What is the Bridge Program?

The Bridge Program is a summer intensive and year-long program of support designed to assist 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 will connect students to a supportive cohort of peers, mentors, faculty and staff, and advisors through writing workshops, diversity and social justice modules, field trips to San Francisco venues, and social events. All programs are free to participating students. 

What will I (as a student entering CIIS) gain from participating in the program as a Bridge Scholar?

As a Bridge Scholar in this dynamic program, you will:

  • Gain assistance with transitioning into a new city and educational environment
  • Join a supportive cohort of 30 first-year students
  • Hone foundational writing, research, and classroom communication skills
  • Cultivate resilience, belonging, and academic confidence, as you gain tools for thriving during your time at CIIS
  • Participate in community-building workshops, San Francisco field trips, and welcome mixers
  • Connect with mentors, peers, and advisors who will support you throughout your time at CIIS

Dates and Modules 2019:

All events for the Summer Bridge Program are held at 1453 Mission Street, San Francisco. Times and rooms to be determined.

Aug 5 - 16, 2019: International Student Summer Bridge Writing Intensive. This two-week program is geared specifically for the international student community. International students will have the opportunity to engage academically and connect socially with other new CIIS international students. The program is designed to challenge you intellectually, sharpen your academic writing skills, and give you an early orientation to the university, degree program expectations and U.S. classroom culture. Week one will focus on settling into the Bay Area and academic writing.  Week two will join up with domestic students for more writing as well as diversity training.  For all of these reasons, CIIS requires all incoming international students participate in the Summer Bridge Program and attend the International Student Orientation.

Aug 12 - 15, 2019: Domestic and International Writing and Diversity Intensive. A writing, diversity, and social awareness intensive for working students, first generation college students, returning adult learners, international students and historically underrepresented students. This module will prepare incoming students for the types of writing required across academic programs at CIIS. We'll also engage in community-building activities to strengthen communication skills and classroom engagement.

August 16, 2019: New International Student Orientation. This is a required orientation for all F-1 Student Visa holders and their dependents. We will review immigration rights and responsibilities, CIIS services and more. Please visit find information on MyCIIS. The International Student Advisor will be in touch with all incoming students over the summer.

August 16, 2019 evening: Bridge Welcome Party. A celebratory launch event for all students participating in the Bridge, complete with music, dancing, gifts, food, and guest visitors from the CIIS community.

Ongoing Year-Long Support Through Workshops, Events and Peer Mentor Program: Besides the above learning modules, students will work with advisors and peer mentors throughout the Bridge year, cultivating a sense of resilience, belonging, and confidence in their academic and professional skills. Possible support may include:

  • Integrated academic support through Center for Writing and Scholarship credit-based writing and research courses
  • Advising meetings with Bridge leadership and staff
  • An online Canvas community page with resources, tutorials, and videos
  • Collaborating with faculty to integrate support modules and workshops in individual classes
  • Social events on and off campus


For further information, please email bridge@ciis.edu.

The Bridge Leadership Team

Rachel Bryant, Interim Director of Diversity and Inclusion
Heidi Fraser, Director of the Center for Writing and Scholarship
Martina Grzmot, Mentor Program Coordinator, 3rd year student at CIIS
Jody O'Connor, Associate Director, Student Affairs - International Student Recruitment and Services

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