May 28, 2021

Dear Class of 2025,

This week I would like to introduce you to Yale’s five pre-orientation programs. Each program has a different focus, but they all provide an incredible introduction to Yale and the chance to get to know some of your classmates and upper-level students before orientation.

Below, you will find descriptions of each program and links to their websites, so you can learn more about them. As you consider applying for one of these programs, here are answers to a few of the most common questions we receive:

If I participate in a pre-orientation program, will my move-in date change?

Yes, all fully vaccinated students participating in a pre-orientation program will move into their term-time rooms on August 23.

Should I bring all my belongings, or only what I need for the program?

Students participating in pre-orientation programs should consider August 23 their official move-in date and arrive with everything they will need for the year. Vaccinated family members are welcome to accompany students for the move-in.

Do the programs have caps on the number of students they can accept?

We hope that we do not need to cap any of the programs, but that will depend on the public health situation later in the summer. Please get your application in for the program of your choice as early as you can. 

What is the cost?

Each program has a slightly different fee for participation depending on the activities that the program includes, information about the fees is listed on each program’s website. Students who will receive financial aid from Yale for the 21-22 academic year will be also considered for pre-orientation scholarship support. If you are interested in a program, please apply.

When is the application deadline?

Applications for the pre-orientation programs will open at noon on June 1 and close on July 1. Once the application opens, it will be visible to you in the forms section of the Class of 2025 page on Yale Connect.

If you have questions about a particular program, feel free to reach out to the programs directly. The program directors are always happy to hear from new students!


Dean Peck

Cultural Connections

Cultural Connections (CC) introduces students 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 first-year student regardless of race or ethnicity.


FOCUS on New Haven, a pre-orientation program of Dwight Hall at Yale, engages first-year, transfer, and Eli Whitney students on a six-day excursion of learning and service beyond the Yale campus. Students explore the city of New Haven through the lens of community engagement, social justice, and local activism.

First-Year Outdoor Orientation Trips (FOOT)

On First-Year Outdoor Orientation Trips (FOOT), junior and senior students lead first-year students on 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.


During Harvest, groups of Yale College students spend five days farming and camping on family-owned sustainable farms in Connecticut. They experience all aspects of farm life, from harvesting fruits to planting fall crops, to cooking and processing fresh produce.

Orientation for International Students (OIS)

The Orientation for International Students (OIS) program is designed to ease the transition of first-year students with an international background by familiarizing them with academic and social life at Yale and the United States.