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Princeton Bridge Year China 2015-16


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Hello Bridge Year Friends & Family! Just wanted to share the "before" pictures of each group captured upon Day 1 landing in-country! And also to invite you to share in the regional adventures of all the Bridge Year country groups. You can navigate to their Yak boards via the links above, or you can bookmark the hyperlinked boards below.  Enjoy! Bridge Year Bolivia Bridge Year India Bridge Year Senegal Bridge Year Brazil Bridge Year China
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Best Notes From The Field, Princeton Bridge Year Bolivia 2015-16, Princeton Bridge Year Brazil 2015-16, Princeton Bridge Year China 2015-16, Princeton Bridge Year India 2015-16, Princeton Bridge Year Senegal 2015-16

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Let the Princeton Bridge Year Adventures Begin!

Christina Rivera Cogswell,Best Notes From The Field, Princeton Bridge Year Bolivia 2015-16, Princeton Bridge Year Brazil 2015-16, Princeton Bridge Year China 2015-16, Princeton Bridge Year India 2015-16, Princeton Bridge Year Senegal 2015-16

Description

Hello Bridge Year Friends & Family! Just wanted to share the “before” pictures of each group captured upon Day 1 landing in-country! And also to invite you to share in the regional adventures of all the Bridge Year country groups. You can navigate to their Yak boards via the links above, or you can bookmark […]

Posted On

09/4/15

Author

Christina Rivera Cogswell

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    [post_content] => Welcome to all family, friends, and students of the 2015-2016Princeton Bridge Year program!

I want to take a moment to introduce myself. My name is Longyun and I’m a native of Kunming and majored in physical education at Yunnan Normal University. Although I’ve lived almost all my life in Kunming, my great passion is travel and I have lived in Chiang Mai, Thailand for a year while teaching Chinese and gongfu. The reason I love traveling so much is that it allows me to meet new people and learn about their cultures, customs, languages, religions, and of course food.

One thing you should know about me is that I’m crazy about food. Crazy. Really crazy. I can’t wait to take you guys to eat Dai cuisine (Yunnan’s Xishuangbanna Prefecture), rubing (ethnic Bai goat cheese), tangculiji(Guangdong sweet and sour pork), boluofan (pineapple sticky rice), and tons of other delicious dishes. If you’re feeling adventurous, I can take you to eat/gnaw on some chicken feet like a real local.

I do have some other interests, though. I started practicing gongfu—mainly taiji—when I was six years old, and I’ve been teaching it for nine years. I still spend quite a bit of my free time training and perfecting my skills at martial arts. It allows me to find balance, not only physically, but also mentally and spiritually. In many ways, it’s a metaphor for life. I would be elated to teach those of you who are interested, and I can take you to meet local students who are currently studying taiji.

I also hope to introduce you all to some of my friends who can help give you a broader perspective about life in Yunnan and Chinese culture.

There is one more thing I’d like to think about. This next year isn’t simply about language, service, travel, culture, or adventure. It’s about gaining life experience and delving into yourselves. It’s about learning from your mistakes, finding yourself when you get lost.

I can’t wait to meet you all soon. Know that I’m thinking about how to make the most out of this next year.

Long Yun
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Princeton Bridge Year China 2015-16

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Longyun Introduction

Long Yun,Princeton Bridge Year China 2015-16

Description

Welcome to all family, friends, and students of the 2015-2016Princeton Bridge Year program! I want to take a moment to introduce myself. My name is Longyun and I’m a native of Kunming and majored in physical education at Yunnan Normal University. Although I’ve lived almost all my life in Kunming, my great passion is travel […]

Posted On

08/28/15

Author

Long Yun

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    [post_content] => Hi all!

I can't tell you how excited I am to meet you all this coming weekend. Below is the rough itinerary for the first six weeks of the program. I hope it makes you just as excited and inspires you to complete those last minute things you need to get done so that you are fully present and ready for the coming adventure once you arrive on Princeton Campus on Saturday.

*Also, as soon as possible, please post a quick introduction of yourselves here with a note about what you are most excited for in the upcoming 9 months!

(Note: All dates and locations are subject to change to accommodate student needs and take advantage of unexpected learning opportunities.)

Wednesday, September 2nd (and Thursday, 3rd)
  • Flight departs JFK at 11:15am; after a transfer in Guangzhou we arrive in Kunming at 9:10pm on Thursday.
  • Stay at Lost Garden Guesthouse in Kunming
Friday, September 4th
  • On-site orientation begins at Yuantong Temple and Cuihu (Green Lake), Kunming
  • Program Overview, Health and Safety 101, Hygiene 101, Cultural Do's and Don'ts
  • Stay at Lost Garden Guesthouse in Kunming
Saturday, September 5th
  • Day bus to Jianchuan. Transfer to Shaxi Old Town
  • Stay at Shaxi Cultural Center
Sunday, September 6th - 8th
  • On-Site Orientation continues
  • Gender roles, Health and Safety 102, Language classes, Goal Setting
  • What is a Dragon's Trip? - Core Values and Program Components
  • Stay at Shaxi Cultural Center
Wednesday, September 9th
  • Pilgramage to Shibaoshan Grottoes and Baoxiang Temple
Thursday, September 10th and 11th
  • Bai Minority Song Festival
  • Temple-Stay (2 nights)
Saturday, September 12th
  • Travel to Lincang by bus
Sunday, September 13th – October 1st
  • Bangdong Village homestay and service projects
  • Learning Service - an interaction with the difficulties and wonders of service work
Friday, October 2nd - 4th
  • 2-3 day trek in the Dali area
Monday, October 5th – October 10th
  • Kunming Urban Orientation
    • NGO reports, IEAs, Scavenger Hunt, Homestay briefing
    • Language classes at the university begin October 8th
Saturday, October 10th
  • Kunming Homestay begins
Monday, October 12th - 14th
  • NGO placements begin   
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On-Site Orientation Outline and Six Week Itinerary

Jesse Millett,Princeton Bridge Year China 2015-16

Description

Hi all! I can’t tell you how excited I am to meet you all this coming weekend. Below is the rough itinerary for the first six weeks of the program. I hope it makes you just as excited and inspires you to complete those last minute things you need to get done so that you […]

Posted On

08/25/15

Author

Jesse Millett

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    [post_content] => Adventure starts the moment that we see that our routine is no longer there to guide us. Each day to day activity builds comfort and standardizes our lives. Through this process we build skill, and build connections with those around us. I worked in restaurants in high school and found that there was nothing like the daily banter with the person standing next to me, likewise dressed in black with a towel on his or her belt waiting to wipe the next table. For me, adventure broke down what I built up, it challenged the idea that I would spend four years in one city, studying day in and day out with the goal to find a job back in my home town. The adventure started when the butterflies started moving in my stomach, on January 21st, 2010 when I read a packing list and my breath caught in my throat.

I feel honored to be coming onto this trip as a supporting instructor. I will join the crew for the first six weeks as we travel through Yunnan, the province that I have called home for the past three years. I will be around to teach lessons, set up logistics, contact guest speakers, talk about global citizenship, awareness of self, and leadership. Hopefully I can teach you a few little tricks of the trade as well, think gear repair, trekking best practices, and energizer games. Most importantly, I hope to be a guy to talk to and someone with whom you can process the world around you.

When we reach Kunming and your volunteer placements are kicking off, I will depart to leave you to building your routines and communities. It will be a sad day, but I will know I am leaving you in good hands and in an amazing place.

Right now, I am thinking about what things I need to pick up as gifts while I am home in Minnesota. This is always a fun question, because I get to go to a few nick-nack shops where I can buy a carved wooden loon, a few bars of locally made soap, and a Twins hat or shirt. When I’m in these shops I think of the connections that will help me and the group over the next two months, and my appreciation for Minnesota is renewed. After All, this is the place where I first dipped a paddle in a lake and left home. For eleven summers the north woods, from Minnesota to the Canadian arctic, were the place I would say “there is no where I’d rather be!”

Back in 2010, when I was twenty years old, I had the chance to go to Yunnan for the first time through the School For International Training. I was taking Chinese and my goal was to learn a language, learn to read, write, and speak. When I got off the plane in Kunming my goal quickly shifted to being able to connect with the people around me. I found out that when I thought of language as a tool rather than a goal, my speed of language acquisition increased dramatically. In that semester I lived in a dorm, an urban homestay, a rural homestay, and a scattering of hostel rooms and sleeper busses buses. I didn’t realize it at the time, but in these days I was falling in love with the land “South of the Clouds.”

Where There Be Dragons helps me indulge this love affair. I have led two summer and one semester program. One beauty of these programs is that they will never become routine or stale. Each trip has the ability to choose where it goes and with whom it interacts. On this trip, we will be going to places I haven’t visited in six years, other sites, including our homestay village, will be new to me. Each instructor team has different strengths and each student group develops its own culture. I am excited that over the next two months we will build a culture together. I hope it’s a culture that challenges routine, asks questions, goes for walks, has moments of silence, has moments of shouting and silliness, has inside jokes (but doesn't exclude others), and is one that works to create the best Bridge Year possible.

I’ll see you all in Yunnan, let the adventure begin!

Joe
Jgoldes@gmail.com

 
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Princeton Bridge Year China 2015-16

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Joe Goldes Self Introduction

Joe Goldes,Princeton Bridge Year China 2015-16

Description

Adventure starts the moment that we see that our routine is no longer there to guide us. Each day to day activity builds comfort and standardizes our lives. Through this process we build skill, and build connections with those around us. I worked in restaurants in high school and found that there was nothing like […]

Posted On

08/17/15

Author

Joe Goldes

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    [post_date] => 2015-07-13 10:09:15
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    [post_content] => Time to take a break and open our minds to new ways of learning. Over the next year I will be accompanying you on a journey that will broaden your perspective, strengthen your knowledge, and deepen your understanding of the world around you and what you can do to make it better. All I am asking of you is that you come into this year with an open mind and only one expectation: that your Bridge Year will blow your mind, just as mine was blown over ten years ago on my first trip to China.

Let me start by introducing myself. I’m from a very rural town in upstate New York. I grew up in a large family and a small school. I excelled in high school, (or at least felt that it wasn’t offering enough) and decided to enter college early. It was after two years of intensively studying international politics at Simon’s Rock College in western Massachusetts, that I realized I had no idea how these classes where helping me grow and decided to take a break.

Much like you are, I took a year off to explore my interests and one of my trips landed me in China. I helped with an exhibition of photographs that were taken by my late grandfather in Kunming, China in 1944. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I knew no Mandarin and very little about China, but went into the experience with a clean slate and open mind, aware that it was going to be very different. I had no idea that it was going to change my life. The warm heartedness and generosity of the people, matched by the awe-inspiring nature of the Chinese civilization and culture, helped me decide that I wanted to begin a life bridging the cultures between China and the West.

I dedicated the next ten years to learning and exploring these passions, spending at least half the time living and traveling in China and Southeast Asia. I studied at Yunnan Normal University in Kunming and received my Bachelors in Asian Studies at the University of Colorado. After teaching English for one year in China, I embarked on a 3-month cycling trip from Kunming to Singapore with four native Chinese as delegates of Kunming to increase friendship and understanding between the city of Kunming and Southeast Asia. I have also worked as a cycle guide for teenagers in the US and Canada, a camp counselor and a substitute teacher in high schools and middle schools in New York. I am an avid outdoors-man with passions in camping, mountain climbing, snowboarding and mountain biking. When I'm not out exploring the outdoors, you will find me with my wife exploring our newest adventures of parenthood.

Combining all of these passions with my interest in China and my love for teaching, I started working for Where There Be Dragons in 2011 to take high school and gap-year students into rural China on experiential learning trips. With Dragons, I have led eight different trips all over China, Cambodia, Myanmar, and Laos, and am very excited to be working for my third Princeton Bridge Year China Program this year. I am planning to share all my passions with you, and give you the opportunity to see them through your own lenses.

Our experiences, as well as your ambitions, are so vast and diverse, that I feel confident you will have a trip that you will remember for a lifetime, with impressions that will help mold your own worldview. Not only will you look back at the life you lead in the US with a totally different perspective, but on our trip you’re going to meet some amazing people, see some astonishing places, and make life-changing exchanges that will give you the opportunity to pursue your own passions and change the course of your life (if you let it).

The most important thing that we are asking you to bring is an open mind, wiped clean of all preconceived notions. It is our hope that by the end of our trip you will have shaped your own view and we don’t want them to be clouded by the endless falsities that surround us in today’s media and society.

As we are getting closer to the start of our trip, we are working hard to prepare a comprehensive and exciting itinerary that will leave a lasting impression. It’s our goal to accommodate and foster everyone’s interests and passions, while drawing from our own experience, knowledge, and professional contacts. We hope to expand your knowledge of local and global issues as well as help develop personal leadership skills and a build on a worldview that will make you more globally conscious.

I really look forward to getting to know each and everyone of you over the next few weeks and I urge everyone to come forward and introduce themselves on this Where There Be Dragons Yak Yak board and express your interests, questions, and concerns. Also feel free to contact me personally anytime. I hope you are all enjoying the summer and can’t wait to meet you all in Princeton in August!
Jesse
On-Site Director
Princeton Bridge Year Program, China
jmille03@gmail.com
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View post

Bridge Year China On-Site Director Introduction

Jesse Millett,Princeton Bridge Year China 2015-16

Description

Time to take a break and open our minds to new ways of learning. Over the next year I will be accompanying you on a journey that will broaden your perspective, strengthen your knowledge, and deepen your understanding of the world around you and what you can do to make it better. All I am […]

Posted On

07/13/15

Author

Jesse Millett

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    [post_date] => 2015-07-08 15:27:14
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    [post_content] => Welcome to your Bridge Year Message Board and Travel Notebook!

As you’ll soon discover, this board is a valuable forum for:
  • introductions by staff and participants
  • addressing all questions regarding packing and trip preparation
  • posting live updates on the country's current events & general recommended reading and resources
  • story telling & posting of reflections on in-counry experiences
  • keeping family and friends updated on the movement of the group and course (especially when in rural areas)
  • sharing & bridging your experience abroad with your communities back at home
  • documenting your shared adventure abroad for use during transference and after your return home
Until the start of your course in August, this will be THE place to find important notices related to your course’s development and itinerary design. It’ll also be the place to learn about your fellow students and in-field support staff. So please, post a personal introduction! It may reflect any number of things about you: your interests, reasons for wanting to participate in this experience, volunteer placement preferences, or any other thought or inspiration. Please also begin posting all your packing and prep-related questions here. Don’t be shy – if you have a question, it’s likely that someone else in your group has been wondering the same thing. Your staff has a lot of experience and many, many tips that they’re excited to share with you. So please, ask away. Setting up the Travel Notebook and message board, in many ways, marks the start of your course. It’s the first step in establishing the community that will support you throughout the journey ahead. Together, you will learn to walk, dress, eat, talk and think in an entirely new way. You will see landscapes that will drop your jaw, and meet people that will touch, change and inspire your life forever. Although your course’s official start date is still a couple months away, we would like to remind you that your adventure actually began the day you made the choice to join in this adventure. Choosing to make your dream a reality took immense amounts of courage, and all of us congratulate you on taking that first, and most important, step. Welcome! We’re excited to share in your adventure! Sincerely, Dragons Bridge Year Administrative Staff [post_title] => Welcome to Your Bridge Year Message Board & Travel Notebook! 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Welcome to Your Bridge Year Message Board & Travel Notebook!

Christina Rivera Cogswell,Princeton Bridge Year Bolivia 2015-16, Princeton Bridge Year Brazil 2015-16, Princeton Bridge Year China 2015-16, Princeton Bridge Year India 2015-16, Princeton Bridge Year Senegal 2015-16

Description

Welcome to your Bridge Year Message Board and Travel Notebook! As you’ll soon discover, this board is a valuable forum for: introductions by staff and participants addressing all questions regarding packing and trip preparation posting live updates on the country’s current events & general recommended reading and resources story telling & posting of reflections on […]

Posted On

07/8/15

Author

Christina Rivera Cogswell

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