Note: This page was used for Orientation in August 2018. The page will be updated as we approach Spring/Summer of 2019...
Welcome to Bowdoin!
Congratulations on your acceptance to Bowdoin! We are so excited to welcome you to campus. Please make sure to check back for more updates about the arrival of the Class of 2022.
Before You Arrive
Orientation for the Bowdoin Class of 2022 will begin on Tuesday, August 21st, 2018 for all incoming first-year and transfer students. You will have access to your rooms from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm on that day. Students are not permitted to arrive prior to August 21st. (International students who have been invited to participate in pre-orientation programming will arrive on August 18th).
But more of that later. Here are the things you'll need to do before you arrive:
1. Look for an email from Bowdoin in your personal email account, which you provided during the application process. There you’ll find your Bowdoin username and a temporary password to log into your Bowdoin email account and Blackboard Student Portal to fill out necessary pre-matriculation forms.
2. Start with Blackboard, as that’s where you’ll be able to find links to fill out your online housing preference and register for orientation trips. You will also be able to complete other necessary forms directly in Blackboard and receive updates on Arrival Day, Orientation, and much, much more. Many of these forms do have deadlines, so checking in early is a good idea. Below you can find a list of all important due dates and forms.
Student EmploymentFor students looking for jobs on campus who opt out of applying for the First Year Job Placement Program, they may also browse the Bowdoin Student Jobx website for position openings or attend the on-campus job fair at the start of the academic year.
If you think you’ll want to work at Bowdoin, read more about our employment policies and make sure to pack acceptable forms of original ID (i.e. passport, birth certificate, social security card, etc.) to use when filling out the Form I-9. Reference the Bowdoin Student Employment website for more information.
If you have any questions, do not hesitate to reach out to our Orientation Interns, Lianna Harrington '21 and Gillian Raley '21. Orientation office hours are 9:00 am–5:00 pm EST. Contact information can be found in the sidebar. We wish you a lovely summer and look forward to welcoming you in August!
Important Due Dates
- Complete the application for the First Year Job Placement Program (this form is not required). Placement information will be sent via email by August 8.
- Complete the necessary Designing Your Bowdoin Education Part II, Information Literacy, Plagiarism Tutorial, and Quantitative Skills forms.
- Complete the Writing Confidence and New Student Surveys.
- Complete placement exams.
Note: We strongly encourage you to take the placement exam for any discipline in which you have some proficiency, so that if you decide to take courses in these departments at some point in your Bowdoin career, you will have a course placement recommendation on record.
- Complete all required health forms in your Student Health Portal.
- Enroll in or waive the Bowdoin health insurance plan. For any questions or inquiries, contact: email@example.com.
Frequently Asked Questions
The following information is designed to provide incoming first-year, transfer, and exchange students with a quick reference source to answer the big questions about arriving on the Bowdoin College campus. You may also email firstname.lastname@example.org for questions you may have.
For other questions and assistance, please contact Stephanie Rendall, Assistant Dean of First-Year Students at (207) 798-7026 or email@example.com.
Arrival day for the Class of 2022 is August 21st, 2018.
More information about the arrival day schedule is to come.
For directions and general information, you'll find help Traveling to Campus here. It can also be found on the Orientation home page.
Orientation Trips go out Wednesday, August 22nd and return Saturday, August 25th.
Bowdoin Orientation begins Saturday, August 25th.
Don't worry about the details; we have a great program planned for you! Orientation schedules will be provided to you when you arrive.
Yes. International students are invited to an International Student Orientation (ISO) that will take place on August 19th and 20th, 2018.
Details and invitations are sent personally to international students.
Students are not allowed in the dorms before Arrival Day (Tuesday, August 21st, 2018). If you arrive in Brunswick before Tuesday you can stay in one of the several accommodation options listed below.
There are multiple 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
The College Mail Center will hold your package and notify you when it has arrived. The Mail Center will accept packages no earlier than Wednesday August 15th, 2018. You can claim your package at the Mail Center window in Smith Union when you arrive. Your exact Smith Union address will be included in the July mailing.
Living on Campus
Most students do not feel the need to leave campus due to all of the entertainment Bowdoin provides! During the weekends, Bowdoin has a cappella concerts, movies, student plays, and a variety of sporting events. On Thursday nights there are often bands or performances at the pub. There are also many organizations on campus that host events during the year.
The Outing Club offers all kinds of outdoor trips throughout the year for students who want to get off campus and see the great state of Maine. There are great beaches within 30 minutes of Bowdoin as well as places to hike, sea kayak, surf, and swim.
Movies, bowling, bookstores, pool halls, arcades, video stores, and bars are all available in Brunswick. Portland, which is just 30 minutes away, has dance, theater, music, and movies, in addition to restaurants. Portland is also home to three professional sports teams: the Portland Seadogs (baseball), the Red Claws (basketball) and the Portland Pirates (hockey).
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 board plan, providing 19 meals per week. Students also 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 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. Some of the tastiest food establishments downtown Brunswick accept Bowdoin OneCard as well!
For other groceries, Hannafords, our local super-market, is a 5-minute walk from campus, and Morning Glory, a natural food market, is a 10 minute walk down Maine Street.
Life at Bowdoin
Target, Bed Bath and Beyond, Reny's, among other stores, are in the neighboring town of Topsham, which is a short drive or bike ride from campus. Topsham is a great place for all of your dorm needs.
For more extensive shopping, Freeport is a 15 minute drive from Bowdoin. Freeport is home to the L.L. Bean Flagship Store and Outlet along with many other outlets such as J. Crew, North Face, Patagonia, and Banana Republic.
The Maine Mall is a 30 minute drive from Bowdoin, located in South Portland.
Also, Amazon.com Prime offers a student membership.
It is better to pack a number of small boxes and suitcases rather than a few large ones. You may want to bring the following items or coordinate with your roommates to see what they are bringing. Below are some suggestions of what to pack:
- Informational mailings received from Bowdoin (brochures, paperwork, etc.)
- Bedding: Comforter, extra blankets, bed sheets, mattress cover, pillow
- Seasonal clothing (heavy coat, hat, boots, gloves, and rain gear)
- Laundry bag/basket and detergent
- Pictures, posters and other decorative items
- Stereo equipment
- Broom or 'Swiffer'
- Sports equipment
- 1 to 3 alarm clocks depending on how soundly you sleep!
- Possibly a refrigerator (no larger than four cubic feet) and microwave oven
- We strongly encourage roommates to share refrigerators and bring only Energy Star rated appliances.
- For information about renting an Energy Star rated Micro Fridge to be delivered to your residence hall room visit www.universitylogistics.com.
- Questions? Contact University Logistics Customer Service at (800)-525-7307 and ask for Sarah Mercuri
Do NOT bring the following:
- Hot plate or other appliances with an open coil or burner
- Pets (yes, fish are pets)
- Incandescent light bulbs, candles or incense (Fluorescent light bulbs will be provided for FREE by Sustainable Bowdoin when you arrive on campus)
- Trash can (every room comes with a trash can and recycle bin)
- Anything else that could be harmful to you or others
No. First-Year students are not permitted to have their own car on campus. There are, however, several environmentally friendly modes of transportation offered to Bowdoin students.
Bowdoin has partnered with Zipcar, North America's largest car-sharing service, to offer a cost-effective and environmentally friendly alternative to the challenges of 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.
In the July mailer from the Dean's Office you will receive a letter from the Mail Center on campus with information about your mailing address. You will share your mailbox, located in David Saul Smith Union, with one other Bowdoin student. The Bowdoin Mail Center will be open for extended hours on both arrival days to allow you to receive any packages. Mail coming to you should be addressed as follows:Student NameBowdoin College### Smith UnionBrunswick, ME 04011
Yes, the college provides a high speed network that is accessible in dorms, 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 will be provided in your May informational packet. First-Year students are encouraged to access their email accounts early in the summer prior to their arrival and check them frequently for valuable and timely information.
Computer labs are located in Searles Hall, Coles Tower, Hawthorne-Longfellow Library and Kanbar Hall. 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 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 on Maine Street. Mainely Hair is in Freeport, just south of Brunswick. A few students on campus do hair as well. If you need your hair done, ask around.
For 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. Some students purchase beauty supplies online. Some good websites include www.hairsisters.com , a site for ordering hair supplies and hair extensions; and www.carolsdaughter.com has hair and body products.
Academic and Campus Resources
You will register for classes during Orientation. You will meet with your academic advisor in a small group setting and again in two separate one-on-one sessions. During the first one-on-one meeting, you will select a First-Year Seminar; during the second meeting, you will discuss and choose three other classes for the Fall 2018 semester.
Prior to selecting classes, you will attend a Faculty Panel and Academic Fair where you'll have the chance to talk with faculty members in various departments. Information will be provided to you by your Proctor and will be in your Orientation Schedule. If you want to place out of intro-level classes in some sciences and foreign languages or music theory, you will have to take placement examinations during the summer with in-person consultations during Orientation. All placement exams will be available online on our Blackboard website. Information about taking placement exams will be sent in your June mailing and is available on the Orientation website.