To foster cross-cultural understanding between Asians and Americans
In the late 1890s, ‘The Philadelphian Society of Princeton University provided considerable support to the YMCA in Tianjin and Beijing. A brochure of the time invited Princeton graduates to travel to China in order to ‘unite in the development and conservation of a mighty nation’s greatest resource – strong young men.’ Princeton graduates who heeded the call established the first high school in Tianjin and a School of Commerce and Finance in Beijing. They also organised numerous evening classes and recreational activities and played a prominent role in nationwide famine relief efforts. From these efforts evolved a permanent, secular volunteer and exchange programme, now known as Princeton-in-Asia.
Today, PiA supports 65 young teachers and professionals working in China, Japan, Hong Kong, Kazakhstan, South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam each year. On average, 20-25 interns are placed in China, both in urban centers and rural regions, where they variously teach English, work with NGOs, or work in the business/legal sphere. Most of the interns placed by PiA are recent college graduates. They typically remain in Asia for one year, although some positions include the option of an additional year. In 2012 a total of 168 fellows and interns were posted to Aisa, 121 of those were full year fellows, 27 were second year fellows and 20 were summer interns.Princeton-in-Asia remains committed to serving as a bridge of understanding between Asians and Americans, and helping to connect ‘the Asian institutions that require the teaching and/or professional skills of Americans, and the qualified Americans who are eager to provide their services.’
Princeton-in-Asia is independent of the University, drawing funding from private donors, alumni networks, and foundation grants.
Alex Jones, China Program Director
(+1) 609 258 3657
194 Nassau Street, Suite 212, Princeton, NJ 08542, USA