Our Purpose

What is FIP?


The First-Year International Program (FIP) is a six-day orientation program for international students and US residents who have lived and studied primarily overseas. Partnering with the Harvard International Office,  45 upperclass leaders mentor approximately 150 incoming freshmen, introducing them to Harvard and helping them adjust to life in the United States. Specifically, participants receive foundational information for a happy, successful start at Harvard, including sessions and discussions about American culture, immigration, and academics in the US and at Harvard. Participants are also able to set up a bank account and cell phone service. Through its emphasis on inclusion and belonging, FIP creates new friendships at the same time it cultivates the larger international community at Harvard. 


The FIP Mission


The First-Year International Program welcomes and supports international students as they transition to Harvard and to American culture and society. Through its programming, its collaborative model, and its kinship and leadership systems, FIP exemplifies that which it seeks to create: a rich, diverse, and inclusive environment that has an ethic of friendship and community at its core. FIP reflects the College’s transformational vision that actively supports and draws from the full context of students’ lives – personally, intellectually, socially, and culturally. In that spirit, FIP seeks to continuously embolden Harvard’s international community through its many campus partnerships.

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