Summer Bridge Project Bridge Program Summer Intensive at the California Institute of Integral Studies Play Video
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What is the Bridge Program?

The Bridge Program is an opportunity for all new 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 will connect 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. 

What will I 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 first-year students from across departments 
  • Hone foundational writing, research, and classroom communication skills
  • Cultivate resilience, belonging, and academic confidence
  • Gain tools for thriving during your time at CIIS
  • Participate in community-building workshops and welcome mixers
  • Connect with mentors, peers, and advisors

Dates and Modules 2021

Details will be emailed to newly admitted students in early summer.

Aug 2- 5, 2021: International Student Intensive 

This week-long 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.  During week two international students 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 Intensive and attend the International Student Orientation.

Aug 9-12, 2021: Domestic and International Student Writing and Diversity Intensive

During the second week of August, the Bridge Program Summer Intensive offers a writing, diversity, and social awareness intensive for all new students, and working students, first generation college students, returning adult learners, international students and historically underrepresented students may especially benefit. 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 (online) classroom engagement.

August 13, 2021 daytime: New International Student Orientation

This is a required orientation for all F-1 Student Visa holders. We will review immigration rights and responsibilities, CIIS services and more. The International Student Advisor will be in touch with all incoming students over the summer with details on the orientation.

September 2021- exact date(s) TBD: F-1 Visa Holder In-Person Intensive Day-Long, Mission Street campus. An in-person day-long academic and culture intensive is required for new international students using the F-1 student visa.

Week of January 10, 2022: Bridge Program Winter Writing Intensive and New International Student Orientation. This one-week writing intensive is geared specifically for the international student community and includes in-person meeting requirements to maintain one's F1 student visa. Offered in a hybrid virtual/in-person format.

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:

  • Academic support through Center for Writing and Scholarship credit-based writing and research courses
  • An online community page with resources, tutorials, and videos
  • Collaborating with faculty to integrate support modules and workshops in individual classes
  • Social events


For further information, please email

The Bridge Leadership Team

  • Rachel Bryant, Director - Office of Diversity and Inclusion
  • Heidi Fraser, Director - Center for Writing and Scholarship
  • Adriana Beltrame dos Santos, Bridge Program Year-long Peer Mentorship Coordinator, EWP alumna, & adjunct faculty in the School of Undergraduate Studies at CIIS
  • Jody O'Connor, Associate Director - Student Affairs - International Student Recruitment and Services


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