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Begun in 1970 as a program for African American students entering Smith, Bridge now welcomes first year students who demonstrate a commitment to creating and maintaining culturally inclusive communities.

Bridge provides opportunities for finding mentors, friends, resources and a community—all during the first semester at Smith.

Through a variety of interactive student-led seminars and group activities, participants share their perspectives and listen to those of their peers to better understand and appreciate their similarities and differences.

Bridge Pre-Orientation

The 2024 Bridge Pre-Orientation program will be held on the campus of Smith College from Sunday, August 25, through Wednesday, August 28.
New first-year students have been sent information about the 2024 Bridge Pre-Orientation program to their Smith email addresses with registration instructions.  Register online HERE no later than June 14.
Group photo of Bridge participants in front of the campus center
“The Bridge program is the most beautiful conglomerate of knowledge, outlets and friendships. It has introduced me to some of the brightest young women. I realized that I am not alone in my feeling homesick, or in being afraid of the many challenges that college will bring.”
“Those first few days, I was uncomfortable and awkward, and I really wondered ‘What am I doing here?’ I realize now that those feelings were part of a process, a shedding of conceptions I had, in order for me to embrace the new changes.”


Our faculty and administrative staff provide incoming students with an experience that is engaging, thought-provoking, exciting, rewarding, meaningful and fun—and that will help make their first year at Smith a success.

Bridge participants attend lively presentations that explore the various dimensions of leadership. Seminar titles have included "Treasures to Success," "Finding the Activist in You," "(Un)Speakable Truths," “SENSEsational Expressions” and "Leadership: The Power of Our Presence." Social activities have included Zumba, nature walks, karaoke, talent showcase, women’s empowerment performances, cultural forums and visits to local eateries and shops.

During Bridge a number of faculty members and knowledgeable staff members offer seminars that allow Bridge participants to experience the academic environment in a friendly setting and develop contacts with faculty and staff, as well as learn something interesting.

Student Leaders

Our trained and experienced Bridge leaders are professional, multi-ethnic and dedicated to offering a quality program. Student staff members are selected for their leadership experience and enthusiasm, interpersonal skills, ability to balance multiple responsibilities and strong desire to work with incoming students of color. The ratio of student staff to Bridge participants is approximately 1 to 5.

“The Bridge leaders are outstanding. They helped me feel so much more at home. Late nights, laughing, singing and dancing are things I will dearly remember about this great experience.”

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible to participate in Bridge?
Bridge welcomes applications from new incoming students who are residents of the United States.

Why should I participate in Bridge?
Bridge will give you a chance to find mentors, friends, resources and a community. It bridges the gap of familiarity between the old and the new, helping new students find a home at Smith.

“The friendships that I have developed will remain with me for many years to come. It makes me feel reassured to know that there are people here who are experiencing the same doubts and homesickness that I am, and who will be there for me whenever I find myself in a tough situation.”