The World Is Your Classroom
At Princeton, we believe that the best way for you to understand and contribute to our globalized world is to experience other places and cultures firsthand. Our students share the University's international vision, and while they relish their time on campus, many also take advantage of a wide array of opportunities to live and learn abroad.
Students often speak of their international learning experiences as "life changing." Whether you choose to study overseas, conduct research abroad or pursue an international internship, you'll be doing much more than furthering your academic work. You'll discover new interests, learn about yourself and return to Princeton with a more sophisticated understanding of our complex world. You will be a global citizen.
As a student, you'll have a choice of international programs in countries around the world, as well as the chance to take classes on campus that include a travel component. You can even start your Princeton journey in another nation through our innovative Bridge Year Program. And after you graduate, you'll have opportunities to engage globally through alumni service programs such as Princeton in Africa, Princeton in Asia and Princeton in Latin America.
The Bridge Year Program
Some students jump into an international experience right away before starting their first year on campus. As an incoming student, you can apply to spend nine months doing public service work abroad through the University's tuition-free Bridge Year Program. This experiential "bridge" between high school and college gives you an opportunity to widen your perspective before you begin your first year.
The Bridge Year Program is hosted in five locations on four continents. Students live with local families while immersing themselves in the local culture, learning the language and serving the needs of the community. You might volunteer with a human rights or environmental project, tutor local children, teach IT skills — the opportunities vary by locale and the organizations with which Princeton partners. And you'll start your studies at Princeton with deep connections to a place other than home, and strong bonds with fellow students who have shared your experiences abroad.
A Semester or Year Abroad
As an undergraduate student in any major, you can choose from among more than 100 semester- or year-long study abroad programs in over 40 countries. Living and learning in another country for an extended period of time teaches you things you never knew about yourself and the world. It can provide you with new skills, confidence and the feeling of possibility. And while you further your academic studies, you may also discover new ideas and interests that will shape you for a lifetime.
With so many options to choose from, you'll get plenty of help deciding which program best fits your interests and goals. Students who receive financial aid continue to receive support from the University while studying abroad during the academic year. The Office of International Programs helps students decide why and where to study abroad and supports them on their journey. Study Abroad Global Ambassadors are available to tell you about their experiences and answer your questions.
Students also have the opportunity to travel abroad during the summer, and many take advantage of international opportunities both during the academic year and the summer.
PIIRS Global Seminars
How are Cuban writers and artists making sense of the changes in their society? What can you learn about contemporary Chinese society by experiencing it up-close? Every summer Princeton students head overseas through the PIIRS Global Seminars, traveling to fascinating locations with historical or political significance to explore a specific topic.
Each six-week seminar is designed and led by Princeton faculty, and each presents a unique program of study that relies on visiting the locale at the heart of its subject matter. Daily lectures by seminar faculty and guests, language classes, weekend excursions to sites relevant to the course, and community service make up the experience.
Learning abroad doesn't have to mean studying abroad. You can spend your summer as an international intern instead, working with an organization that matches your interests in any of more than 50 countries. From helping migrant families in rural Mexico to working on architecture projects in Dubai, the opportunities are varied and fascinating.
The International Internship Program lets you live and work abroad during summer break and comes with a financial award that covers most expenses. You can gain valuable experience, expand your academic interests and immerse yourself in new languages and cultures, and explore possible career paths through internships in a wide variety of fields.
Study a Language
The summer also provides time for intensive language study abroad, allowing you to learn or master languages among the people who speak them and explore new cultures. Many language programs, such as Princeton in Munich, Princeton in Beijing, Princeton in Argentina or the Aix-en-Provence Program for French studies, are organized by academic departments.
A wide range of international study and research opportunities are available to graduate students, including the chance to conduct independent research abroad. You can collaborate with peers and faculty at partner institutions and use international resources to further your research.
Graduate School exchange programs let you take courses or conduct dissertation research overseas. Even after your experience has concluded, you may continue to collaborate with international peers and faculty through the professional relationships developed during your time abroad.
The Rewards of Learning Abroad
When Princeton students return to campus from their time abroad, they describe experiences that are enriching on a personal level as well as an educational one. The rewards are wide-ranging:
- You might learn or master a foreign language
- By dealing with the unfamiliar, you'll develop a deeper self-knowledge
- You'll have a chance to meet new people and create an international network
- As you experience other cultures, you'll also be exposed to new ideas
- You might discover interests that can help you more finely focus your studies
- Your experience will prepare you for careers with an international dimension
- You'll gain a new way of looking at the world