Birds flying next to the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.

Bridge Program

The Bridge Program is an opportunity for new F-1 visa-holding students to participate in a writing intensive before classes start, and year-long peer mentorship pairing. The program is designed to support first-year students in building academic confidence and cultivating a sense of belonging as they enter into CIIS' unique educational culture. Serving a diverse and global community, the Bridge connects students to a supportive cohort of peers, mentors, faculty and staff, and advisors through writing workshops, diversity and social justice modules, and social events. All programs are free to participating students. Bridge Program Coordinator Erin Vigil, MFA, and Claudia Lodia, Ph.D., provide instruction.

For all other students, in lieu of the Bridge Program, CWS offers a summer (July) and winter (January) Writing Intensive, to support incoming students to prepare for going back to school and thinking, reading, writing, researching in the academic realm, and PODs (peer-organized dialogues) for mentorship and comradery on the academic journey at CIIS.

Our work celebrates the diverse expertise and experiences of each student, and helps to tailor programming to individual need. We also facilitate cross-departmental partnerships and other academic assistance to ensure that students can get the most from their studies. Highlights include:

  • Community building opportunities and exercises
  • Class discussion and communication exercises
  • Constructive feedback and assignment responses
  • Critical reading skills for scholarly works
  • Academic and personal writing skills
  • Small group facilitation opportunities
  • Resources for studying at CIIS and living in San Francisco

At the end of the intensive, students will have an opportunity to write and evaluate their learning and experience, reflecting on the program as a whole. Our goal is for students to feel supported and confident in their academic and personal lives.

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