Pre-orientation Programs

First-Year orientation is your formal introduction to Yale College. However, several optional pre-orientation programs that may interest you are described below.

Registration for these programs begins on May 1, 2019.

Important Notes:

•    Financial aid for the pre-orientation programs is available.
•    Students participating in pre-orientation programs should bring only what they need for their program and plan to have the rest of their belongings arrive on the Friday of move in. (This does not apply to International students.)

Cultural Connections

August 17–22

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. 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.
•    Register for Cultural Connections beginning May 1. (Deadline July 1, 2019)


August 17-23

FOCUS on New Haven takes first-year, transfer, and Eli Whitney students on a 6-day exploration of the urban landscape that exists within and beyond the Yale campus. First-year and transfer students will make new friends as they get insider knowledge on all of the rewarding aspects of New Haven, from fun city-wide events to local art and architecture to community organizing efforts. Through a guest speaker series, guided discussion, and community service, FOCUS also encourages students to think about ways in which they can understand and have an impact on the city Yale calls home. For more information, go to!
•    Register for FOCUS beginning May 1. (Deadline July 1, 2019)

First-Year Outdoor Orientation Trips (FOOT)

August 17-23 (six-day) or August 19-23 (four-day)

On First-Year Outdoor Orientation Trips (FOOT), upperclass students lead first-year and transfer students 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. Students form tight bonds of lasting friendships and create a close group that supports them throughout the years, in a wonderful wilderness setting. Participants meet at Yale on the day before departure, on August 17 for the six-day trips and on August 19 for the four-day trips, and are bused to their various destinations. For more information, visit the FOOT Website or e-mail the head student coordinators at or the summer coordinators at
•    Register for FOOT beginning May 1. (Deadline July 1, 2019)


August 17-23

During Harvest, groups of first-year and transfer students spend five days farming and camping on family-owned sustainable farms throughout the Northeast, but primarily in Connecticut. They experience all aspects of farm life, from harvesting fruits to planting fall crops, with in-between time fills with cooking and games. Afternoons and evenings might find students cooling off in a pond, playing volleyball, or sharing s’mores around a campfire. A Harvest trip provides a unique opportunity for students to enjoy the outdoors, learn about sustainable agriculture in the Northeast, and make a close group of friends before the start of Yale. Harvest is designed for first-year and transfer students of all backgrounds; no farming experience is necessary. The program starts Saturday, August 17 and is run by the Yale Sustainable Food Program. For more information, visit the Harvest website or email the student coordinators at, or the staff coordinator, Erwin Li at

•    Register for Harvest beginning May 1. (Deadline July 1, 2019)
•    Harvest Medical Forms

Orientation for International Students (OIS)

August 17-22

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. OIS introduces new students to the Yale campus and the city of New Haven, and includes discussions about academics, campus culture, extracurricular activities, financial aid, on campus employment opportunities, and living in the U.S. There will also be time 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 OISS staff and student counselors. For more information and to register for the program, visit the OIS Web site or e-mail Ozan Say at the Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS).

•    Register for OIS beginning May 1. (Deadline July 1, 2019)