Do you have questions about Princeton’s Bridge Year Program? Check these FAQs. If you don’t find the answer you’re seeking, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who may participate in the Bridge Year Program?
The program is specifically designed for incoming freshmen who have received and accepted the University's offer of admission. For more information on admission go to Princeton's undergraduate admission website.
How much does it cost?
The University is strongly committed to making the Bridge Year Program accessible to every incoming Princeton freshman, regardless of financial circumstances.
All core program costs for your Bridge Year will be paid for by the University. You will incur no tuition or living expenses during the entire nine months of the program.
Bridge Year participants and their families will typically be responsible for the cost of travel and other incidental expenses such as document fees, health insurance, immunizations and personal items. Need-based funding is available to cover such expenses, meaning that--depending on your family circumstances--your Bridge Year could cost you practically nothing.
Will I get to choose my destination?
You will be asked to indicate your preferred Bridge Year destinations in your application. If selected for the program, you will be offered the chance to participate at a specific program site.
What if I don’t speak the language of my host country?
Before you begin your Bridge Year service assignment, you’ll participate in a period of intensive language study and cultural training. Learning a new language takes time, but within a couple of months you will acquire the necessary skills to communicate effectively within your community.
Can I choose my service project?
Participants are assigned to service placements based on their skills and interests along with the needs of the projects and organizations serving the local community. Once on-site, you’ll work closely with program staff to define and develop your community service assignment. Specific placements, however, cannot be guaranteed.
When does the Bridge Year Program begin?
The Bridge Year program will start during the last week of August with a pre-departure orientation at Princeton University. At orientation, you’ll have the chance to meet your fellow Bridge Year students, as well as participate in a series of sessions and activities that will help you to prepare for your nine-month period of service abroad. Students will travel to their respective Bridge Year program sites in groups immediately following orientation. Once on-site, orientation sessions will continue, along with intensive language instruction and an introduction to ongoing community service projects in the region.
Will I be safe while I'm abroad?
There are inherent risks associated with any form of travel, particularly travel in developing countries. Princeton University, however, and its partner organizations, are committed to making every reasonable effort to provide you with a healthy and safe Bridge Year experience. Princeton's partners are experienced program providers with exceptional records of success and safety. At each program location, a Bridge Year coordinator is responsible for all aspects of program management and student support. This on‐site staff person is there to guide and assist you throughout your experience.
As a Bridge Year volunteer you will receive information regarding health and safety risks in pre‐departure materials and through orientation sessions held both at Princeton and on site at your program location. The goal of these sessions is to provide you with a full understanding of health and safety concerns along with how to prevent problems from occurring while abroad.
Will I have time to travel and see the sights while I’m abroad?
Program partners will organize overnight excursions, day trips and a variety of other activities free of charge throughout the year to help you gain a deeper understanding of your host country. Given your work schedule, as well as to ensure your safety, independent travel is generally prohibited while abroad.
Will I be allowed to come home during the holidays?
The commitment you make as a Princeton Bridge Year student is very important to the community that you are serving. As such, you should expect to engage in a nine-month period of service without making a trip back home. The absence of prolonged holiday breaks in Bridge Year service assignments along with the overall length of your stay will afford you the opportunity to integrate more fully in the life of your host family and local community, as well as to gain a much deeper understanding of local culture and customs.
Can my family visit me during the program?
While visits from family and friends can be a truly wonderful experience, Princeton University and its partner organizations strongly recommend that such visits take place at the program’s conclusion. During the program, you will be engaged in daily service and involved in a number of enrichment activities and excursions, both during the week and on weekends.
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