Pre-Orientation Information for Parents

Pre-Orientation programs are a great way for your student to jump into the life of the College and get acquainted with the city of Chicago. Students will not only begin building a strong social network, but they will also take the first steps along a pathway of inquiry that will unlock new questions, new opportunities, and a greater understanding of the community around them. Throughout each program's length, students will be engaged in trips, discussions, and scheduled events that will keep them occupied from morning to night. Students will not have free time outside of the program.

For those participating in campus-based programs, students will spend the week living in a designated pre-orientation residence hall, which may be different from where they will reside for the rest of the year. Parents are welcome to help their student move in to the pre-orientation hall if they would like, but there will also be designated staff on-hand to assist with this. Students may bring all of their belongings for the year with them at the start of pre-orientation. On Friday, September 15th, students will move from their pre-orientation housing to their permanent residence hall. There will be storage space provided to house their belongings in the interim.  University and program staff will be on-hand to assist with this process. As that Friday is also a programming day and students will not be available for the day, it is not recommended that parents arrive to help with moving their students into their residence hall on that Friday.

Students may also choose to ship personal items directly to their residence hall in advance of moving to campus. If your students chooses this option, all shipments should be addressed to the student at their residence hall address and must be marked “HOLD FOR ARRIVAL SEPTEMBER 16”. Belongings that are shipped in advance may not arrive prior to 8:00 AM on September 12th. Any deliveries received prior to that date will be returned to sender. Postage on all shipped items must be prepaid.

Orientation Programming for Parents and Families

Parents and families of incoming students are invited to join the College for the beginning of Orientation on Saturday, September 16th and Sunday, September 17th. Programs offered on these days are tailored to provide parents with helpful information about campus programs and resources. As a parent of a student participating in a pre-orientation program, it is recommended that you arrange your travel to campus to coincide with these dates, rather than arriving to campus at an earlier date. You will find a schedule of events in the Information for Parents and Families section of this website.

For families who are unable to make it to Orientation, the College will be filming all information sessions offered on Sunday, September 17th during the Family Orientation program and posting them on the Parents and Families Website at You will receive an email when the videos have been posted. Additionally, we will webcast the Opening Convocation and the Aims of Education Address so that parents not on campus are still able to participate in these important campus traditions. If you have any questions about the Orientation schedule, please contact the College Programming Office at or by phone at 773-702-8616.

What to Bring to Campus

Students participating in a pre-orientation program will be provided bed linens for the duration of the program. Students who have ordered linens through the University’s linen program will be able to pick up their linens from the Bookstore on Friday, September 15th when they move into their permanent housing for the academic year. For those who have not ordered linens, students will need to provide their own linens beginning on Friday, September 15th after move-out from their Pre-Orientation housing.

Students should pack a separate bag with belongings for the pre-orientation week, as the rest of their belongings will be put away in locked storage until Friday, September 15th. Specific to pre-orientation, students should be sure to bring the following:

  • Comfortable shoes, as all programs involve a lot of walking and other outdoor activities
  • Toiletries and any required medications
  • A backpack or drawstring bag
  • An umbrella
  • A refillable water bottle
  • Clothes for each day of the program. While casual clothes are generally acceptable for daily wear, some programs may require at least one business casual outfit for the week. Students will be informed about appropriate attire.
  • Sunscreen and a jacket. September weather in Chicago can be fairly unpredictable. It should be warm enough that a jacket isn’t necessary, but it is better to be safe than sorry.
  • Additional spending money for incidental expenses.

Students should also refer to their specific program’s instructions for any specialty items or required dress policy.

We look forward to hosting you and your student on campus very soon and hope that you will also return for Family Weekend 2017 taking place from October 20th to 22nd.