HIO Orientations

Welcome to Harvard! Now that you have arrived in the Greater Boston area, here are some activities to help you settle in!  We provide orientation sessions and walking tours. We encourage you to attend a group orientation session when offered and when those are not available to make an appointment for a one-on-one orientation.

Walking Tours

Registration is needed: Please send an email message to Zarrin Foster and put the DATE OF THE WALKING TOUR in the subject line.  An email message will be sent to you with information on where to meet.  

Harvard University

You will be shown places on the Cambridge campus of the university, for example where to get tickets for Harvard events, films, farmer’s market, bathrooms, museums, cafes, etc.  The tour lasts about two hours.

Harvard Square

We will visit the post office, the cobbler, the hardware store, venues for live music, the Kennedy School and the Graduate School of Education, etc.  The tour lasts about one and a half hours.

One-on-One Orientation Sessions

These sessions are available until May 29th, for scholars and spouses or partners of both students and scholars. Please make an appointment to meet with Zarrin Foster by using the HIO online scheduler. Once inside the scheduler, please select "Orientation Session" from the drop-down menu. You may add a comment when making an appointment and you do not need to bring any documents to the session. Based on your comments, Zarrin will modify her presentation. Typical topics covered are travel, banking, shopping, social security numbers, health insurance, housing, J-2 work permission, etc.  Also, please indicate the number of people that will be attending the session, so a suitable space can be arranged.  Children are welcome.  Parents must carefully supervise their children.  If you have difficulty accessing the on-line scheduler, please contact Zarrin Foster.

Getting Started Orientation at Longwood Medical Area

The Getting Started Orientation, organized for all Longwood appointed Students, Student Interns and Scholars, covers information about your J-1 immigration status (Do’s & Don’ts, Can & Cannots), about public and Harvard transportation services, telephones, banking, safety, Harvard resources, procedures for renting/leasing apartments, and more within a 2-hour session. You may find schedule details, location, and a sign up link here.

The Harvard Information Office offers tours throughout the year and no registration is needed.