office of the first-year experience

Prelusion Programs


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Can’t wait to get your Lehigh career started? Be a part of Prelusion! We offer Prelusion programs that can jump start your experience before evoLUtion begins. These programs give you the chance to meet students with common interests. All programs will begin on Monday, August 19, 2013.

Students who register for a Prelusion program will receive a confirmation packet with specific program details and move-in information. Please do not make travel plans until you receive a confirmation. All registered participants will receive their first confirmation from the OFYE in early July. In order to create the best experience possible, we need a minimum of five participants per program. Please note that the registration deadline is June 30, 2013.  We encourage you not to make travel arrangements until you hear from the OFYE after the close of registration.

Please note some scholarships are available for Prelusion programs. We encourage students to register, if able, to secure a spot in their preferred program. All scholarship notifications will be made prior to June 30th to allow for full refund if necessary funding was not provided. Contact the OFYE for more information.

FALL 2013 Prelusion Programs:

alLusions: Literary Lehigh

College opens a space for creativity and self-exploration.  alLUsions introduces you to a community of writers at Lehigh University. This program uses writing as a means to develop new relationships with other incoming students interested in creative writing, literature, and the written world.  To this end, alLUsions explores three different literary environments: Bethlehem’s Northside, New York City’s bookish treasures, and Northeastern Pennsylvania’s natural beauties.

alLUsions begins in Bethlehem’s Northside, exploring the haunts of the city’s most famous poet, H.D. We then travel to New York City for a daylong investigation of the city’s unparalleled literary tradition and living culture. You will tour the New York Public Library, visit the world-famous Strand Bookstore, and write in Washington Square Park, an inspirational oasis for Mark Twain, Henry James, and the Beat poets, among many others. alLUsions juxtaposes this urban landscape with a day in the countryside, where you will take in Ricketts Glen State Park and its 24 named waterfalls.

Throughout this journey, you will write and share your work in order to nurture connections with each other and with Lehigh’s larger literary community.  You will become acquainted with the English Department, the Drown Writers’ Series, and the Writing Center, although writers from all academic backgrounds and interests are encouraged to participate. Regardless of intended major, alLUsions is a program that focuses on the many ways that language helps us to connect with the world that surrounds us.

Cost: $ 330      Capacity: 15


ArtsAlive is designed for incoming students interested in artistic opportunities on campus and in the local community. You get hands-on experiences in the arts as you engage in various workshops which have included: dance/movement, drumming circle, improve, a field trip to the Martin Guitar company, learning to play a violin, pottery and more.

You will also be introduced to the local community by visiting points of interest which are within walking distance of the campus. Meal times give you a taste of the many cultures flourishing in the area by sampling food from various ethnic regions.

This program helps you connect your creative interests. ArtsAlive is not just for arts majors, but for any students with an interest in the arts. Students who have participated in the past years have majored in Computer Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Mathematics, Journalism, Sociology and Social Psychology.

Cost: $300        Capacity: 15

Discover Lehigh

Set off on a discovery of your new hometown!  On this expedition, you’ll discover the history of Bethlehem and how Lehigh came to be.  You’ll explore the hometown of Lehigh’s founder, Asa Packer, in scenic Jim Thorpe, Pa. You’ll learn about Bethlehem Steel and the impact the company’s rise and fall has had on your new community. Fall in love with your new school while beginning to discover your place in helping with the reinvention of Bethlehem as an eclectic hub for music, shopping, arts and entertainment. Throughout this adventure, you will also experience the Lehigh community, self-explore, and share your new home in Bethlehem with your peers!

As a part of this three-day discovery, here are some activities that you will experience:

Cost: $265       Capacity: 25


College is about learning – from the classes you take and the people you meet, to all of the experiences you’ll have in between!  Learning how you can excel in navigating your academic and personal realities at Lehigh will be key.

Excel@Lehigh is an extended five-day* Prelusion program that focuses on who you are and the strengths and skills you’re bringing to the Lehigh community. Building on that, we’ll take you on a reality tour of the academic experience, your leadership potential, ways you can get involved, how to continue in your career exploration and the great resources to tap along the way.

With current undergraduate students as your mentors, we’re excited to explore how you will Excel@Lehigh! Check out some highlights of this interactive experience:

Cost: $200       Capacity: 25
*Please note this program begins on Saturday, August 17th.


GlobaLehigh takes you on a virtual three-day trip around the world as you immerse yourself in culture, cuisine and all things global. As you experience your first taste of campus, your activities will extend far and wide. Here are just a few of the activities awaiting you:

This journey will be led by current students highly involved with all things Global at Lehigh. See for yourself why Lehigh University is truly a Global community!

Cost: $265       Capacity: 25

Outdoor Adventure Program (OAP) SOLD OUT FOR 2013

Do you enjoy being adventurous, meeting new people and being outdoors?
If so, then OAP is for you!  This program takes first-year students to the Pocono Mountains where they spend their time rafting down the Delaware River, playing paintball, riding the zip line, taking day and night hikes and developing new friendships. Students will arrive on campus and drop off their belongings in their residence hall rooms before heading to the Pocono Environmental Education Center (PEEC) with their student trip leaders. While at PEEC, students will be housed in guest lodges. All trips are led by experienced student leader coordinators. 

Cost: $417*       Capacity: 100

*Full funding for OAP is not typically granted.




Are you considering joining a fraternity or sorority at Lehigh?. 

When the fraternity and sorority experience is “done right” it is a lifetime experience that encompasses understanding your values, running an organization, giving back to the community, developing leadership skills and having a lot of fun! Quest provides you an opportunity to examine the potential of the fraternity and sorority experience from all angles.

    •      How do the Greek recruitment and intake processes work?

    •      What are the challenges that Greek Life faces?

    •      How can Greek Life enhance your undergraduate experience and beyond?

Quest brings together both undergraduate and alumni Greek leaders to critically discuss and analyze “going Greek” at Lehigh. You will be able to look at all facets of Greek Life, discuss the challenges and benefits of the experience, and learn how a lifetime commitment to values can emerge from joining a chapter. Quest will take you from campus to Southside Bethlehem, to the city of Philadelphia.

Even if you are uncertain about “going Greek,” this is a great opportunity to learn more about Greek Life at Lehigh.

QUESTion your actions    QUESTion your experience    Get involved!

Cost: $300*       Capacity: 30  (15 male, 15 female)
*Please note the cost of Quest has increased since the Welcome Kit went to print.


Be a part of the growing Lehigh community focused on sustainability. In SustainabLEHIGH, you will not only meet students, faculty and staff engaged in sustainability efforts on campus, but also explore the Lehigh Valley through biking, canoeing, eating organic meals, visiting a farm and camping on our very own island.

As part of this exciting 3-day adventure, you will:

Cost: $325       Capacity: 15 

Urban Ops

Your supplies: A map, a video camera and some cash to spend.

Your mission: To explore and stay overnight in the hottest tourist destination in the United States with a group of your new friends.

Urban Ops gives you the opportunity to begin your Lehigh journey by exploring the university and New York City.  Throughout this experience, you will participate in a ropes course, meet young Lehigh alumni and learn concepts of group dynamics that will help you navigate the plethora of involvement opportunities at Lehigh.

Each group will be led by a highly trained squad leader to scout NYC where you will gather information using only the resources provided to you.

Cost: $375       Capacity: 30

Volunteer Experience (VE)

Volunteer Experience is a great way to begin your journey at Lehigh!  Participants will immerse themselves in three days of service within the Lehigh Valley through which they will discover area agencies, take action to help alleviate issues facing their new community and building lasting friendships. VE introduces incoming students to Lehigh’s Community Service Office offering students a pathway to continue engaging in meaningful service through their four years at Lehigh if they so choose. 

This year, Volunteer Experience is offering three service opportunities: a trip to Volunteers of America and Cityspace working with children,a trip to Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center helping address local environmental issues and a trip to several local human service agencies in Bethlehem to provide various forms of service.

Volunteers of America/Cityspace: It’s more than just fun and games at VOA and Cityspace – local youth centers for children ages 6-13. You can make an impact by being a role model for this group of youngsters while having fun and enjoying students’ last few days of summer before school resumes!

Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center: Get your hands dirty while you help maintain the natural environment of this environmental education center.  Various activities may include: deepening park waterways to promote healthy aquatic life, restoring trails, removing invasive plants and creating habitats for indigenous amphibians.

South Side Serve: Get to know more about the Southside of Bethlehem while helping organizations in your new backyard. You will volunteer at various local neighborhood agencies including a senior center, a historical center, a food bank, and the South Bethlehem Library.

All trips are led by upper class students who are interested in community service and committed to providing you with the best first three days on campus you can have.  Every evening after putting in a day of work at your project site, you will take part in activities with your fellow volunteers that help you become acquainted to your new home and new friends.  Highlights include a BBQ with beach volleyball on campus one evening as well as dinners at off campus restaurants. 

All meals will be included over the three days with the opportunity to check out the dining halls for breakfast, sample one of the most popular off-campus delis for lunch and socialize and relax for dinner time. 

Check out our Facebook page by searching for “Lehigh University Volunteer Experience” on Facebook.

Also, visit our website with leader biographies, photos, and more program information at:

Cost: $265       Capacity: 25