Preorientation Programs

Freshman Orientation—August 23 to September 7—is your formal introduction to Yale College. However, several optional preorientation programs that may interest you are described below.

Important Notes:

  • Financial aid for the preorientation programs is available.
  • With the exception of OIS for international students, preorientation programs are open to all students.
  • Freshmen participating in preorientation programs are housed temporarily in rooms on the Old Campus; they should not expect to have access to their term-time dormitory rooms until the programs end.
Cultural Connections, August 16–21

Cultural Connections (CC) introduces freshmen to Yale’s campus and cultural resources. The program explores the diversity of student experiences on the Yale campus, with emphasis on the experiences of students of color and on issues related to racial identity. However, CC is open to any freshman regardless of race or ethnicity. Activities include discussions with faculty members who have expertise in the fields of ethnicity, nationality, and race; panels on academic expectations by faculty; introductions to financial, social, and academic resources; presentations on campus life by students; group visits to local points of interest such as the Yale College cultural centers and the Mohegan powwow; and a shopping trip for all your suite needs. For more information, visit the Cultural Connections Website or call 203 432-2906.

Freshman Outdoor Orientation Trips (FOOT), August 16–22 (six-day) or August 18–22 (four-day)

On Freshman Outdoor Orientation Trips (FOOT), upperclass students lead freshmen on six-day and four-day backpacking trips in the mountains and hills of New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. FOOT is designed for students of all backgrounds and levels of hiking experience. Participants meet at Yale on the day before departure, on August 16 for the six-day trips and on August 18 for the four-day trips, and are bused to their various destinations. For more information, visit the FOOT Web site or e-mail the head student coordinators Grace Lindsey and Carlos Gould at or the summer coordinators Aaron Lewis and Megan Opatrny at

Harvest, August 17–22

In the Harvest program, groups of incoming freshmen spend five days on family-owned organic farms in Connecticut. They experience all aspects of farm life, from picking vegetables to baking bread to feeding chickens. Afternoons and evenings might find students cooling off in local rivers, playing volleyball, or hanging out around a campfire. A Harvest trip provides a unique opportunity for freshmen to enjoy the outdoors, learn about sustainable agriculture in Connecticut, and make a close group of friends before the start of on-campus orientation and classes at Yale. Harvest is designed for students of all backgrounds; no farming experience is necessary. The program is run by the Yale Sustainable Food Project. For more information, e-mail the student coordinators at, or visit the Harvest Web site.

Orientation for International Students (OIS), August 18–21

The Orientation for International Students (OIS) program is designed to ease international students’ transition to the United States by familiarizing them with academic and social life in Yale College. OIS introduces new students to the Yale campus and the city of New Haven, and includes discussions about academics, financial aid, employment opportunities, and extracurricular activities. Time is scheduled for participants to set up bank accounts, get cell phones, and shop for those essential items not brought from home. Most importantly, OIS provides the occasion to get to know other students who have come from around the world to study at Yale. OIS is organized and led by Yale College student counselors. For more information and to register for the program, visit the OIS Web site or e-mail the Office of International Students and Scholars at