Isaac Wills '23

Admission Ambassador

Novogratz Bridge Year Program, Indonesia

Howdy, folks, I’m Isaac (he/him/his), and I’m from Nashville, Tennessee! From a young age, I have had several opportunities to travel abroad through my father’s work in partnership with Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. This early exposure helped cultivate in me a deep interest in world history, along with an understanding of the importance of being uncomfortable, engaged, and open simultaneously in foreign cultural contexts. As such, I was excited to partake in Bridge Year! As a participant, I lived in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, where I was a student volunteer at Rifka Annisa Women’s Crisis Center, an NGO that served victims of sexual violence. While there, I conducted a research project regarding Indonesia’s historical and contemporary women’s movements and their relevance to legal and social questions of reproductive health and sexual violence. At Princeton, I concentrate in history, with further coursework in the Near Eastern Studies and Environmental Studies departments.


How has Bridge Year informed your Princeton experience?

After living in Indonesia—the world's most populous Muslim majority country—I, a religious Christian, have sought out opportunities at Princeton to engage in interfaith dialogue. My intimate relationship and experience with my Muslim host family has informed my involvement in interfaith programming and travel to the Near East through Princeton’s Office of Religious Life.

What advice would you give to prospective Bridge Year applicants?

Seek to represent your place of home by being a “learning servant” in your host community. The best way to engage a foreign community is to be foremost a “learner.” Demonstrating an interest in understanding a new context one finds oneself in—culturally, socially, professionally, etc.—is the first imperative in nourishing cross-contextual relationships.

Return to Admission Ambassadors