About the Program
Princeton’s Bridge Year Program is a nine-month, tuition-free program that allows newly admitted undergraduates the opportunity to defer their enrollment for a year to engage in community service work in another country. While abroad, Bridge Year participants study the local language, live with carefully selected families, volunteer in organizations serving the needs of local communities, and engage in a variety of cultural enrichment activities.
Bridge Year offers a truly innovative approach to learning, one that is more experiential and more profoundly transformational than anything most students entering college will have encountered during high school. The knowledge, understanding, and skills gained through the Bridge Year serve not only to enhance a student’s undergraduate experience at Princeton, but also contribute to the overall strength of the University’s educational community.
The Bridge Year Program began in the fall of 2009 with twenty participants. Since then, over 150 students have participated, engaging in humble service while forming genuine relationships and learning about relevant social concerns in the host communities in which they serve. During the 2015-16 academic year, the program will provide opportunities for up to thirty-five participants at program locations in Bolivia, Brazil, China, India and Senegal.
The program is open to members of Princeton's newly-admitted freshman class. The application process takes place each spring after students are admitted to the University. Read more about the application process on the How to Apply page.