Welcome Week 2014
What is Welcome Week?
Welcome Week is a long standing AU tradition at American University. For students who participate in Eagle Summit it’s a “welcome back” to campus and to Washington, DC as we begin the academic year. For others, it’s the first taste of all that AU has to offer.
In addition to AU Welcome Week traditions like the bagpipes leading the new class to the President’s Opening Convocation and the All-American BBQ on the main quad, new AU students can choose to participate in a wide array of programs that range from service to sustainability, civic engagement to athletic engagement all highlighting AU’s connections to Washington, DC as an extension of campus. By pairing days of exploration and service with evening programs that highlight community leaders and policy makers, you will have the chance to bring your experiences in DC into the context of the city’s challenges and celebrations. Spend a little time reading through your options. We look forward to hearing what choice you make!
What You Need to Know
Welcome Week will begin on Saturday, August 16, the first day students can move into their residence halls, and will come to a close on Friday, August 22, with the All-American BBQ. During this week before classes begin, most first-year students participate in one of AU’s hallmark welcome programs. These include the Freshman Service Experience, Discover DC, and Explore DC programs.
The Dates. All programs kick off with events late in the afternoon on Tuesday, August 19, and continue through the evening of Thursday, August 21. Check-in for these programs will be from 9:00am- 4:00pm on Tuesday, August 19.
The Fee. The $115 fee for Welcome Week includes dinner on Tuesday, breakfasts on Wednesday and Thursday, and admission to evening events. It also covers supplies, materials, transportation to and from sites (and, in some cases, a SmarTrip card for Metro rides), staff costs, and a program T-shirt. Please plan to bring about $15 per day for lunches and personal expenses.
Registration. Registration will be available for Welcome Week 2014 on June 9. Log on to the myAU.american.edu portal with your user ID and password, and click on the links as follows: Life@AU, then New Students, then New First-Year Student Checklist, then Register for a Welcome Week Program. Once registration becomes available, we recommend registering as soon as possible because spaces fill up quickly!
For Transfer Students. If you are participating in the June and July two-day orientations, you may join any of the programs listed. All Welcome Week programs will be a mix of transfer and first-year students. Registering for the August 20 one-day orientation? Then take part in a one-day Transfer Service Experience or Transfer Discover DC on August 21. Be sure to register when you sign up for your orientation.
Questions? For more information on any of our Welcome Week activities, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 202-885-3303.
New students will have the opportunity to select one of many Welcome-Week programs. Please note that the Freshman Service Experience and Discover D.C. are our two largest programs, with close to a thousand participants between both programs.
- Freshman Service Experience.
The Freshman Service Experience (FSE) is the cornerstone of Welcome Week, with more than 600 incoming students each year making connections with D.C. and American University through community service. During the day, work in small groups while joining forces with nonprofit organizations and learning about social justice. In the evenings, come together with other groups for dinner, films, speakers, and social events. Sophomores, juniors, and seniors—with their own first-year experiences to share—will serve as your FSE leaders. Join the more than 10,000 AU freshmen who have participated in this program since 1990, recording more than 200,000 hours of helping others. For more information about the Freshman Service Experience, please visit american.edu/volunteer, or contact the Center for Community Engagement & Service at 202-885-SERV (7378).
- Discover D.C.
Discover DC celebrates 12 years of connecting AU’s new students with residents of the District in ways that highlight its diversity and history of civic engagement. Explore D.C. neighborhoods and surrounding areas typically missed by tourists. The program begins on Tuesday evening with dinner and group activities. Neighborhood sojourns on the following two days may include tours by local residents, visits to historical sites, and appointments with local agencies and neighborhood associations to learn about issues affecting citizens of our nation’s capital.
Discover D.C. has reached its capacity
- Explore D.C.
Through Explore DC, you will navigate and learn about Washington DC through a targeted lens. You will have the opportunity to meet other new students with similar interests and will understand why AU considers DC to be our laboratory of learning. You can select from a variety of topics that fit your passions; programs are detailed online. All programs share the common theme of understanding the nation's capital from an insider's perspective. Faculty and staff members lead each trip of about 20 to 25 students.
All Explore D.C. Programs have reached their capacities
- Analyzing D.C. . . . Molecule by Molecule
Think politics, business, and monuments define D.C.? NASA, the National Institutes of Health, and millennia-old geologic formations: these characterize the area as much as our more familiar notions do. Train a microscope lens on the wide-ranging scientific side of the city through trips to science venues like these and to D.C. museums, complemented by activities such as cooking, crystal-growing, and solar telescope-viewing. Limited to 20 students; coordinated by the College of Arts and Sciences.
- Women & Politics in the Nation's Capital
Passionate about politics, history, or gender equality? This new program is perfect for you. Meet with women who strive for important policy changes on the Hill and learn about visionaries who paved the way for them. Limited to 20 students; coordinated by the School of Public Affairs.
- Sites and Bikes: Getting to Know D.C. on a Bicycle
Join fellow new students and AU staff for two days of biking and hiking on the Rock Creek Park, around the National Mall, through Georgetown, and on the Mount Vernon Trail. On the first day students will be led by an experienced DC biker on designated bike paths and will have limited street riding. Each participant will be provided a rental bike and helmet. The second day will be full of hiking and more sightseeing. Limited to 30 students; coordinated by the Center for Diversity & Inclusion.
- Kogod Capital Connections: Exploringthe D.C. Business Community
Washington lies at the intersection of business and government, but did you ever wonder just how capital moves into, out of, and through this dynamic city? Gain a new perspective on careers in business from AU alumni and business professionals during site visits to six area organizations,such as Discovery Communications, the World Bank, and Union Market. Also get a jump start on career planning during a workshop through the Kogod Center for Career Development. Limited to 30 students; coordinated by the Kogod School of Business.
- Media by Metro: Exploring Area Communication Organizations
Washington, D.C. is an international media hub and once of the country's largest markets for documentary film production. Learn about the field of communication, including journalism, public relations, and film and media arts, from AU alums and other media pros at organizations such as the Washington Post, NBC4, Spectrum (a health and science PR firm), and the Smithsonian museums. Begin planning your career during a workshop with career advisors. Limited to 20 students; coordinated by the Career Center.
- AU Alumni Leaders in Action
Wondering how an American University degree prepares you for a successful career? Join the AU Alumni Association for visits to four businesses led by AU alums in the Washington, D.C., region. Topics of discussion will include communicating as a leader, planning your path to success, and accessing the power of networks. Limited to 20 students; coordinated by the office of Alumni Relations and the AU Alumni Association.
- Sustainable Campus, Sustainable City: A Green Campus in America’s Greenest College Town
See firsthand why AU has earned a gold rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. Witness burgeoning sustainability in Washington through a tour of its largest solar array, green buildings, green roofs, and an urban apiary. Meet prominent sustainability experts and enjoy fresh, local, sustainable food. If you’re interested in gearing your education toward protecting people and the planet, this could be your introduction. Limited to 20 students; coordinated by the Office of Sustainability.