunity to reconnect with their homestay families and reflect on the mutual learning and growth that occurs through hosting. 

  • Date: March 9, 2022
    Country: Senegal

    In this series, our assistant director, Matt Lynn, connects with Novogratz Bridge Year alumni to see where life has taken them after Princeton.  In this installment, Matt speaks with Abigail Gellman, Class of 2017. In 2012-13, Abby traveled with Bridge Year to Dakar, Senegal, where she collaborated with Taxawu Suñuy Xalés (TSX), an organization that, until 2014, provided meals, basic first aid, and educational programming for Talibé in Yoff, Dakar.

  • Date: March 2, 2022
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    Throughout the spring, our Novogratz Bridge Year Admission Ambassadors will share thoughts and insights on the Bridge Year student experience. In this installment, Aneekah Uddin ’24, Nicole Williams ’23, Sydney Eck ’24, Svetlana Johnson ’24, Isaac Wills ’23, and Miguel Gracia-Zhang ’23

  • Date: February 10, 2022
    Country: Bolivia

    Prior to the start of her first year on campus, Coley Martin ‘23, now a third-year student in Civil and Environmental Engineering, traveled to Tiquipaya, Bolviia, as part of the Novogratz Bridge Year Program. 

    As a Bridge Year Admission Ambassador, Coley is eager to tell prospective students about her Bridge Year experience, so we asked her to share a bit more with us about her time on Bridge Year.

  • Date: February 3, 2022
    Country: India

    In this series, our assistant director, Matt Lynn, connects with Novogratz Bridge Year alums to see where life has taken them after Princeton.  In this first installment, Matt speaks with Nick Kim Sexton ’17. In 2012-13, Nick traveled with Bridge Year to Varanasi, India, where he collaborated with NIRMAN, an organization that aims to provide inclusive and innovative learning experiences for people of all ages and backgrounds. 

  • Date: May 6, 2021
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    In our final installment of the series, Anna Hiltner ’23, Cody Mui ’23, Aneekah Uddin '24, John Bullock ’23, and Leopoldo Solis '21 discuss their main takeaways from the Novogratz Bridge Year Program and provide their best advice for prospective students. Don't forget, the deadline…

  • Date: April 30, 2021
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    This week, Anna Hiltner ’23, Cody Mui ’23, John Bullock ’23, and Leopoldo Solis '21 reflect on the ways that Bridge Year prepared them for the Princeton academic experience.

  • Date: April 26, 2021
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    This week, Anna Hiltner ’23, Svetlana Johnson ’24, Cody Mui ’23, Leopoldo Solis ’21, and Nicole E. Williams ’23 discuss navigating personal challenges on Bridge Year and provide tips for future Bridge Year students as they prepare for the program.

  • Date: April 16, 2021
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    This week, Aneekah Uddin ’24, John Bullock ’23, and Kate Gross Whitaker ’23 reflect on the challenges, mishaps, and advantages of learning a new language and culture.

  • Date: April 8, 2021
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    This week, Kate Gross Whitaker ’23 and Svetlana Johnson ’24 reflect on the theme of community engagement and service learning.

  • Date: July 28, 2020
    Country: China

    When I biked home from work in China, I anticipated not my homestay family’s apartment building, a nondescript, five story complex on top of convenience stores and massage parlors, but the building across from it. At twenty stories high, it towered over mine, and two looming characters perched on either corner blazed in red: 天 and 地, or heaven and earth. My Christian roots compelled me to recall those first verses. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep…”. Until I was eleven and had repudiated my faith in a fit of teenage angst, I dutifully attended church every Sunday and Jesus camp every June. China had the tendency to reveal my bare bones, and as I returned after a long day of stumbling…

  • Date: April 3, 2020
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    On March 13, the Novogratz Bridge Year Program made the difficult decision to suspend operations in all five of our program sites for the remainder of the year, due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. We want to thank all of the communities across the globe that make this program possible, our program partner Where There Be Dragons, and the Bridge Year students for remaining engaged and committed to learning about the world around them even as they transition back to their home locations. Enjoy some farewell reflections from each of the Bridge Year cohorts. 

  • Date: March 10, 2020
    Country: Senegal

    I am creating meaningful relationships with those around me. As Bridge Year shortens to a few months, I am cherishing the time left with the Mbayen family. Although, I know that just as those who have come before me, I will always be a part of the family