Novogratz Bridge Year Program, China
I’m Svetlana Johnson (she/her/hers) and I was born in the West Indies but grew up in South Florida. I have always been curious and excited to learn about the world and different cultures and was excited for the opportunity to broaden my perspectives through the Bridge Year Program. I spent most of my Bridge Year in Kunming, China, and later in Yilan, Taiwan, in response to growing pandemic concerns. I spent my time in China volunteering at Luokemi, where I helped plan lessons and assist with classes for children with developmental disabilities. While in Taiwan, I worked at the Neicheng Community Center, where I assisted with classes for the local elderly community. For me, Bridge Year was an important period of growth, challenge, and exploration. Currently, I major in Economics and am involved with Princeton's Caribbean Connection and Scholars of Finance.
What did you learn through your participation in Bridge Year?
Bridge Year pushed me both physically and emotionally, and those moments taught me a lot about what my limits actually are and how I can approach moments of difficulty on both a personal and interpersonal level.
What was the best part of Bridge Year for you?
The best part of Bridge Year for me would have to be the people that I met. Even though your language skills may be limited, there is still a lot of potential for developing strong relationships while on Bridge Year, and those relationships are a key part of what makes Bridge Year a great experience.