FYSOP 2019 Frequently Asked and Important Questions

Do not hesitate to give us a call (617-353-4710) or email (fysop@bu.edu) for more information.

Participating in FYSOP

  1. Who is eligible to participate in FYSOP? All new undergraduate students, freshman and transfer, beginning their studies in September 2019 and attending University Orientation during June or July are eligible to participate.
  2. Are students attending Orientation Session 6 in August eligible to participate in FYSOP? Unfortunately, no. Students must attend Orientation sessions 1-5 in June and July to participate in FYSOP.
  3. I’m an international student attending Orientation in June or July, but I still need to attend Orientation for International Students (OFIS) on Friday, August 30. Can I register? You may! Please email fysop@bu.edu after you register. We will work to place you in a group with morning service on the 30th so you can return to campus to participate in required OFIS programming in the afternoon. (You must attend OFIS.)
  4. Are students beginning in January 2020 eligible to participate? Unfortunately, no. FYSOP participation requires students to live in their academic year residence assignment. But don’t worry, students starting in January will have plenty of opportunities to get involved with the CSC and our community-based projects.
  5. How many new students participate in FYSOP each year? Approximately 700 new students participate each year under the leadership of nearly 200 returning student leaders.


  1. Where do I register? Register here!
  2. Do I have to wait to attend Orientation to register for FYSOP? No! You may register as early as you’d like, though you certainly may wait until Orientation to learn more about the program and meet our team.
  3. How much will FYSOP 2019 cost? FYSOP 2019 will cost $450. Costs cover all meals, transportation, materials, community partner fees, swag, and staffing.
  4. Are scholarships available? Yes. Scholarships of up to $300 are available to students with high demonstrated financial need. Please enter “Scholarship” in the discount code box on the registration form to pay a $150 deposit. We will notify students of their scholarship award and remaining balance information on a rolling basis beginning June 17.
  5. What if I cannot pay the deposit? Please email us at fysop@bu.edu and we will make financing work for you.
  6. Are program fees refundable? After August 2, 2019, program fees are non-refundable. Fees are used as we receive them to cover fixed costs that we often cannot cancel, including food, transportation, and partner fees.
  7. Will FYSOP sell out? We have historically been able to accommodate every first-year who registers by the week before FYSOP.
  8. Can I use my 529 education account to pay for FYSOP? Please seek advice from your tax/financial advisor on this matter.
  9. Can I use grants or scholarships to pay for FYSOP? Boston University grants/scholarships or federal financial aid are not eligible for use as FYSOP payment. If you have an external scholarship, please consult the scholarship owner for eligibility.
  10. Do I apply for the program or just purchase a ticket to reserve a space? An application is required to participate in FYSOP. This allows us to better understand the motivations, interests, and experiences of our student applicants.
  11. Do I need to turn in a waiver if I am turning 18 before August 26? Only students who are 17 or younger at any point before August 30, 2019 must complete a waiver, available within the application and confirmation email.
  12. I’ve submitted my application for FYSOP 2019. When will I hear if I have been accepted to the program? We will begin notifying students of their acceptance to FYSOP 2019 on a rolling basis beginning June 10. You will first receive an email acceptance, and within 2-3 weeks, a phone call from one of two coordinators for your group. If you are unavailable during this time, coordinators will work out an alternative communication plan.
  13. It’s been weeks and I still haven’t received an email! Please check the email address that you used in the application, and be sure to check spam folders. If you’ve checked everywhere and cannot find it AND it has been more than 3 weeks since June 10 OR the date you applied (whichever is later) please email fysop@bu.edu.

FYSOP Check-in + Arrival

  1. When and where is FYSOP check-in? FYSOP check in will be in the Plaza at the George Sherman Union (GSU), 775 Commonwealth Avenue. We will begin at 12 p.m. and end at 5 p.m. on August 26. Students arriving late may go directly to dinner and check in after opening ceremonies. In the event of rain, check-in will move just inside the GSU. If you arrive before 4 p.m., please check in to FYSOP at the GSU before checking into your residence hall.
  2. Are FYSOP and Residence Hall check-in the same? No, students must check in at both FYSOP (12 p.m.-5 p.m., 775 Commonwealth Ave., George Sherman Union) and their Residence Hall (4-7 p.m.) Students must be present at both, neither check-in can be completed by a parent/guardian.
  3. Do I need to submit a travel itinerary? Yes! Every FYSOP participant must submit a travel itinerary. The travel itinerary link is sent out to all accepted students in late July. If you have already submitted a travel itinerary but your plans have changed, please resubmit the itinerary and email fysop@bu.edu to update your information.
  4. Can someone pick me up from the airport, bus station, or train station? On FYSOP check-in day, Monday, August 26, FYSOP staff leaders will pick unaccompanied students up from Logan Airport, South Station, or North Station between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. only. Staff leaders cannot transport families or parents, and we are only able to pick up students who request a pickup during the listed hours on their travel itinerary submitted no later than August 20.
  5. Do you recommend sending our student alone on the August 26 and coming to help them settle in on August 31, or coming with them on the 26th? Your choice! We are happy to pick your student up, help them settle in, and get to opening ceremonies on the 26th. There will be very little time to socialize with your student due to the packed FYSOP schedule. You can then join them on Saturday the 31st to relax and get settled throughout the weekend. You can also join us for the Matriculation Ceremony on Sunday the 2nd, a beautiful ceremony to welcome our new students. That said, you are welcome to join them on the 26th, get them started, join them for dinner in the dining hall, and join the Parent’s Program for a cocktail and nosh at our Parent Pitstop, time and location TBD.
  6. If I send my student alone, what should they bring? If you are planning to send your student alone and bring most of their belongings on the 31st, you should send students with clothes for the week (casual clothes that can get dirty), medications, toiletries, and bedding. You can otherwise chose to ship the rest to the residence hall (see #8 below), or bring the rest of their belongings on the 31st. Students will only need the very basics for the week of FYSOP.

Residence Hall Check-in

  1. When and where is check-in for my residence hall? Residence hall check in will be shared with students via their residence hall assignment sent during the summer and will begin at 4 p.m. on Monday, August 26. Students will move in to their academic year dorm at this time. Students will be asked to select their move-in day, and they should select the earliest possible day and state they are participating in FYSOP. If you arrive before 4 p.m., please check in to FYSOP at the GSU before checking into your residence hall.
  2. Can I arrive before Monday, August 26? We will not be able to provide transportation, food, or housing before Monday, August 26.
  3. 4 p.m. seems late for residence life check-in! The Residence Life, Facilities Management and Planning, and Housing offices work magic to turn residence halls from summer housing to student housing in a matter of hours. Some residence halls may be available earlier, and we will list those on our website. Thank you for your patience.
  4. What if a student is delayed and arrives on campus late? This largely depends on the time the student arrives on campus. If the student arrives after 6 p.m. on Monday the 26th, FYSOP recommends the student go directly to the residence hall for check-in. More instructions will follow with travel information.
  5. Will luggage storage, carts, and moving help be available on the 26th? Yes! If you arrive before your residence hall is available, a limited amount of luggage storage will be available in each residential campus. If you are able to move in at your time of arrival, carts will be available to move luggage from cars to halls, and our staff leaders will be stationed at each residence hall to help families move in from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Members of the residence life staff will also be on hand to support students moving in to their halls.
  6. Is parking available during move-in? Yes! On-street parking is available, as is parking at a number of campus lots, including the Warren Towers Garage, Langsam Garage, Granby Lot, Agganis Arena Lot, and Kenmore Lot. Residence Life staff will support families with their parking needs. Please visit bu.edu/parking for more information.
  7. How much time do I have to unpack? Students will be asked to meet their groups at 7 p.m. on Monday the 26th, with opening program following at 8 p.m. Once the student has left for opening ceremonies, parents and guests may continue to move their student’s belongings in. For security purposes, parents and guests will be issued a wristband permitting them limited access to the hall. Parents and guests may not have access to the hall without their students again, and may not stay with students in their residence hall rooms overnight.
  8. Can a student switch rooms or roommates during or after FYSOP? Students must follow Residence Life and Housing policies for room or roommate swaps. This may only take place after the start of school and through an approved process. Students should be prepared to remain in their pre-assigned housing during FYSOP.
  9. Can a student ship a package to BU prior to arrival? Absolutely. A student’s residence assignment will include a mailing address. You are welcome to ship supplies ahead of the start of school, but as close to move in as possible. Packages will be available for pickup in the student’s assigned mailroom. This is true for dorm packages offered by the BU Bookstore, and is also particularly helpful for students traveling alone. You may ship bedding/residence hall basics to arrive before your student, and then bring the rest of their belongings on the 2nd.
  10. Are FYSOP and residence hall check-in the same? No, students must check in at both FYSOP (12 p.m.-5 p.m., 775 Commonwealth Ave., George Sherman Union) and their Residence Hall (4-7 p.m.) Students must be present at both, neither check-in can be completed by a parent/guardian.

The FYSOP Experience

  1. Can parents/guardians attend any FYSOP programs? No. All FYSOP programs are for registered students only.
  2. Where do students live during FYSOP? Students live in their academic year residence assignment.
  3. Are students fed while they’re participating in FYSOP? Yes! During the week of FYSOP all meals are provided, beginning with dinner on August 26 (parents/guardians are welcome for dinner on the 26th, too). Students must have their BU Terrier Card to access dining halls, and bagged lunches will be provided during service days. During the phone call between students and coordinators, we will confirm all dietary needs, and we work carefully with Dining Services to ensure all allergy and dietary needs are met for all meals.
  4. Will students have any free time during FYSOP? They will not. FYSOP is jam-packed, and students will be busy with service, activities, reflections, and education programs from 7 a.m. through 10 p.m. each day. Students will have plenty of time to relax, set up their rooms, and prepare for the year during the weekend of August 31-September 2.
  5. What is the specific daily schedule? A more precise schedule will be shared with all students participating in July. A rough outline goes as follows:
    1. Monday: Check-in 12-5 p.m., first dinner 5-7 p.m., Meet groups + Opening Program 7-10 p.m.
    2. Tuesday: Education + Community Building programs 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Social events 7-10 p.m.
    3. Wednesday: Service + experiential outings 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Arts program 7-10 p.m.
    4. Thursday: Service + experiential outings 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Reflection program 7-10 p.m.
    5. Friday: Service + experiential outings 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Closing Ceremony 8-9 p.m.
  6. Where do students go during FYSOP? Students will travel throughout the City of Boston and into some neighboring cities, including Brookline, Somerville, Cambridge, Medford, Newton, Quincy, Everett, Chelsea, Lynn, and Revere. Students will mostly use the MBTA system to travel, though some partners may be accessed by vans (driven by certified drivers), ferries, or even by foot. Each student will be in a group of 8-13 accompanied by 3 returning students who have been trained to serve as mentors and facilitators for the program by our managing team of 20 students, interns, and professionals. On campus and in our neighboring communities, groups will enjoy meals, engage in both direct and indirect service, meet community leaders and citizens, and have thoughtful discussions, both educational and reflective.
  7. Are there themes or focus areas? Students will be grouped in a team using a Boston nickname, a framing device to help students better understand the intersections that exist between different domains of service and community engagement. Students will explore social justice focus areas, Boston history and geography, foundations of community engagement, and critical reflection techniques in an integrated manner.
  8. What happens after FYSOP? We will stay in touch throughout students’ first year on campus. The leaders that work with groups will arrange meetups, share events and programs, and serve as civic mentors. We will also help students connect the lessons they learned during FYSOP with academic coursework, clubs and activities, and even their free time.
  9. What’s the point? We know that FYSOP means something different to every student. We hope every participant gets a few things out of their FYSOP experience:
    1. A diverse group of new friends and an upperclass student mentor.
    2. The ability to have meaningful conversations with new people who may feel like instant best friends, or who have very different beliefs or experiences.
    3. A better sense of the history and geography of Boston and its communities, and the risk and resilience factors these communities face each day.
    4. An understanding of how college students can positively work in solidarity with their new community, and conversely, the ways in which we can cause harm.
    5. The inspiration to learn more: about our city, about civic engagement, about social justice and change, about volunteering, or about cultures or experiences different than their own.