Farewell reflections from Bridge Year 2019-20

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. 

A group of people at a table eating from bowls

Bridge Year China / Taiwan

Farewell from Bridge Year China/Taiwan! We would like to thank everyone at Where There Be Dragons and Princeton who have supported us during our Bridge Year. The past months have been a deeply enriching and unique experience, and we are incredibly grateful to all of the donors, Dragons staff, and Princeton staff for making all of it possible and for keeping us safe. The two different experiences of immersing ourselves in Kunming and of exploring Taiwan will continue to impact us far beyond our return to the US.  Since we first arrived in Kunming (see the picture of our first meal here above!), we have grown so much in our understanding of how to build relationships, global issues, what it means to serve, and ourselves. This experience was once in a lifetime, and thank you to everyone who helped us on our journey.

Eight people posing with a sunset and a river behind them

Bridge Year India

Bridge Year India 11.0 is unable to fully articulate how grateful we are for all of the incredible opportunities, experiences, and people we have encountered during our time on program. We are thankful for the learning, growth, and love that have developed and benefited us over the past seven months, and we hope to bring these qualities with us as we adjust to our lives back home and at Princeton. Pyarse.

Eight people in a turquoise ocean

Bridge Year Indonesia

Farewell from Bridge Year Indonesia! Although we miss our families and friends in Indonesia, we are so grateful for the opportunity and all the wonderful memories from these 7 months. It is hard to articulate how grateful we are to everyone who impacted our time abroad - thanks to the many homestay communities we stayed with, our language teachers, NGOs, instructors, and all the people and places we had the privilege of visiting. As we adjust to life back home, we reflect on all of the growth we’ve made and lessons we’ve learned. This isn’t goodbye - it’s sampai jumpa - until next time! 

A large group of people posing for a photo

Bridge Year Senegal

Bridge year Senegal has been safely readjusting to life back in the US. We were sad to abruptly leave Senegal. We are so grateful, however, to our amazing homestay families, instructors, service sites, speakers, and all of the other people we built relationships with. We will also greatly miss our excursions to mosques, the biggest baobab tree, a waterfall, gardens and schools, the beaches, street soccer, daily café toubas, friendly greetings, the call to prayer, bus rides, the opportunity to question and learn, and so much more. Jërëjëf (thank you) Senegal for this amazing experience!!!

A large group of people standing in a row, posing for a photo

Bridge Year Bolivia / Peru

Bridge Year Bolivia/Peru feels bittersweet about the unfortunate and abrupt ending of the program, but very thankful that we were part of such a powerful experience. We have cultivated incredible love within our group, with our instructors, and with our amazing host families and worksites. We are lucky to have lived among the Andes for 7 months, and in that time we learned so much about the Americas, communication, how to work through problems and accept what we can’t control. We’ve also learned how much we still don’t know about the world. We want to say thank you to everyone we got to know in both Bolivia and Peru, as well as our dedicated Spanish teachers. We are excited to implement our new knowledge and skills into our communities at home and eventually Princeton. 

Novogratz Bridge Year Program