Everything you need to know about Welcome Week 2023 on Northeastern’s campuses

fall fest at Northeastern
Welcome Week 2023 includes an array of activities for new Northeastern students in Boston, London and Oakland. Photo by Matthew Modoono/Northeastern University

Between moving in, unpacking and preparing for the first day of classes, there’s a lot for you to think about as a new member of the Northeastern University community. But that’s only half the experience of your first week at Northeastern. Whether you’re in Boston, Oakland, London or beyond, Northeastern has organized countless activities as part of Welcome Week 2023.

Before classes start on Sept. 6 and President Joseph E. Aoun officially welcomes you to the pack, there are plenty of ways to connect with fellow students, learn more about your campus and enjoy the Northeastern experience. Go on a campus tour or a Northeastern-led off-campus excursion, jam out at a free concert, relax at a pool party or learn more about Northeastern’s many student organizations at Fall Fest.

There are so many things to do, but luckily this list will help you find the best of the best when it comes to Welcome Week.

Glitz and glamor at convocation

Welcome Week normally culminates with a classic Northeastern tradition –– the president’s convocation and march –– this time with a fresh twist. This year, the torch will still be lit to welcome new students, but the Northeastern tradition will happen in a new location: MGM Music Hall at Fenway at 8 p.m. on Sept. 6, the first day of classes. Previous convocations were held at Matthews Arena. A livestream of the ceremony, starting at 7:30 p.m., will also be available for family and members of the Northeastern community.

Located a half-mile from the Boston campus at 2 Landsdowne St. near historic Fenway Park, the more than 5,000-seat venue is perfectly suited for Northeastern to kick off the year in style, while celebrating its 125th anniversary.

Students should arrive for the pre-show between 6:30 and 7:15 p.m., and Northeastern has designated a specific route students should take to get to the venue.

Around 4,200 incoming undergraduate students will be treated to a Hollywood-style red carpet entrance before they even get into the venue. And that’s not the only way Northeastern is making convocation into a blockbuster experience this year. The university has some surprises up its sleeve that will take full advantage of the new venue and all its possibilities, including a finale students won’t want to miss.

After convocation, students will be led on an illuminated procession back to campus that will include a drumline, cheer team and volunteers with lighted signage.

The whole event will be livestreamed, so that families and friends can keep up with all the fun.

Students at Northeastern’s Oakland and London campuses, along with the university’s NUin sites, will also be able to take part in convocation. 

In Oakland, students will be able to enjoy an ice cream social and watch a recorded version of the Boston commencement ceremony at Holmgren Meadow at 7 p.m. on Sept. 6. The London campus will celebrate with its own convocation ceremony led by Chancellor Kenneth Henderson on Sept. 5.

Welcome to Boston

Welcome Week on Northeastern’s Boston campus includes more than 300 events, making sure new students have plenty of opportunities to make new friends and become familiar with the ins and outs of campus life.

Fall Fest, held throughout campus on Sept. 5 from noon to 4 p.m., will introduce students to more than 400 student organizations and campus departments. If you’re interested in joining a club or getting more involved in a specific part of campus life, or you want to enjoy some good food and giveaways, make sure not to miss out. Students can also enjoy a free post-Fall Fest concert at 6:30 p.m. on Centennial Common, featuring performances by Beach Bunny and Boyish.

After Fall Fest, from 5 to 6 p.m. students from around Northeastern’s global network will also be able to learn more about over 200 student organizations during virtual meetings as part of a social media power hour. 

If you’re more in the mood for something creative, on Labor Day noon to 3 p.m. head over to Centennial and Library Quad for a DIY arts and games festival. Play giant board and lawn games, design a tie-dye shirt and grab some barbeque or Italian ice.  Later in the day, come back to Centennial for an 8 p.m. dance party themed around “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” and “Barbie” (admission is at 7:30 p.m.). Dress up as your favorite character, eat some hand spun cotton candy, game and watch a screening of “Super Mario Bros.” on a massive screen and dance the night away.

There will also be opportunities for off-campus excursions, like the T Treats tour series that will help new students learn more about Boston’s subway system by riding to Chinatown for a bubble tea, the North End for a cannoli or the heart of the city for ice cream. Tours of Fenway Park, Boston’s Freedom Trail, the New England Aquarium and the Museum of Fine Arts will also be available.

If you have questions, feel free to stop by Welcome Week booths at either Krentzman Quad or Centennial for more information or download the Student Orientation/Family Programs app to access the complete Welcome Week schedule.

Northeastern across the pond

Welcome Week kicks off on Sept. 4 for students at Northeastern’s London campus, providing the more than 1,000 incoming students with opportunities to get prepared for the semester and learn more about London. 

Northeastern officially welcomes students with convocation and welcome inductions on Sept. 5 at the Barbican. There will also be academic inductions and an opportunity to meet faculty.

Throughout Welcome Week, the London campus will host a series of events designed to help students forge new friendships and get out into the city. Bowling and karaoke at All Star Lanes; a trip to see “The Lion King” at London’s West End; quiz and curry with the Student Union; a sightseeing tour on an open-top bus; or brunch at Borough Market: How will you kick off your Northeastern experience in London?

A Bay Area welcome

Orientation at Northeastern’s Oakland campus kicks off with move-in days on Aug. 30 and 31. Each day offers students opportunities to explore campus and the Bay Area, with excursions to attractions such as The Crucible and Game On or the chance to participate in on-campus sessions with local chefs, creators and artists. 

Starting on Aug. 31, students can even take a tour of the 2.5-acre Mills Community Farm, with its beautiful array of flowers, vegetables and fruits. Each night of orientation from Aug. 31 to Sept. 4 features a signature event, such as the Carnival Under the Stars, a disco-themed party and a Labor Day picnic.

After orientation, as part of Weeks of Welcome, Northeastern’s Camp Oakland will keep new students active with dodgeball, group fitness samplers and a water view hike of Lake Chabot Regional Park. For the night owls, there’s also Dine and Dance, with live entertainment and food trucks. Students can also take in outdoor movies at Holmgren Meadow throughout Welcome Week as part of Movies on the Meadow. For the civic-minded, there will also be a volunteer Venture Creek clean-up as well.

During the Oakland campus’ post-orientation Weeks of Welcome, Northeastern will also provide plenty of opportunities for off-campus excursions to help students get acquainted with Oakland and the Bay Area. Explore the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Fisherman’s Wharf or the California Academy of Sciences, go to an Oakland A’s game at the Oakland Coliseum or take a bay cruise.

Cody Mello-Klein is a Northeastern Global News reporter. Email him at c.mello-klein@northeastern.edu. Follow him on Twitter @Proelectioneer.