Princeton University's Bridge Year Program will launch a new program site in Indonesia in the 2017-18 academic year. The site, based in the Special Region of Yogyakarta, will be offered in addition to existing Bridge Year locations in Bolivia, China, India and Senegal.
"We are thrilled to be able to offer students the opportunity to explore Indonesian society and culture at our new program site in Yogyakarta, located on the island of Java," said John Luria, director of the Bridge Year Program. "As with all of our program locations, volunteers in Indonesia will engage in service work, study the local language and immerse themselves in the local community."
Bridge Year is a nine-month, tuition-free program that enables incoming students to begin their Princeton experience with a year of public service abroad. Since the program's initial launch in 2009, over 225 students have participated.
Students in Indonesia will work with community organizations addressing issues of public health, access to education, sustainable agriculture and environmental conservation. Beyond service work, students will live with homestay families, take intensive Bahasa Indonesia language classes and participate in a variety of enrichment activities.
"Yogyakarta is a renowned center for art and learning, and I am certain that students will find their experience there to be immensely rewarding," said Luria. "It's a particularly fascinating place for students interested in art, ecology, Islam or economic development."
Where There Be Dragons, an organization specializing in overseas experiential education, serves as on-site partner at the University's five Bridge Year locations. Since its founding in 1993, Dragons has managed hundreds of unique small-group service learning programs in Asia, Latin America and Africa and is dedicated to inspiring youth leadership and responsible global citizenship through community-based service projects and cultural exchange.
"The Bridge Year Program challenges students to step outside of their comfort zones and to reflect deeply on the world around them," said Luria. "From what I have seen, students return to Princeton with a new perspective on service and a much greater sense of self. It's an incredibly meaningful and unique way to begin the undergraduate experience."
During the 2017-18 academic year, the Bridge Year Program will provide opportunities for up to 35 participants, with seven students at each international location. The program is open to students who have formally accepted Princeton's offer of admission. Applications are due by May 21, 2017.