Incoming Families Arrival Day FAQ

We’ve included below some of the most frequently asked questions about arrival on campus, helping your student get ready, and family orientation sessions.

Other helpful resources:

Full arrival schedule for Class of 2027 students
Getting to Bates – FAQ 
Arrival Day map
Residence Life Calendar for 2023-2023 Academic Year

Arrival on campus

What is the schedule for first-year parents/guardians on Arrival Day?

The arrival window for students is 8 am to noon. Students are not assigned a specific arrival time, so no need to rush in the morning.

There will be a picnic lunch for students and loved ones from 10:30 am to 2 pm in front of Commons.

Families members are invited to meet the Parent Team and other college staff at our drop-in event in the Library Arcade from 12:30-2:30 pm. This is an opportunity to ask last-minute questions, to pick up some swag and meet other families, and to sign up for our orientation webinars – we look forward to meeting you!

At 3 pm, there will be welcome remarks for students and family members on the Historic Quad, and parents/guardians depart campus by 4 pm.

What is the process when we get to campus?

When you get to campus, you will follow these steps:

  • Drop your new student at Commons (136 Central Avenue) where they will check in and receive their residence hall key and campus ID. Students go through this part of the process themselves.
  • While that happens, you will proceed in your vehicle to your student’s residence hall with the student’s belongings.
  • After your student gets their key and ID at Commons, they will walk to their residence to meet you.
  • At the residence, staff and returning student volunteers will help families unpack your vehicle and take student belongings to rooms. You will help by dropping items at the curb.
  • Once your car is unloaded, you will need to immediately head to a nearby parking area to make room for other arriving students. You’ll rejoin your student to help settle them into their room.

You can check out the Arrival Day map in advance, and we will also have campus maps on hand.

These steps help the move-in process go smoothly and quickly for everyone, so thanks for your help!

What about AESOP trips?

AESOP trips take place after first-year Arrival Day, so first-year students with regular arrival plans do not need to arrive on campus prior to August 31.

My student is participating in International Circle. Where do I find our arrival information?

International Circle Orientation runs from August 28-30. Please plan for an arrival on August 28, as formal sessions begin that day at 5 pm. You can read more here, and information will be sent directly to students from Housing and from Associate Dean James Reese.

My student has joined the Kessler Scholars Program for first-generation college students. When should we arrive?

Kessler Scholars are encouraged to participate in the on campus Pre-Orientation Session from August 27-30. Family members and support networks are invited to help their scholars move in on August 27 and participate in sessions on August 28. If your student is planning to attend the Pre-Orientation, they should have completed the registration form which was sent to their Bates College email. If registered, move-in instructions as well as the complete Pre-Orientation schedule will be sent to your Kessler Scholar. If you or your student have any additional questions please contact Assistant Dean & Director of First-Generation Programs Dri Huber. 

My student-athlete is arriving early for preseason. Are there family offerings for us?

Your fall student-athlete should have their early arrival dates as part of their communication from coaches. 

On Monday, August 21, the Parent Team will host a drop-in welcome gathering from 2-4 pm on the first floor of Commons for families of students on the following teams: Volleyball, Men’s Soccer, Women’s Soccer, Men’s and Women’s Cross Country, Field Hockey. 

On Tuesday, August 22, we will host a gathering on the first floor of Commons from 2-4 pm for Football families. 

We look forward to saying hello!

Getting ready

What should my student pack?

The team at Residence Life has a helpful list here

During our virtual family events, our team asks current parents for their insider info on what to pack (and what to leave at home). Here are some of their top answers so far: 

“I know lots of folks worry about winter coats and boots, but it’s actually nice to have a fan for the first few weeks.”

“Our student never had issues getting in to see Health Services, but since this was the first time our student was away for a long period of time, we put together a “hug from home” medical kit with items like Tylenol, allergy or cold medication, saline spray, a thermometer, and anything else they might need while waiting for their appointment.”

“A mattress topper really helped. Depending on your student’s preference, they can also put in a request to have their bed raised.”

“Surge protectors, extra-long phone chargers, and LED lights are all really great to have on hand.”

“Most winter boots will work fine for your student, since the college keeps paths clear. We’ve found that the secret isn’t which boots to buy but to get some wool socks. Those have been the real key to keeping feet warm and dry.”

“We were glad we invested in a water-resistant backpack. With rainy, snowy, or slushy weather, it helped to protect my student’s laptop when they were headed to and from class or the library.”

“Our student loved having a boot tray so she and her roommate could keep wet or muddy shoes, sneakers, or boots right by the door.”

“My student started at Bates in the first year of the pandemic. He was told to arrive only with what he would be able to easily pack up and bring home himself if the college needed to pivot. Thank goodness, they didn’t need to come home, but this packing advice meant he had exactly what he needed without any extra. He’s actually packed this same way every time he’s headed to campus.”

“My student packed way too much – I ended up taking a bunch of her clothes home after Parents Weekend – so my advice is to lay everything out that your student thinks they want to take and then pack half of it. The first six weeks, they don’t need anything super warm, so have them start with a smaller amount and figure out what they’ll really wear for sweaters, coats, etc. You can always ship or bring it to them at Parents Weekend.”

“If you need to book plane tickets for your student for school breaks, have them check their exam schedule as soon as their class schedule is set. I recently found out that those get posted to Garnet Gateway, and it really helps with planning.”

We are traveling quite a distance. Is it possible to ship items instead of bringing them with us on a plane or train?

These guidelines from Post & Print will help you plan for shipping of any items. Your student will need their Bates ID to pick up any packages.

Family orientation

After drop-off, what’s next for families? 

Once classes begin, we will hold a series of incoming family orientation webinars designed to help you support your students as they navigate life at Bates. These events feature panelists from across campus who will provide an overview of the many resources in place to support your students in their first year and beyond.

Academics at Bates – Tuesday, Sept. 12 at 8 pm Eastern
Life Outside the Bates Classroom – Tuesday, Sept. 19 at 8pm Eastern
Supporting Your Student’s Well-being – Thursday, Sept. 21 at 8 pm Eastern

You will receive invitations to these webinars via email. All sessions will be recorded and shared with all Class of 2027 parents/guardians via email 48-72 hours after each session concludes. 

If you have not been receiving our updates or event invitations, please make sure we have your contact information so you don’t miss out on these resources.