Novogratz Bridge Year Program, Indonesia
I’m Oscar Platt (he/him/his) and I was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. I am concentrating in Architecture with a potential certificate in Environmental Studies. I was a part of the Novogratz Bridge Year Program’s 2018-2019 cohort in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. While I was there, I volunteered at UCP Roda untuk Kemannusian (United Cerebral Palsy Wheels for Humanity), an international NGO that increases mobility and advocates for people with physical disabilities. While I was there, I documented and planned events/workshops, translated written materials, and assisted with field work. Outside of my NGO, I studied batik art (an Indonesian hot wax on fabric visual art), learned how to play Gamelan music, and spent lots of time with my homestay family. Bridge Year was an incredibly formative experience in which I redefined my values, made lifelong friends, and gained a better understanding of my place in the world. I am endlessly grateful for Bridge Year and I hope I can help and share my experiences with you! At Princeton, I sing a cappella with Old NasSoul, work at the CycLab as a bike mechanic, and work as a shop monitor in the Architecture Shop.
What was the best part of Bridge Year for you?
The connection I made with my homestay family! Although this was definitely the aspect of Bridge Year that intimidated me the most, my homestay family was a huge source of support throughout the year. They welcomed my novice language skills and anxiety with unconditional love and I am still in regular contact with them.
What is one skill or talent that you developed while on Bridge Year?
As part of my independent study, I learned how to batik, an encaustic visual art that consists of drawing on fabric with hot wax and dyeing. I would always look forward to my weekly lessons and I was even designing my own pieces by the end of the year! I still batik to this day, I spent last summer road tripping the US and batiking along as part of Princeton’s Dale Summer Award.