Princeton University Library Catalog

Filling in the Gap: An Analysis of the Effects of Princeton’s Bridge Year Program on Participants’ Identities

Ibekwe, Dominique [Browse]
Senior thesis
McLanahan, Sara F. [Browse]
Princeton University. Department of Sociology [Browse]
Class year:
104 pages
Summary note:
Taking a gap year between the completion of high school and the start of college has become a recent postsecondary phenomenon in America. The Bridge Year Program at Princeton is the University-sponsored gap year program that gives a select group of students the opportunity to live abroad for nine months to engage in cultural immersion and community service. Few studies have examined the role of postsecondary settings like the gap year abroad on student identity development. Therefore, this thesis explores how Bridge Year students perceive their identities to have changed and developed after participating in the program. Based on in-depth interviews, this study illuminates ways in which participants’ identities developed not only intrapersonally but interpersonally, academically, and vocationally as well. The positive, lasting outcomes from the experience abroad inspire and enable students to bring forth their best selves to the various social, intellectual, and cultural contexts within our global society.