We appreciate your interest in the Tufts 1+4 Bridge-Year Service Learning Program. This is a dynamic opportunity for your child to have an impact while learning and developing important skills. We view it as a transformational experience that will benefit communities and participants, and have ripple effects on the bridge year fellows when they begin their studies following their year of service.

We also recognize that, for many parents and students, it may be difficult to weigh all of the varying factors and decide if the program is a good fit. We offer the following information in the hope of supporting this decision that your student will be making from a parent’s perspective.

2015-2016 Parent Survey Results

Parents of our first class of Tufts 1+4 fellows have seen first-hand the tremendous impact this experience has had on their children. At the conclusion of the program, they were invited to participate in a parent survey where they shared their perspectives and experiences with Tufts 1+4.

100% of parent survey respondents said they would absolutely recommend the Tufts 1+4 program to incoming Tufts students and families.

100% of parent survey respondents agreed that as a result of participation in Tufts 1+4, their student has:

  • increased maturity
  • gained interpersonal skills
  • strengthened foreign language skills

Over 90% of parent survey respondents agreed that as a result of participation in Tufts 1+4, their student:

  • is better prepared for college
  • has become more confident
  • has become a better problem-solver
  • interacts in a more positive way with me and/or our family


Parent Testimonials

In collaboration  with United Planet and AFAIJ, Tufts University placed our daughter with a wonderful host family that has become part of our own and that will be linked to us forever. It has allowed our daughter to work on her  independence and time management, as well as put in practice organizational skills and create programs to improve the lives of the girls at the Montoya House…She learned to gain their trust and to assume a leadership and authority position with the girls. It has given her the chance to make friendships  that will last a lifetime, to learn about the Spanish culture, food, and traditions. It has given her the ability to perfect her Spanish too. I strongly recommend this program if your child is looking for the opportunity to get a broader vision of the world, learn to make a difference in other people’s life, and to have a year to think about the future and college career choices.”

-Tufts 1+4 2016-2017 Parents Sammy and Diana Becdach

“Volunteering in Nicaragua before starting his Tufts engineering studies provided our son a perspective not available in the classroom.  We can already see the immense benefits of this life-enriching, cross-cultural experience.”

-Tufts 1+4 2015-2016 Parents Eric & Tsuneko Wenzel

“I can’t tell you how grateful we are that our daughter has had the opportunity to participate in the 1+4 Program in Leon. Her self-confidence has blossomed, her perspective has broadened, her Spanish is excellent, and the world is before her in a way that would not have been possible without 1+4.”

-Tufts 1+4 2015-2016 Parent Diana Pilson

Interested in speaking with a 1+4 parent? Contact us!


Tips for families considering Tufts 1+4

  • It is essential to thoroughly read all the information on the Tufts 1+4 Bridge-Year Service Learning website before making any decisions. Each Tufts 1+4 placement has distinctive features and requirements.
  • When your son/daughter is considering the different placements, he/she should evaluate all relevant factors to ensure that the chosen opportunity will be positive for both him/herself and for the community. These include:
    • Service: passions, career goals, academic interests, desire to experience a new field or build upon past service roles
    • Location: urban or rural; domestic or international
    • Living arrangements: international homestay or domestic opportunity without housing arrangements
    • Requirements: language, preferred or necessary qualifications
  • Whether it is you or your son/daughter who has initiated about a discussion about Tufts 1+4, we hope that you will discuss the program in the spirit of openness. While we are excited about the meaningful opportunities that this program will provide, we recognize that it is not for everyone.  Fellows will only succeed in the program if they are driven by a passion to serve, a willingness to experience the unknown, a desire to cross cultural boundaries, and an openness to delving deep into themselves and their place in this world.  We wish you all the best as you discuss the program and the next steps for you and your prospective Tufts 1+4 applicant.

Additional helpful information

Below are links to some of our collaborating organizations’ web pages that are particularly addressed to parents. We suggest reading all of them regardless of which placement your student is interested in, since much of the information is universally relevant.

Amigos Information for Parents

City Year Parent FAQ

Global Citizen Year’s A Parent’s Guide to the Bridge Year