Pre-Wildcat Welcome Programs
Excited to meet other new students prior to Wildcat Welcome? Interested in starting off your Northwestern career with a meaningful experience? Pre-Wildcat Welcome Programs provide opportunities for you to meet new friends and become better connected with the Northwestern community before the official Wildcat Welcome orientation program begins.
Applications for Alternative Student Break (ASB), CATalyst, Freshman Urban Program (FUP), and Project Wildcat (P-Wild) are now live until June 1! Apply HERE. These applicants will be notified of final placement by June 30.
On this page, you will find Pre-Wildcat Welcome Programs sponsored by the:
- Center for Student Involvement (four programs)
- Sheil Catholic Center (one program)
- Louis and Saerree Fiedler Hillel Center (one program)
Alternative Student Breaks is a service-learning organization that sends Northwestern students to volunteer at non-profits across the country. ASB seeks to involve, educate and heighten students' social awareness and strives to encourage lifelong civic engagement. Each trip highlights a different issue, and participants have the opportunity to do work that ranges from teaching English to newly-arrived immigrants to staging a get-out-the-vote campaign. No matter the issue they work with, participants build close relationships with their group and their upperclassmen site leaders. After spending a week exploring and serving in one of seven Midwestern locations with their small group, students meet up with all the other ASB participants in Chicago, where they'll spend a day discovering the opportunities for fun and service that the city has to offer. Following an unforgettable week, students immediately become part of the ASB community, a dynamic group with a year-round presence and continued opportunities for leadership and service.
- When: September 9-15, 2013
- Where: 10 sites in the Midwest
- Cost: $215
- Apply by: June 1
- Contact: email@example.com
CATalyst, held at a retreat center in Michigan, is an innovative and inspiring leadership development program for incoming students. Our program encourages participants to step outside their comfort zone through "challenge by choice" activities. Experiences on CATalyst will develop effective group communication skills, increase self-awareness through guided reflection, and foster team building through small group development. We dedicate one day to a high ropes course and low ropes challenges in an effort to encourage students to problem solve while earning the trust of their peers. Participants will also have the opportunity to develop authentic mentor relationships with upper-classmen counselors. CATalyst is designed to equip students with the tools and insight they need to grow and succeed at Northwestern.
- When: September 12-16, 2013 (students will arrive the morning of move-in)
- Where: Pretty Lake Vacation Camp, Mattawan, Michigan
- Cost: $275
- Apply by: June 1
- Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Freshman Urban Program (FUP)
The Freshmen Urban Program is an introduction to the neighborhoods within Chicago and Evanston. The program examines the issues that face these communities, the organizations that serve them and the means by which Northwestern students can effect change. FUP employs the theory of Asset-Based Community Development in teaching participants about issues as varied as housing, education, health care, politics, gentrification and community organizing. FUP is a Pre-Wildcat Welcome activity open to all incoming freshmen and transfer students. During this five day program, participants will stay in a youth hostel in Chicago's Loop area. From there they will be dispatched to volunteer at community centers, urban schools, homeless shelters and advocacy organizations throughout the city. Northwestern faculty and various community leaders will lead discussions on a variety of issues facing urban communities.
- When: September 10-16, 2013 (students will arrive the morning of move-in)
- Where: Various Chicago neighborhoods
- Cost: $250
- Apply by: June 1
- Contact: email@example.com
Project Wildcat is a week-long wilderness backpacking program designed to build leadership and teamwork skills through experiential learning. Practicing "leave no trace" environmental principles, groups of eight incoming freshmen - each led by two trained upperclassmen counselors - hike through several of the nation's beautiful national parks. Project Wildcat is a fun opportunity to enter into Northwestern life with a heightened sense of confidence, a week full of fantastic memories, and a good bunch of new friends. A week spent enjoying the wilderness allows you to take a step back and get to know yourself and your group before being immersed in the hustle and bustle of your exciting new life at Northwestern.
- When: September 8-16, 2013 (students will campout on campus the evening of 9/15 and will be finished the morning of move-in)
- Where: Various Midwest hiking trails and campsites
- Cost: $350 + rentals
- Apply by: June 1
- Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
First Night at Sheil Catholic Center
Sheil Catholic Center is the heart of Catholic life at Northwestern, and all incoming students are welcome to be part of the Sheil community. First Night at Sheil is an activity-filled overnighter packed into the 14 hours before Wildcat Welcome and is an ideal way to meet other new students and returning students eager to make you feel at home. After First Nighters get acquainted and have dinner together, they participate in a photo shoot, enjoy a bonfire on the lakeside campus, paint the Rock (a favorite Northwestern tradition), find out about Sheil involvement opportunities, and hear returning students share need-to-know information about starting out at Northwestern. After a good night’s sleep at the Sheil Center, you’ll rejoin your parents to start moving into your student residence.
- When: September 15-16, 2013 (students will be finished the morning of move-in)
- Where: On campus at Sheil Center
- Cost: No cost
- Apply by: September 12, 2013
- Contact: Tim Higgins, email@example.com
Hillel's Freshman Fest
Fielder Hillel - the vibrant core of Jewish life at Northwestern and headquarters for more than 15 Jewish student groups - invites you to join its 18th annual Freshman Fest, an overnight celebration of your arrival on campus and an opportunity to get your feet wet before plunging into Wildcat Welcome. Starting the afternoon before move-in day, you'll join other incoming and returning students at Hillel in activities that will lead to new friendships, feed your appetite for fun and food, and satisfy your curiosity about many facets of Northwestern student life. You'll have the inside scoop on how to enjoy the social scene on campus, become involved in sports or Greek life, get into the most sought-after courses, and take full advantage of campus life!
- When: September 15-16, 2013 (students will be finished by morning of move-in)
- Where: On campus at Fiedler Hillel
- Cost: $36
- Apply by: August 15, 2013
- Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org | 847-467-4455