First-Year International Program

What is FIP?

FIP is sponsored by the Harvard Freshman Dean's Office (FDO), the Harvard International Office (HIO) and the Woodbridge Society of International Students. It is an orientation program for incoming international students who have either not attended school in the United States or have done so for a short period of time, and for U.S. citizens who have spent most of their lives abroad. FIP immediately precedes the College's orientation program for all new freshmen, and will introduce international students to American culture and some aspects of higher education in the United States, particularly at Harvard. Harvard administrators, faculty, and upper class international students will serve as resources for these orientation sessions. Letters of invitation to FIP are sent out to eligible students with their letters of admission in the spring. Early admits will also receive an invitation in the spring. If a student is eligible and does not receive an invitation, please be in touch with Jessica Heffernan.

Participation in FIP is optional. However, past participants have found FIP to be an invaluable introduction to Harvard, especially those with little or no experience studying in the United States. One participant wrote:

FIP has definitely been the defining moment of my freshman year so far. Participating in FIP made me much more confident in my pursuits here, because I was able to have a pre-introduction to everything. I have made tons of friends in FIP. I would recommend FIP to all international students!

FIP sessions cover student life and academic life, as well as important information on immigration, taxes, and employment for students for whom this is relevant. There will also be plenty of time for FIP participants to get to know each other and their upperclass guides as well as to explore Harvard, Cambridge, and Boston. There is no charge to attend FIP. Students are housed in Weld Hall, Harvard Yard, for the duration of FIP and then move to permanent housing for the academic year. Most meals are provided but bedding is not provided. It is expected that students will bring belongings with them for the academic year. FIPpers on visas will register with HIO representatives during FIP.


Questions about FIP may be directed to