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An image of the sunset at Mass Row at Dartmouth College

The First Year Summer Enrichment Program is a month-long orientation for first-generation, low-income students. It is facilitated by the First Generation Office, FGO, which supports all first-generation students for their time at Dartmouth. The office also provide a space where anyone can study, with multiple study rooms, snacks and drinks! I have spent countless hours at the FGO hanging out and studying with friends. 

Being first-generation and low-income among many students who come from starkly different backgrounds can become overwhelming. Orientation week would have been stressful and challenging, had I not attended FYSEP. I had an amazing community to support me through the most difficult first few weeks at Dartmouth.

International students also have the daunting challenge of settling in an entirely different country. I packed up my entire life into a suitcase and moved away from everything familiar to me. The homesickness started to set in two weeks into my time transitioning to Dartmouth. However, FYSEP allowed me time to process a part of my emotions and learn how to overcome them. 

The program facilitates three classes, in a four-week simulation of a Dartmouth term, allowing students to visualise the experience ahead of time. The classes focus on academic writing, STEM, and learning about important college resources. Students live in the McLaughlin cluster, on four floors. FYSEP accepts around ninety students every year into their program!

Working for this program as a staff member has only reaffirmed my belief that FYSEP is of the utmost importance for students. Attending FYSEP made my first-year experience an incredible one. I hope this post convinces all of you prospective first-generation and low-income students to apply to the program!

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