Orientation and Arrival Info

Forms and Tools

New Student Orientation*

*Please note: International Student Orientation will take place August 29–31.

New Student Orientation (begins September 1) is equal parts landing pad and launch pad. It offers time to get to know the people and places that will be your home and opportunities to dive into the intellectual and imaginative work that will propel your experience forward. Together with your classmates and housemates, your advisor and faculty, you will begin to shape a vibrant and supportive intellectual community.

Click here to meet the 2017 Orientation Leaders!

Pre-Orientation Trips**

**Please note: Pre-orientation trips take place August 28–31; due to these trips and International Orientation happening at the same time, pre-orientation trips are not available to international students.

  • “Outstanding. Beyond amazing. A definite must to meet people and form inseparable friendships to start the new experience!”
  • “You’ll have a serious sense of accomplishment.”
  • “You’ll feel extremely exhausted but proud.”
  • “Wonderful way to start the school year. I know that I am beginning the school year with some awesome people. Thanks for a good start and leaving me with high hopes for the year and beyond.”

Whether you’re looking for outdoor adventure or just want to get to know your new home and classmates a little better, our pre-orientation trips offer you the chance to share a meaningful experience with a small group of your peers. Students travel in groups of 8 to 12—in one of four different experiences: outdoor/nature, fine arts, helping hands/volunteering, or local farming. No experience is necessary to participate, and trips are open to both first-year and transfer students. International students participate in a special international student pre-orientation program.

(registration now closed) To reserve a spot on a trip, complete the Pre-OrientationTrip Registration by July 1; participants will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. Space is very limited, so be sure to register early. A fee of $250 covers meals, supplies, equipment, and campsites; you may also rent a sleeping bag and/or wilderness backpack for $20. Fees will be charged to your student bill.

Trip Options

  • Outdoor/Nature Experience: Backpackers will journey on one of Vermont’s many stunning wilderness hiking trails. Students will hike, camp, and sharpen their wilderness skills. All levels of experience are welcome with the expectation of carrying one’s own belongings in a large wilderness pack throughout the trip. 
  • Fine Arts Experience: Intended for students who have an appreciation and love for the fine arts and using their creative skills. Students will partake in day-long, immersive experiences focused on a variety of fine arts elements, including music, theater, and visual art together. During the evenings, students will camp on campus together. Students will also help create a new, collaborative work that will be displayed in the Office of Student Life. Students do not need to be planning to study fine art in order to participate on this trip. 
  • Helping Hands Experience: Students who have a passion for volunteerism and helping others will meet other students who seek to do the same. Together, they will learn more about the town of Bennington, and how they can make an impact on their new home. Visiting a variety of different sites, students will be partaking in helping at local food pantries, animal shelters, and similar organizations. Additionally, students will participate in a bonfire and overnight camping trip local to the area. 
  • Local farming: Participants will stay on campus and volunteer with the student-run Purple Carrot Farm. They will learn about local agriculture, collaborate with the farm on a few small, day projects, and work closely with members of the Bennington Sustainable Food Project (Bennington’s student-led organization for food culture on campus). Participants will also visit local farms, go on hikes and tubing adventures, sing songs, and cook many great meals together! No farming experience necessary. Students will camp on campus for the duration of the trip.

Arrival Information***

***Please note: Students who arrive before the designated arrival days will be responsible for finding their own accommodations off campus.

  • Arrival for International Students | Sunday, August 27, and Monday, August 28, 9:00 am–4:00 pm
    New International Student Orientation (first-years and transfers) | Tuesday, August 29–Thursday, August 31
  • Arrival for Pre-Orientation Trips (due to pre-orientation trips and International Orientation happening at the same time, international students are unable to register for pre-orientation trips) | Sunday, August 27, 9:00 am–noon
    Trips | Monday, August 28–Thursday, August 31
  • Check-in for New Students (first-years and transfers) | Friday, September 1, 9:00 am–1:00 pm
    New Student Orientation | begins Friday, September 1, 2:00 pm

Getting to Campus/Transportation

If you will arrive by plane, train, or bus into Albany, New York, and wish to reserve transportation to the Bennington campus, please submit the Transportation Reservation by August 1 or at your earliest convenience. The shuttle runs on the following dates:

  • Sunday, August 27–Monday, August 28 | international students
    • August 27: Train Station: 11:00am; Bus Station: 11:20am; Airport: 11:55am
    • Train Station: 3:00pm; Bus Station: 3:20pm; Airport: 3:55pm
    • Train Station: 8:00pm; Bus Station: 8:20pm; Airport: 8:55pm
    • August 28: Train Station: 12:30am; Bus Station: 12:50am; Airport: 12:15am
    • Train Station: 1:00pm; Bus Station: 1:20pm; Airport: 1:45pm
    • Train Station: 7:00pm; Bus Station: 7:20pm; Airport: 7:45 pm
  • Sunday, August 27 | pre-orientation trip participants
    • Train Station: 11:00am; Bus Station: 11:20am; Airport: 11:55am
    • Train Station: 3:00pm; Bus Station: 3:20pm; Airport: 3:55 pm
    • Train Station: 8:00pm; Bus Station: 8:20pm; Airport: 8:55 pm
  • Friday, September 1 | all other new students
    • Train Station: 8:00am; Bus Station: 8:20am; Airport: 8:45am
    • Train Station: 10:00am; Bus Station: 10:20am; Airport: 10:45am

Shuttle Fee: The following fees include up to two bags; $10 for each additional bag. Before August 1, $35 per person; after August 1, $45 per person. Your shuttle-fee payment is due with your reservation—checks can be mailed to the Office of Student Life, attn: Shuttle Reservations.

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