FIPer Experiences

We'll continue to add to this as we go, but for now...

At the end the fall semester, the Freshman Dean’s Office asks all freshmen to fill out a survey about their experiences at Harvard through the first semester. One question asks about the students’ most meaningful social experience so far at Harvard. Here are a few excerpts from last year's survey: 

  • I think pre-orientation programs were a fundamental part of my social experience. During FIP and FCU I met some of my best friends here and my experience would have been totally different without them.
  • FIP was a great pre-orientation program I'm glad I participated in. I entered the semester with a group of friends--in fact, most of my close friends are still friends I met through FIP. I'm really glad I joined.
  • FIP and my subsequent international community has been really great in finding a community of people who are also going through a similar process of adjustment and who also have a similar approach to Harvard.
  • FIP was a joy. Meeting people from all over the world was a fantastic experience, our FIP siblings became friends and our FIP parents became almost mentors as we navigated the transition period.
  • The pre-orientation programs that I took part in (Dorm Crew and FIP) were really important to me because I got to meet a lot of the people that I still hang out with today. FIP was especially nice since I could relate to the people there in terms of coming to study in another country and culture.
  • The social interactions that I made during FIP and the opening days were all very meaningful to me and I have remained in contact with most of the close friends from those days.


Also, at the end of FIP last year, we asked the FIPers about their favorite thing about the program. Here’s a small sampling of their responses:

  • I loved meeting new people from different places and backgrounds. I'm completely unbiased when I say that international students are the best group of people at Harvard, and FIP was wonderful in that I had this opportunity to interact with them outside of an academic or extra-curricular setting.
  • The community I was able to build, and being able to meet people from so many different countries and backgrounds.
  • The huge number of friends I made, most of which I still regularly meet with now, and who are my favorite people at Harvard. I also loved how the program allowed us to "get ahead" and feel at home before orientation even started, and I truly believe I would have felt lost and confused if I hadn't taken part in it.
  • Panels! Q&A! Those events gave me lots of useful information and boosted my confidence.
  • I met some of my greatest friends during FIP and, by the end, I felt much more at home on this campus.
  • It's given me a great community on campus and prepared me really well for the shock of the transition to the US; the panels on identity, I didn't expect to enjoy but have been really useful to me. Knowing and meeting upperclassmen internationals and seeing them enjoying the Harvard experience was really comforting to see.
  • Meeting all the people there. Everyone was really open to talking and getting to know each other. The bank and phone store visits were also really useful!
  • Our parents are the reason why our family felt so close even after FIP ended. I loved the idea of a family and our parents really made it feel like a family by always offering their time to us. I especially loved the FIP Olympics and the Boston Scavenger hunt and thought it was a great way to bring everyone together.
  • How caring and concerned FIP is for everyone.
  • Everything!