As a new student, incoming folks are eligible to participate in CIIS’ Bridge Program! The Bridge is an opportunity to be supported with transitioning into a new city and/or educational environment with a cohort of first-year students.


The Bridge Program creates space to 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. You are invited to participate in community-building workshops, welcome mixers, and connect with mentors, peers, and advisors who will support you throughout your time at CIIS.


There are a number of ways you can take advantage of this amazing program:


  • Summer Intensive OR Winter Intensive depending on the start of your program
  • Mentor program – students opt-in and be paired up with a second-year student mentor for yearlong ongoing support and camaraderie throughout your first year.
  • Events – Invitations to *free* special events throughout the year. In the past, Bridge Events have included Movie Night, picnic in Dolores Park, Winter Tea Party, special lectures and panel discussions, expressive arts workshops, and more!


CIIS contacts incoming students with details for registering for all or part of the Bridge Program services. If you have questions, please reach out to bridge@ciis.edu.


Bridge Program Leadership Team:


Rachel Bryant, Director of Diversity and Inclusion


Uploaded image   Heidi Fraser, Director of the Center for Writing and Scholarship                       



Uploaded image   Jody O'Connor,  International Student Recruitment and Services



Uploaded image     Bridge Program Coordinator, Adriana Beltrame dos Santos Keller


Fall 2021/ Spring 2022 Mentors:




2021-2022 Departmental Community Building Fellow


DCBF, Ivana Gligoric

Ivana is a Ph.D. student in Transformative Studies. She is currently the Bridge Program Community Building Fellow who could gaze at stars, oceans, and clouds for days. Ivana is very passionate about playing the craziest possible games and continuously discovering unconditional love for all living beings. She loves talking to your Inner Child and appreciates imagination, humor, and light hearts above all.

Fall 2021

All newly admitted students will receive an email with more details.

Email bridge@ciis.edu with questions!

Aug 2-5, 2021: International Student Summer Writing Intensive, virtual 

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 to participate in the Summer Bridge Program and attend the International Student Orientation.

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

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 classroom engagement.

September 19, 2021 (Sunday)- F-1 Visa Holder In-Person Intensive Day-Long, ACTCM campus, 455 Arkansas Street, SF

An in-person day-long academic and culture intensive is required for new international students using the F-1 student visa. More details will come from the International Students Office.


Online Orientation Modules in The Hub in Canvas that can be accessed 24/7 at the student's leisure:

Online New Student Orientation – learn about CIIS’ Mission and history, student resources, administrative departments, and their function, as well as campus safety. Available now!


Dissertation Cafe - an informative and interactive forum for dissertation students. Available now!


Online Learning – check out the intro video to learn about Online Learning and Canvas, also look for Ben Cline Suzuki at your academic residency to learn more! Available now!


Center for Writing and Scholarship – learn how to find us on MYCIIS, what services we offer, and how to utilize them. Available now!



Instructor Bios

Uploaded image Adriana Beltrame dos Santos earned her MA in the East-West Psychology Program in Dec 2018. She was born in Brazil, where she studied Visual Arts Education and Waldorf Pedagogy. She has done parallel work with Astrology and Tarot, and has a deep interest in the study of Mythology, Fairytales, Spirituality, Religiousness, Meditation, Sound/Movement Improvisation and how these subjects intertwine.


The Bridge Program offers students the possibility of joining a 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.

The Bridge offers different ways to get involved in the community. Students are assigned a peer mentor and are connected with a supportive cohort of peers, faculty, and advisors.

Students are also invited to events designed specifically to support them as they become involved in the CIIS community.

All programs are free to participating students.

If you are interested in joining, please fill out this form.

We will contact you shortly!

You can also reach us at: bridge@ciis.edu

Spring Semester 2021

Past events:



A Mentor-led Offering

April 16, 2021 | 1pm to 3pm

RSVP | bit.ly/meltingpotciis

More info: abeltramedossantos@ciis.edu 



Secrets to an Enjoyable 1st Year

April 8 to May 6, 2021 | 11am to 12:30pm

RSVP | https://ciis.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJEof--vqzgpEtCki_6bZX7dTXZuMJJ2hQT9

More info: igligoric@mymail.ciis.edu 



Online Circle with Dominic Barter

December 1, 2020 | 12:30pm to 2:30pm

RSVP: abeltramedossantos@ciis.edu



October 15, 2020 | 12pm to 1:30pm

RSVP: abeltramedossantos@ciis.edu