Chaz Copeland and Kiara Rodriguez Gallego, who participated in the 2014–15 Bridge Year cohort, teach an English lesson during a community service project in Lincang County, Yunnan Province, China.
Courtesy of the Novogratz Bridge Year Program
Factors for the decision included safety concerns and travel restrictions

Because of ongoing travel concerns related to the spread of COVID-19, Princeton’s fall study-abroad programs and the 2020-2021 Novogratz Bridge Year Program — in which incoming students spend nine months doing public-service work abroad — have been canceled, the Office of International Programs (OIP) announced this month. 

The OIP’s June 1 statement noted the office worked with the University’s Global Safety and Security Unit and other off-campus partners to come to the decision, based on factors including “health and safety concerns, evolving travel restrictions, and a lack of clarity surrounding logistical, immigration, and security matters.” 

In April, Associate Provost for International Affairs and Operations Aly Kassam-Remtulla advised against international and domestic travel for Princeton-sponsored and personal travel. OIP Program Director Gisella Gisolo said in an email to applicants that the office plans to resume some study-abroad programs in the spring of 2021. 

In a separate email to Novogratz Bridge Year applicants, Director John Luria, Assistant Director Matt Lynn, and Administrative Coordinator Barbara MacFarland notified the students about the suspension. “Our top priority is our commitment to ensuring the health and well-being of our participants, on-site staff, and members of our host communities,” the email said. “Looking at the facts before us, we ultimately concluded that we could not responsibly deliver on our promise to provide a healthy, safe, and immersive global service-learning experience to incoming Princeton students this year.”