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Community Engagement & Service

Frequently Asked Questions


How do I register?

Follow this link to the registration site:

Need help? Contact Orientation at  e-mail ( or phone (202-885-3303).

Can I still participate in Explore DC if I do not attend an orientation session?

Yes! If you are unable to attend orientation during the summer, you can still participate in Explore DC. Just register for the "First Year Fundamentals" orientation option.

When will I find out about my Explore DC site assignment?

When you check in for Explore DC in Bender Atrium between 10am and 5pm on Tuesday, August 23rd. To get a preview of the places we've gone to in the past, check out our community partner page.

When should I plan to arrive?

The residence halls open at 9 am on Saturday August 20th for those participating in Explore DC.  

Participants must check-in for Explore DC between 10 am and 5 pm in Bender Atrium on Tuesday, August 23rd. 

Our opening ceremony is on Tuesday, August 23rd at 5pm. Requests for earlier arrival dates should go through Housing and Dining Programs, 202-885-3370 or

Will I move into my fall housing assignment?

Yes! You should report to your residence hall when you arrive for Explore DC. You can check your housing assignment through your portal. Questions about your housing assignment should be directed to Housing and Dining Programs, 202-885-3370 or

What should I wear?

Be ready to wear work clothes. Please note that closed-toed shoes are often required at sites. Ask your group leader about what is appropriate to wear to your site. You should also keep in mind that in DC summers tend to be extremely hot and humid, so plan accordingly. You will be provided with an Explore DC t shirt to wear on each day of the experience.

What should I bring?

Plan to bring sunscreen, bug spray, and a reusable water bottle to be prepared for the day. Some of you will be inside doing office work, but better to come prepared (plus, you will need all of that throughout the year as well).

How much spending money will I need?

You'll probably want to plan for $10-$15 a day for a neighborhood community lunch on Wednesday and Thursday. Dinner is provided on Tuesday night and breakfast is provided Wednesday and Thursday mornings. Your meal plans will cover all other dinners during Explore DC. 

Is there any free time?

You will be with your Explore DC group starting around 8am in the morning until 9pm when evening programs conclude on Wednesday and Thursday. This will give you plenty of time to orient yourself to campus, you new great Explore DC friends and DC.

Why is Explore DC a worthwhile experience?

Doing community service is a great way to get to learn about DC issues as well as give back to the city that will be your home for the next few years. Plus, you'll be doing service with a group of other freshmen, so you have the opportunity to make some new friends. Explore DC is a great way to get involved in social justice and meet new people.

Where does my money go?

The $100 participation fee is used to pay for: supplies for nonprofit service sites, t-shirts, evening entertainment, exciting speakers, Tuesday's dinner, and breakfast for all two days of service. If for some reason you are unable to pay the fee but still would like to participate in Explore DC, please contact New Student Programs to request a waiver at

Can I participate if I have medical restrictions or physical disabilities?

Of course! Just let us know in advance so that we can place you at the proper type of organization.

Feel free to e-mail us at or call us at 202-885-1553 with any other questions!