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Letter From The President

President Christopher L. Eisgruber (second from right) at the ribbon-cutting for the new Princeton University Athens Center, led by Princeton’s Stanley J. Seeger ‘52 Center for Hellenic Studies, with, from left, Seeger Trustee Mary O’Boyle; Christopher Cone, chair of the Seeger Board of Trustees; Dimitri Gondicas, the Stanley J. Seeger ’52 Director of the Seeger Center for Hellenic Studies; and Seeger Trustee Shirley M. Tilghman, president emerita of Princeton. 

I am delighted to introduce the first edition of Princeton International, a new magazine that will showcase a remarkable range of offerings and programs that reflect the University’s distinctive approach to internationalization.

In today’s ever more interconnected and interdependent world, Princeton’s teaching and research mission requires an increasingly global perspective. Our progress to date is already significant, as the features in these pages demonstrate. One important area of growth has been in undergraduate opportunities for work and study abroad. In addition to traditional year- and semester-long programs, Princeton’s own summer language programs, as well as the pathbreaking Bridge Year Program, the University now offers a wide range of significant international opportunities that include internships and the PIIRS Global Seminars. These seminars are innovative summer courses where students and professors undertake intensive six-week study and immersion experiences in cities around the world. Courses have explored modern French theater in Paris and Avignon, African cities in Accra, and the Vietnam War in Hanoi. The magazine’s cover story, about Professor Yu Xie’s seminar on contemporary Chinese society in Beijing, helps show why many students consider such experiences to be pivotal moments in their college journeys.

We are also growing Princeton’s institutional presence abroad. One approach involves collaboration with international partners, such as the University of Tokyo, Humboldt University and the University São Paulo. We also provide institutional support and infrastructure in select locations where we can build upon the scholarly work and curricular priorities of our faculty. The Seeger Center for Hellenic Studies, for example, recently launched the Princeton University Athens Center, which will provide a physical home for the University’s longstanding research and curricular programming in Greece. Our Mpala research center in Kenya, which we manage in partnership with the Smithsonian, the Kenya Wildlife Service and the National Museums of Kenya, is the locus for critical research and teaching on ecology, conservation and land use issues in Africa. 

Internationalization is important to many of Princeton’s priorities. The University’s Strategic Framework recognizes the need to prepare students to be citizens of a “globalized world” and to give faculty the resources to address its challenges. A special task force on regional studies at Princeton has encouraged us to build on our existing strengths by adding faculty and expanding programs in key regions. We are moving forward with these goals, and Princeton International offers a wonderful glimpse into our efforts.

Christopher L. Eisgruber ’83