Below are some frequently asked questions. Please feel free to contact us with questions, comments, suggestions, and feedback about the Orientation! We can be reached at gsc-oc@mit.edu (AND you could also drop by the GSC’s Open House and Dinner on September 4th and meet us :)

Is Orientation mandatory? Do I have to come?
Although we strongly recommend you attend our events (in particular, Grad School 101 and 102, the Welcome Address, among others), Orientation is not mandatory. With that said, however, we believe that you will be missing out on many learning, networking, and social opportunities to not only meet your fellow first-year students but also to learn about the Institute, resources available, and about life as a grad student at MIT in general.

Is there a dress code for the Orientation events?
The dress code will vary from event to event. Some events are casual (e.g. Grad School 101/102, Welcome Address, etc.), while others have a set dress code (the Boston Harbor Cruise, for example, has a “dress to impress” dress code). Please look at each event’s description to determine whether there are dress code suggestions or requirements.

Do I need to prepare anything? Do I need to bring anything?
For the Orientation events themselves, you do not need to prepare anything beforehand. However, given that some events will have alcohol and/or are for students that are 21+ years old, you will need to bring appropriate government-issued ID in those cases. If you are a domestic student, then please bring your driver’s license. If you are an international student, you will need to bring your passport. For some of the more “educational” events (i.e. Grad School 101/102), we recommend you bring pen and a place to take notes in.

Can I bring my friends?
The GSC’s Orientation is tailored and geared towards first-year new graduate students and their spouses, partners, and families. Please keep in mind that some events are not suitable or open for children, and others are open to those that are 21+ years old only. You will need to check each event’s description for more details, including admissions, restrictions, and the like.

I am kosher/vegetarian/vegan/etc. Will there be food for me?
Due to the large number of students that our events, we may not be able to meet all dietary needs and restrictions. Vegetarian dishes will be available at all events with food, however.

What are the ticketed events, and how do I get tickets?
The ticketed events are:

  • The Apple Picking Trip ($5 MIT)
  • Prudential Skywalk and Ice Cream ($8 MIT)
  • Boston City Tour ($10 MIT)
  • Reception Under the Dome ($10 MIT)
  • Boston Harbor Cruise ($15 MIT, $18 Guest)

You can get tickets at the Information Booth in Lobby 10 on August 27th and 28th, 2013. You can buy one MIT ticket per event (MIT ID required!) and one guest ticket (paying the guest price for the second ticket).

You are allowed to buy tickets for other MIT students. However, you will need to bring their MIT IDs as well and you will not be able to buy tickets for their guests.

What are the events requiring signup?
Events requiring tickets will say so in their descriptions. Events requiring signups (e.g. Grad Student Volunteer Day) will also say so in their descriptions, and instructions will be provided on how to sign up for such events.

Are there make-up dates for Orientation events?
Some events might be rescheduled due to weather (e.g. apple-picking trip). However, for the most part, there are no make-up dates for most events.

Some of the events conflict with my department’s orientation. What should I do?
That will be up to you and your department to decide. While we strongly recommend and encourage students to attend the GSC’s Orientation (especially major events like Grad School 101 and 102), attendance is not mandatory. If your department has events conflicting with our own Orientation events, it will be up to you to decide what is best for you, based on the situation and your department’s rules.

Are you offering an airport shuttle this year?
No. MIT is very easily accessible from the Logan Airport. You can either take a cab to MIT (or your housing option) or take the “T”, Boston’s public transportation system (http://www.mbta.com/ ). Simply take the Silver bus line from the airport to the South Station stop, and then get on the Red line train (towards Alewife). Depending on where your final destination is, you might want to get off either at the Kendall Square or Central Square stop.

Can I get an electronic copy of the magazine that was sent to me via mail?
Of course! The Orientation issue of The Graduate, the GSC’s graduate student newsletter, is available online at http://gsc.mit.edu/news-events/pubs/.

My question isn't answered here :(
We are so sorry! Please feel free to contact us with questions, comments, suggestions, and feedback about the Orientation! We can be reached at gsc-oc@mit.edu (AND you could also drop by the GSC’s Open House and Dinner on September 4th and meet us :)