Accessibility Navigation:

Pre-Orientation Programs

Davidson offers an assortment of pre-orientation programs that allow students to immerse themselves in the Davidson community prior to the start of the academic year. Each of these programs is intentionally designed to help you find optimal success in acclimating to the Davidson community.

Outdoor Odyssey

Outdoor Odyssey is a unique opportunity to get to know your fellow students before arriving on campus in August. Experience Davidson's values of community, responsibility, and service while backpacking through the beautiful Appalachian Mountains in western North Carolina. Backcountry Odyssey offers three sessions and financial aid is available for each one. Sessions I and II are shorter and designed for those who cannot take a week in the summer to attend Session III.

Bonner Scholars Program

Bonner Scholars apply and are selected in the spring/early summer prior to entering Davidson. Those students will participate in an orientation prior to New Student Orientation. The Bonner session begins on Tuesday evening and concludes on Wednesday evening. Students, as well as interested family members, participate in activities designed to learn more about the Bonner Scholars Program nationally and at Davidson. Participants also spend time exploring the community, getting to know each other and learning about campus resources.

International Student Pre-Orientation

International Student Pre-Orientation is designed to meet the unique needs of incoming international students. U.S. and dual citizens living outside of the United States and all non-U.S. citizens are invited to participate.

Service Odyssey

Service Odyssey is a pre-orientation program designed to explore diverse social issues in the greater Charlotte area. The group will serve with a number of community partners, have an opportunity to reflect on their experience in nightly reflections, and explore the area through fun group outings with a small group of fellow wildcats.


Students Together Reaching for Individual Development and Education (STRIDE) is a peer-mentoring program designed to support first-year multicultural students with their adjustment to Davidson College. STRIDE offers academic, cultural, and social support as well as vital information to aid students in understanding and working effectively within the college community. STRIDE tackles the emotional and social issues that come with attending college as a diverse student while building relationships across the college.

Sapere Aude

Start your Davidson College experience with your Humes cohort and the Humanities Fellows and faculty before others get to campus. Sapere Aude ("dare to know") is the pre-orientation retreat for students enrolled in the Humanities 103/104 course "Connections and Conflicts I and II: REVOLUTION." Students take part in three days of community building and close reading and discussion of a few key texts with Humanities faculty and fellows. Following Sapere Aude, students have to choose between three options: (1) join the international student or STRIDE pre-orientation sessions, (2) take part in a three-day service odyssey program in Charlotte, or (3) participate in any required pre-season activities for their fall sport. Students will need to communicate with the offices leading those programs by the necessary deadlines.