Parent and Family Orientation

Parent and Family Orientation begins September 15, 2014 at 5 p.m. and runs through September 16, 2014 at 5 p.m. Programming for this event occurs simultaneously as programming for new students; your new student will be in other structured events during this time. Aside from seeing them throughout Move-in Day, you will also be able to observe them participate in the ceremonial March Through the Arch the morning of September 16 and will have the opportunity to say your goodbyes during a 30 minute pause in programming called Kiss'n'Bye on September 16. If you plan to make trips to any local stores, please schedule to do so before 5 p.m. on September 15 as your student will begin orientation meetings and activities at that time.

Parent and Family Orientation occurs concurrently with the new student orientation schedule; there are notes made throughout this schedule to let you know what your student will be doing at that time. Your student will be participating in a structured orientation schedule (Wildcat Welcome) beginning the morning of Tuesday, September 16; he/she will be focusing on becoming oriented to campus, academics, new friends, and resources from September 16-September 22.

Frequently Asked Questions about Orientation

  • As a parent, when should I leave?
    • Parents decide to leave in two different waves. Most will stay to participate in the President's Welcome/Reception on Monday evening and March Through the Arch on Tuesday morning. Kiss'n'Bye will, most likely, be the final time you are able to see your student as their Wildcat Welcome schedule is packed! Many families decide to leave at this time.
    • If parents do not leave right after March Through the Arch, they will stay for the fantastic programming offered throughout the day to learn about Northwestern from the parent side rather than just from an Admission view (i.e. campus tours). The last session ends at 5:30 p.m. so family members will decide to begin traveling back home at that point (if they are close by).
  • Do I participate in orientation events with my student?
    • The student and parent schedules are concurent; there are no joint sessions that occur. Though parents attend March Through the Arch, students are with their Peer Adviser groups while the parents stand to the sides to cheer on the new students.
  • When do I see my student if they are participating in a Pre-Wildcat Welcome Program?
    • Most students will unite with family members the morning of move-in day.
  • We are traveling a great distance, how do we get our items to campus for the residence hall room?
    • If families are not driving or flying out their items, they will decide to ship items to campus in advance. If you choose to do this, you should schedule your packages to arrive no earlier than September 13, 2013; you will then be able to pick-up your packages on move-in day (September 16, 2013). Addresses to campus residences can be found on the Residential Services website (select the appropriate building from the drop down menu and then select the "Mailing Address" tab).