There are five pre-orientation programs, each providing housing and meals. All programs occur simultaneously the week before Harvard orientation begins. You may only participate in one program (with an exception: FIPpers can also do Fall Clean-Up). FAP begins on Tuesday, August 15, 2017. Fall Clean-Up, FOP, and FUP begin on Wednesday, August 16, 2017. FIP begins on Friday, August 18, 2017, although participants may come early for Fall Clean-Up.
Some programs are completely free for participants, while others have fees. Cost should not be a barrier to participation! Significant financial aid is available and is based on the student's relative level of need. See program websites for specific costs.
Fall Clean-Up is a week-long program run by Dorm Crew that employs 350 incoming first-year students and 50 upperclassmen to clean the dorms and Houses for move-in. Though challenging, the camaraderie and community make the experience fun, and participants earn a paycheck ($13.25/hour, approximately 40 hours of work). Students get to know campus and Harvard Square, while talking with upperclassmen about life at Harvard, classes, and the transition to college. Meals and social events provide opportunities for students to get to know one another before move-in.
The First-Year Arts Program (FAP) is a week-long, multidisciplinary introduction to the arts at Harvard, bringing together 70 incoming freshmen and 16 upperclass proctors who are passionately involved in various aspects of art, enthusiastic to share their interests, and eager to learn about the experiences of their peers. Centered around workshops and master classes given by seven resident and 20 visiting artists in drama, music, theater design, studio arts, film, dance, and creative writing, FAP culminates in the Pageant, a collaborative presentation of entirely original student work. No formal training required.
The First-Year International Program (FIP) is a four-day orientation program for international students and US citizens who have lived and studied primarily overseas. In FIP, 35 upperclass leaders mentor 150 incoming freshmen, introducing them to Harvard and helping them adjust to life in the United States. Specifically, participants receive foundational information for a happy, successful start at Harvard, including discussions about American education, culture, and stereotypes; how to set up a bank account; and how to cope with homesickness. Sessions give international students a head start for the year. By invitation only.
The First-Year Outdoor Program (FOP) is Harvard’s largest and oldest pre-orientation program. 400+ participants explore New England’s finest forests, mountains, and lakes in small groups. But FOP is not just a six-day outdoors trip; it is an opportunity to build a sense of community, reflect on your hopes for college, and enter with confidence and a network of close friends. No outdoor experience required. Trips are designed for all levels of experience and fitness, and are led by trained and experienced students.
The First-Year Urban Program (FUP) catalyzes a commitment to public service, community advocacy and support, diversity, equity, and social justice work on campus, and introduces students to Boston and Cambridge. 110 participants divide into worksite groups led by 35 returning undergraduates to assist grassroots community organizations. Discussion groups reflect on issues of race, class, gender, sexuality, and equity, as well as how to create impactful social change. Workshops include sessions with alumni and community leaders who work with Harvard public service programs. Fun activities help first-years bond with one another and their leaders.