Fall 2021 Orientation FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions
A quick reference for some of the most common questions incoming students have. Last update: August 20, 2021.
The Arrival Day schedule is posted on Blackboard. Please Note: Students will be required to register for an arrival time between 8:30 a.m. EDT and 1:00 p.m. EDT. Students received an email on July 27 with specific information about registering for a specific arrival time.
On Arrival Day there will be opportunities to attend various information sessions. There will also be afternoon programs and events for parents, guardians, and guests. Arrival Day programming will conclude at approximately 5:00 p.m. EDT.
Please note: The College will provide lunch for students and their guests grab-and-go style at the Coe Quad tent. Students and families and guests are encouraged to eat outside.
Yes! International students will have an opportunity to gather with each other and form close relationships that will continue throughout their experience at Bowdoin. This year, students visa holders from both the Class of 2025 and Class of 2024 will be invited to the International Student Orientation.
The International Student Orientation program will take place on August 22 and August 23. International student visa holders' earliest arrival time is 5:00 p.m. on August 21.
Further details and invitations will be sent out later. For any questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
There are many ways to get to campus!
- If you choose to fly you can arrive at the Boston Logan Airport or the Portland International Jetport.
- You can ride with the Amtrak Downeaster train from Boston North Station to Brunswick Transportation Center
- You can take the Concord Coach line from Boston Logan Airport or Boston South Station to Brunswick.
- If you arrive in Portland the Amtrak Downeaster, the Breeze Bus, or a taxi can take you to Brunswick.
For directions and general information, you'll find help more information about traveling to campus here. We are monitoring each of the resources on the list to make sure we are knowledgeable about what may not be operating due to the virus.
The College is providing shuttle service from Portland International Jetport (PWM) to campus for students who are traveling alone—the College cannot provide transportation for family members or other guests—but the deadline to sign up for a shuttle has passed. If you are flying on your own to PWM and have questions about traveling alone to campus, please contact the Orientation interns at email@example.com.
Students are not allowed in the residence halls before Arrival Day. If you arrive in Brunswick before arrival day you can stay in one of the many hotels, motels, and bed & breakfasts in Brunswick and the mid-coast region. View some of the local accommodations.
Three services—United Parcel Service, Federal Express, and the United States Postal Service—are available for shipping belongings to campus. The address you must use is:Student NameBowdoin College###Smith UnionBrunswick, ME 04011
Your exact Smith Union address can be found in the "My Personal Profile" section on Polaris. Know that the earliest your package should arrive is August 9—if it arrives earlier the mail center will not accept it. All packages received after August 9 will be available at the mail center for students to pick them up when they arrive on campus.
Students and staff rave about the food at Bowdoin College! Princeton Review has ranked Bowdoin #1 in the country. In the Princeton Review "Best 361 Colleges" Bowdoin's Dining Service has consistently been ranked #1 or #2 in past years, garnering the top spot in 2004, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2012, 2014, and 2015! Bowdoin's chefs use local ingredients whenever possible and the college tends its own organic garden near campus. Bowdoin also scored an 'A' on our sustainability practices based on environmental choices.
Students may eat in the Moulton Union and Thorne Dining Halls. First-year students are required to have a full Meal Plan, providing 19 meals per week in addition to "Polar Points." Students may use "Polar Points" at Jack Magee's grill, which provides short-order food. Bowdoin's Cafe and on-campus Convenience Store are two other venues where food, beverages, and necessities can also be purchased. In downtown Brunswick there are a variety of reasonably-priced, quality dining establishments, including Chinese, Indian, Italian, Mexican, Thai, seafood, pizza, and fast-food restaurants. Some of the tastiest food establishments in downtown Brunswick accept the Bowdoin OneCard as well!
For other groceries, Hannaford, our local super-market, is a five-minute walk from campus, and Morning Glory, a natural food market, is a ten-minute walk down Maine Street.
In Brunswick, students may shop at Walmart, T.J. Maxx, and Staples. Within a ten-minute walk of campus, there are a variety of boutiques, consignment shops, gear shops, and thrift shops.
Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Reny's, among other stores, are in the neighboring town of Topsham, which is a short drive from campus. Topsham is a great place to shop for all of your dorm needs.
For more extensive shopping, Freeport is a fifteen-minute drive from Bowdoin. Freeport is home to the L.L. Bean's flagship store and outlet along with many other outlets such as J. Crew, North Face, Patagonia, and Banana Republic.
The Maine Mall is a thirty-minute drive from Bowdoin, located in South Portland.
Also, online shopping is always a great option. Remember, Amazon Prime and other online retailers offer student memberships.
First-year students are not permitted to have cars on campus.
Bowdoin has partnered with Zipcar, North America's largest car-sharing service, to offer a cost-effective and environmentally-friendly alternative to having a car on campus. A special website allows members of the Bowdoin community and residents of the Town of Brunswick to join the Zipcar program.
Bowdoin also has a student-run program called the Yellow Bike Club (YBC) which, for a small fee, provides a key to all "Yellow Bikes" on campus.
Bowdoin has a mail center where students can send or receive mail and packages, although no mail may be received for incoming students before August 9. In the future you will receive a letter from the mail center on campus with information about your specific mailing address.
Yes, the College provides a high-speed network that is accessible in residence halls, public areas, and libraries. Wireless access points are available across almost all locations on campus. Each student is assigned an email account. This email account was provided in your May informational packet—first-year students should have started checking their email daily in the early summer for valuable and timely information. Email is the primary way we communicate with students who we then expect to relay that information to parents and guardians as necessary.
If you have information technology questions before Orientation, you can consult Bowdoin's IT website.
Questions about student health insurance can be directed to Cathy Hayes, the Student Health Insurance Coordinator, at (207) 798-4284. Bowdoin requires all students to be enrolled in a health insurance plan while attending the College. You may either choose to purchase Bowdoin's Student Accident and Sickness Insurance Plan or rely on your own coverage, if comparable. All students will be automatically enrolled in Bowdoin's plan and charged the plan's premium unless you go online to waive coverage. Details of the plan and instructions for waiving will be mailed to students. The deadline for waiving coverage in Bowdoin's Student Accident and Sickness Insurance Plan is TBD.
An optional 'Accident Only' insurance policy is also available to varsity athletes who have family health insurance. Please refer to the mailings you receive this summer for more information about this option.
The College is not responsible for the loss of, theft of, or damage to personal property by fire or other causes. Students and families who wish to insure student belongings should consider insurance offered by Gallagher Koster.
There are several hair salons in Brunswick, including Pura Vida, Starz and The Looking Glass as well as the barber shop Kings and Queens on Maine Street. Mainely Hair is in Freeport, just south of Brunswick.
For hair products there are local shops on Maine Street in Brunswick, Sally's Beauty Supply in the Topsham Fair Mall, not too far from the school, and several outlet stores in Freeport. Many students also choose to purchase beauty supplies online. Some good websites include www.hairsisters.com , a site for ordering hair supplies and hair extensions; and www.carolsdaughter.com which offers hair and body products.
Your placement exam results will be available to you on Saturday, August 28, 2021.
You will register for your fall courses during Orientation.
Your pre-major academic advisor information will be available to you on Saturday, August 28, 2021.
To learn more about student employment options on campus please review the Student Employment Information form that is posted in Blackboard under Student Employment. You’ll find helpful information, links, and contact information there!