Throughout the academic year the HIO offers information sessions for international scholars, students and their families called Getting Started and Spouse/Partner Orientation. Getting Started covers immigration-related information, as well as topics useful for those settling into the local area, such as banking, transportation, telephones, Harvard resources, health care, insurance, taxes, cultural adjustment. The Spouse/Partner Orientation covers adjustment issues, shopping, J-2 Work Permission and more. During the summer group sessions are held and walking tours are added otherwise the orientations are made by appointment or on an availability basis. All sessions are held in Smith Campus Center (formerly Holyoke Center), Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Upon arrival, the student and scholars are provided with the HIO's Welcome brochure and flyers that covers many subjects such as Massachusetts driver's licenses, phones, social security number and English classes in the area and more.