Meet Princeton Bridge Year

Just a few short weeks ago, Cross-Cultural Solutions and the Princeton University Bridge Year Program kicked off our brand new partnership by sending our very first group of Bridge Year students to Salvador, Brazil.

Over the course of the past three months, our team of seven Princeton Bridge Year students began with training and orientation sessions in order to prepare for the gap year volunteer experience of a lifetime, and we couldn't be more excited for all of the incredible adventures that await!

For the next nine months, we'll be updating you on their intensive, culturally immersive volunteer adventure by giving you a peek into their blog posts. You'll have a chance to read firsthand accounts of what it's like to live, volunteer, grow, and learn in Salvador, Brazil. So allow me to introduce you to one of our seven amazing Princeton Bridge Year students. Meet Becca:

"Snapshots of life in Brazil: The biscoites chocolates on the table that we've become obsessed with. The patio door open, a breeze streaming in. Portuguese folders on the floor. Strains of conversation that we can't yet understand floating up from downstairs. And beyond that, a vendor calling from the street. Alexander humming. Daniel playing music. A few political debates. Tati giving someone a pep talk. Caitlin and Tláloc most likely swimming at the beach or talking about Texas. It's only been three weeks, but I feel like I know these people so well. They're people with whom I feel comfortable discussing intellectual theories half-obtained from books, or together brainstorming solutions to challenges at work.

gap year volunteer

Today marked the end of our first week of work! The kids call me "Pro" for Professora. I already adore them so much. They're so loving and helpful. When I walk into the classroom, they run up and hug me. If I drop one of my papers on the ground, the kids nearest to me will hurry to reach it and give it to me. Each day begins with a sense of opportunity. The sky is the limit—I can teach them multiplication today, or maybe how to read! But that hasn't quite happened yet ... There are always a few small classroom catastrophes, such as children's shoes breaking or someone crying, but they're usually easily fixed. If I'm really struggling, the other teachers are so helpful—they come in and figure out what's wrong and fix it."

Read the full post and keep up with Becca's Brazilian volunteer adventure!


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