Sydney Eck ’24

Admission Ambassador
Office Hours

Novogratz Bridge Year Program, India

Hi, I'm Sydney (she/her/hers) and I was born and raised in Denver, Colorado. As a participant on the Bridge Year India program, I lived in Udaipur, Rajasthan, and worked for an alternative education and sustainability NGO called Shikshantar Andolan. At Shikshantar, I organized sustainability events and workshops and developed a digital music curriculum now used at several alternative education centers around the world as part of the Ecoversitites Alliance. Outside of my NGO work, I studied classical Hindustani vocals, harmonium, and kathak dance. For me, Bridge Year was an invaluable experience, helping me redefine my values, foster lifelong relationships, and learn important life skills. Bridge Year challenged me to confront my potential impact--both positive and negative--on others. At Princeton, I write and edit for the Daily Princetonian, perform with the Glee Club and the Princeton Katzenjammers, and advocate for Indigenous students and Natives American issues with Natives at Princeton and the Indigenous Advocacy Coalition.


What advice would you give to prospective Bridge Year applicants?

Bridge Year can be an incredibly rewarding experience, but remember that growth and expanded understanding will not come automatically. The program can be demanding and challenging. Many of the support systems you rely on pre-Bridge Year will look different on program, so it is important to find ways to ground yourself in that new context.

In what ways did Bridge Year challenge you? 

Especially at first, I was bad at living in India, from overpaying for fruit to pointing my feet in the wrong direction. I questioned my impact in a context where I was struggling to just exist. But failing constantly was exactly what I needed to better understand the local community and my role within it.

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