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One hour orientation sessions are offered by Zarrin Foster, an HIO staff member for scholars, spouse or partners and students. The session is by appointment only using the online scheduler Make an Appointment on the HIO home page. Once inside the scheduler, please select "Orientation Session" from the drop down menu. You may add a comment when making the appointment and you do not need to bring any documents to the session. Based on your questions, Zarrin will modify her presentation in order to answer your questions, and in addition provide you with general information about public and Harvard transportation services, telephones, banking, safety, Harvard resources, procedures for renting an apartment, volunteering, J-2 work permission and more within the hour. If you have difficulty accessing the on-line scheduler please contact Zarrin Foster at zarrin_foster@harvard.edu.

To accommodate the large influx of students, scholars and their dependents in January and from June through mid-September, group orientation sessions called "Getting Started" and "Spouse/Partner Orientation" are held instead of individually scheduled ones. NO APPOINTMENT IS NEEDED for these group orientations. These orientations are two hours in length. Please check the schedule. Students, scholars and their families are welcome to both sessions. Children must be carefully supervised by their parents.

Between August and the first week of September Walking/Shopping tours are offered on a weekly basis. Just meet in the lobby of the Smith Campus Center next to the Security Guard's desk at the appointed time on the schedule. Students, scholars and their families are welcome. Children must be carefully supervised by their parents.

The Spouse/Partner Orientation covers among other things J-2 work permission, shopping information and adjustment to a new culture. Students and scholars are welcome to attend as well. Children must be carefully supervised by their parents.

Walking/Shopping Tours are held weekly in August and early September. Please check the schedule. The locations vary on each tour but they include Harvard Square, Porter Square, Central Square, Memorial Drive and the Watertown Shopping Mall. These tours are about two hours in length. Depending on the consensus of the participants some may stop for lunch together. Children are welcome but there is a lot of walking so a stroller might be advisable. Please wear comfortable walking shoes!

Freshman International Program (FIP) is held at the end of August for international freshman. Details are mailed directly to international freshmen from the Freshman Dean's Office.

NOTE: HIO is closed for Winter Recess from noon on December 24, 2013 to January 1, 2014. It will reopen on January 2, 2014.

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