Orientation provides an opportunity to try new things and step out of your comfort zone. Below you will find a variety of immersive experiences and brief descriptions.
Looking to delve deeper into the book arts? Join us in exploring the world of unique and special collections in our very own Collins Memorial Library and acquaint yourself with Tacoma’s book arts community. You will visit studios, meet artists, go behind the scenes to handle special collections and artists’ books, as well as make your own book in the Makerspace, a creative space where you can experiment with 3D printers, scanners, and a variety of paper arts tools as well as sewing. After a long day of hitting the books, you will come back to your residence hall after.
Looking to get involved and give back to the greater Tacoma community? Join us in learning about the Tacoma Hilltop neighborhood, it’s history and its impact on Tacoma. You will also have the opportunity to get involved in the work of the Food Connection Hospitality Kitchen learn about homelessness and poverty in Tacoma. If interested in this immersive experience you will stay in the Father Bill Bichsel Center and sleeping in sleeping bags with access to a full kitchen and fully equipped bathrooms with showers.
Looking to learn more about the musical arts scene in Tacoma? Join us in exploring Seattle/Tacoma’s expansive musical history. Take part in opportunities to learn about the musical arts, explore historic theaters, and see where great musicians such as Jimi Hendrix, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, and many other got their start and found their sound. After learning all about the musical arts in our neck of the woods, you will come back to your residence hall after.
Looking to learn more about the expansive transit systems or Seattle and Tacoma? Interested in understanding the science behind aeronautics? Join us in exploring The Future of Flight Aviation Center & Boeing Tour, a one-of-a-kind opportunity to view 747, 777, and 787 Dreamliners being assembled on the Everett production line before they take to the sky. Partake in a ferry ride to one of the many islands nearby Tacoma and we’ll introduce you to Pierce Transit so you know how to get around Tacoma. After a day traveling here, there and everywhere, or at least learning how we can, you will come back to your residence hall after.
Looking to get outside and enjoy the fresh air? How about checking out the local wildlife? Join us in hiking the Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge, a wildlife preserve created in 1974 to provide habitat and nesting areas for waterfowl and other migratory birds. It includes a protected estuary, salt marshes and open mudflats, freshwater marshes, open grassland, and riparian woodland and brush. While out enjoying the natural beauty of the refuge we will meet with expert bird-watchers from the Tacoma Audubon to learn more about the birds on the refuge. After a day among the birds, you will come back to your residence hall after.
Looking to learn more about the theater arts scene in Tacoma? Join us in exploring Seattle/Tacoma’s expansive theater history. Take part in opportunities to learn about the theater arts, explore the largest complex of theaters between Seattle and Portland, learn of one of the largest performing arts education programs in Washington State, and see where many of the greats got their start. After learning all about the theater arts in our neck of the woods, you will come back to your residence hall after.
Looking to explore more of the beautiful sights in and around the city? Are you a flower or garden enthusiast? Join us in exploring the amazing gardens in Tacoma and Seattle. On this experience you will explore many gardens, such as the Point Defiance Rose Garden, the Rhododendron Garden, and the W.W. Seymour Botanical Conservatory, to help understand how communities interact with gardens for both food and as a way of experiencing art in nature. After a day of learning and exploring you will immerse yourself alongside your group members in a service project with the Hilltop Urban Garden. After learning all about what gardens provide and putting that knowledge to the test, you will come back to your residence hall after.
Looking to learn more about the visual arts scene in Tacoma? Join us in visiting the Tacoma Art Museum, the Tacoma Museum of Glass, the Seattle Art Museum as well as our very own Kittredge Gallery. Not only that, but learn about beautiful art form of glass blowing from local artists and work with them to create your very own masterpiece. Whether you are an artist or not, you will love exploring our wonderful city and learning of it’s great artistic treasures. After learning all about the visual arts in our neck of the woods, you will come back to your residence hall after.
Looking to learn about the amazing conservation efforts our city is taking a part of? Or just love being around animals? Join us in exploring the Pt Defiance Zoo and Aquarium in Tacoma, the only combined zoo and aquarium in the Northwest. You'll be able to see sharks and seahorses, polar bears and peacocks, walruses and wolves, all in one place! After spending the day at Point Defiance you will get the opportunity to give back to this wonderful facility through a service project. We will also explore both the Woodland Park Zoo and Seattle Aquarium, the 9th largest aquarium in the U.S. After seeing more creatures than you could imagine, you will come back to your residence hall after.
Looking to get outside and and enjoy the fresh air? Join us as we explore the Olympic Mountains by both land and by water. You will have the opportunity to explore the Olympic Mountains on a day hike and canoe or sea kayak on the Hood Canal. Come with us and check out the local flora and fauna all while getting away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. During this time you will be staying either in rustic cabins, or tents, at our beautiful basecamp on Hood Canal, Don’t worry, you will have access to showers and running water in your campsite. At the end of this adventure-filled experience you will have the opportunity to participate some awesome activities facilitated by your orientation leaders at camp or go on another day trip.
Looking for a new trail to hike? Or looking to try out hiking for the very first time? Come out with us to explore the Olympic Peninsula on various day hikes. You can either explore the tranquil coastal regions or embark into the diverse mountain regions. Regardless of experience level, adventure is waiting for you. During this time you will be staying either in rustic cabins, or tents, at our beautiful basecamp on Hood Canal, Don’t worry, you will have access to showers and running water in your campsite. At the end of this adventure-filled experience you will have the opportunity to participate some awesome activities facilitated by your orientation leaders at camp or go on another day trip.
Looking to learn more about the new trend of car camping? Looking to stretch those legs in the great outdoors? Come out with us and spend three days exploring all that the Olympic Peninsula has to offer. Experience first hand all of the different options you have when out camping under the stars, all while hiking either the beautiful coasts or majestic mountains. Don’t worry, showers and running water will be available at each campground.
Love experiencing the beauty of the natural world, but also love exploring the concrete jungle that is Tacoma/Seattle? Come out and join us while embark on a journey that explores the best of both worlds! One day you will be out on an easy to moderate day hike discovering the natural beauty in our surrounding area. The next day you will immerse yourself in a community service experience at a local non-profit in Tacoma. The final day you will get the chance to explore Tacoma/Seattle all while learning about our sustainable metro system. After exploring all the Pacific Northwest has to offer, you will come back to your residence hall after.
Looking to check out the local climbing spots? Or interested in taking up a new hobby? Join us as we show you all the local climbing spots, both indoor and out. You will also have the opportunity to get oriented to our very own climbing wall! Come out with us and practice your climbing moves as we show you in the ins and outs of the sport. After a day filled with climbing, you will come back to your residence hall after.
Whether this is your first time trying out backpacking or an avid backpacker, we have an adventure suited for all ability levels! Come out with us and get to know the famous Olympic Peninsula all while learning the basics of backpacking. We will be out exploring the beautiful mountain and coastal regions of the Peninsula on a two and a half day experience. Get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and come away with new skills. Don’t worry you’ll have all you need at your fingertips, or should we say in you pack, as you and your group will be carrying all you will need for the entire excursion (backpacks will weigh between 45 and 55 pounds). If anything, you will sure be a packing pro by the end! Each night you and your group will unpack and spend the night under the stars in a different location along the coast.
Fascinated by the concept of urbanization? Looking to find out more about the history of Tacoma and Seattle? Join us in a three day expedition where we will explore the cities of the Pacific Northwest. Our conversations, readings, and field expeditions explore the history of regional urbanization, nature and the city, public space and community, the threshold between city and nature, and the footprint of urban planning on the landscapes of our cities. We’ll explore different neighborhoods here in Tacoma and journey together to several historic port towns on the Olympic Peninsula, such as Port Townsend and Poulsbo, where we’ll consider the long interaction between urbanization and maritime commerce in Puget Sound. We’ll also travel by public transportation to Seattle, where we’ll assess how the influx of energy and capital into the urban landscape has shaped public space. At the end of each day ou will come back to your residence hall after.
Love being on the water? Interested in exploring the amazing sport that is canoeing? Join us as we explore an inlet on Puget Sound called the Hood Canal. No canoeing experience needed, but the ability to swim 50 yards in 50 degree F water is required. We will be spending half a day exploring and paddling the beautiful Hood Canal before padding and pushing our canoes up river to our campsite. Here we will spend one night at the beautiful Camp Parson campground and one night at a basecamp we have set up on the Hood Canal. During this time you will be staying either in rustic cabins, or tents, Don’t worry, you will have access to showers and running water in your campsites. At the end of this adventure-filled experience you will have the opportunity to participate some awesome activities facilitated by your orientation leaders at camp or go on another day trip.
Looking to give back to the Tacoma community in a purposeful way? Join us and L ‘Arche Tahoma Hope, a company dedicated to building transformative relationships and creating a community where difference and the gifts of people with developmental disabilities are valued, in a service project. We will be working with the L ‘Arche Farm and Gardens to learn urban farming and learn about the importance in making connections with people. You will be spending at least one night out on the farm getting your hands dirty weeding, helping make handmade paper, watering, or helping us sell at farmers’ markets and/or craft shows, all while while building connections with the community at L‘Arche Farms and your new Puget Sound classmates.
Spend three days exploring the Olympic Peninsula with sight-seeing and day hiking opportunities. Your group will experience the Olympic Mountains and coastal environments. Each day your group will tent camp in different locations. Showers and running water will be available at each campground.
Looking to for a way de-stress before the term starts? Join us as we learn and practice T'ai Chi, an internal Chinese martial art practiced for both its defense training and its health benefits. If you have never experienced this martial art, now is the time to try it out! We will partner with the T'ai Chi and Qigong Wellness Center in Tacoma where you will learn the history of T'ai Chi and the influence the art form has had on culture. Often described as meditation in motion, T'ai Chi promotes serenity through gentle, flowing movements. You will come back to your residence hall after each day relaxed and reinvigorated.
Looking for a way to de-stress before the term starts? Join us as we explore the philosophy and history of Yoga. Each day you will get to experience yoga in many forms as we visit local studios and meet guest presenters in the South Puget Sound area. We will learn all about the physical practice of yoga including asanas, or poses, and the art of Mindfulness. Learn all about the vibrant yoga community right outside your front door! Each day you will return to your residence hall relaxed and reinvigorated.
Needing inspiration for your writing? Or just looking for a new creative outlet? Join us a we hike various outdoor locations in the Puget Sound area filled with breathtaking sights and beautiful landscapes that will surely inspire and help you overcome that writers block you may have been experiencing. You will have the chance to work on your own individual pieces, as well as work with your group on a collaborative piece. Each day will inspire you and your writing! You will come back to your residence hall after each day.
Looking to get more involved in environmental activism? Or looking to discover ways to be greener around your home? Join as as we learn about the environment and how we treat it and what we can do to preserve it. You will learn all about how some of your current daily routines could be having a bigger impact on the environment around you than you thing, as well as ways to improve your carbon footprint through things such as sustainable travel and composting. Help us make the Earth a better place, one step at a time! At the end of each day we will be coming back to campus and staying in the residence halls.
Looking to get to know your fellow soccer athletes outside of practice? Come out with us and explore the areas surrounding our beautiful campus. We will have a variety of activities available to participate in that allows you and your teammates discover the natural beauty just outside our doors, as well as activities that allow you to explore the urban jungle that is Tacoma/Seattle. After a day full of bonding with your teammate you will come back to your residence hall for some rest and relaxation.
Looking to get to know your fellow football athletes outside of practice? You will get the chance to participate in a variety of activities that revolve around both personal and community development. You will get the chance to explore what it is like to be an athlete on campus with workshops revolving around nutrition, time management, as well as other resources available to you on campus. Another day you will immerse yourself in a community service experience at a local non-profit in Tacoma with your fellow teammates and other new students. On the last day you will spend some time doing community building and teambuilding activities focused on breaking down barriers and helping us to become a better team. At the end of each day you will come back to your residence hall.
Looking to discover more about the beautiful area around you? Wanting to connect with other transfer students? Join us as we embark on a variety of activities in both the natural beauty of the area and the urban cityscape to discover all the Pacific Northwest has to offer you! On one day you will be able to enjoy an easy to moderate day hike and discover the local hotspots for hiking. Another day you will immerse yourself in a community service experience at a local non-profit in Tacoma to connect you with the vibrant community we have here. Finally you will get the chance to explore the cities of Tacoma and Seattle all while learning about our metro system. At the end of each day you will come back to your residence hall for some rest and relaxation.
Looking to get more involved in creating a greener and sustainable community? Wanting to learn more about sourcing sustainable food? Join us as we visit farms that focus on sourcing sustainable food for the Tacoma area. These farms are dedicated to sustainable farming practices, such as organic and low carbon food production, avoiding the use of artificial fertilisers and pesticides as well as genetically modified organisms. During these field trips you will explore the beautiful farmland areas surrounding Tacoma and get your hands dirty as you learn about all the benefits sourcing sustainable food has to you and the environment. At the end of each day you will come back to your residence hall for some rest and relaxation.
TRUE GRIT: TACOMA
Looking to learn about the history of our unique and beautiful city of Tacoma? Join us as we delve in and explore our city’s rich past. We will learn about the meaning behind the majestic mountain, Mt. Tahoma (also known as Mt. Rainier) from the Indigenous/Native/American Indian people in the area as we take a scenic and low-level hike at Mt. Rainier National Park. At the Seattle Aquarium and Point Defiance, we will discover the diverse marine life of the Sound and its inhabitants, as well as delve into the decline of our resident orcas. In our town of Tacoma we will have hands on experiences with local artists who utilize various art forms to convey resilience, access, and awareness of social justice issues. At the end of each day you will come back to your residence hall for some rest and relaxation.
EATING OUR WAY THROUGH TACOMA:
A historical and ethnic look at the neighborhoods of Tacoma
Wanting to learn more about the Tacoma area? How about while enjoying unique and delicious local cuisines? Join us as we learn about Tacoma’s tumultuous past, evolving present, and promising future. We will visit Tacoma’s diverse neighborhoods where we will learn about their history as we enjoy local food inspired by Tacoma’s ethnography. We will also shop shop and explore local ethnic grocery stores, learn native foodways at Fort Nisqually Living History Museum, and visit some of the shops that are now redefining what it means to be a part of Tacoma. At the end of each day you will come back to your residence hall for some rest and relaxation.
INTRODUCTION TO WHITE WATER KAYAKING
Looking for a little adventure? Wanting to explore some of the most beautiful and exciting rivers in the world? Join us in experiencing them first hand through our white water kayaking experience. Before we embark on our adventure we will learn all the basics of whitewater kayaking, such as basic boat control and getting comfortable in and on the water. We will then take those skills and put them to the test on the Snoqualmie River located just 45 minutes away from us. The kayak instruction will be taught by leaders in our campuses very own Kayak Club. This a great way to get introduced to the Puget Sound kayaking community as well as our amazing boating opportunities here in the Pacific Northwest! At the end of each day you will come back to your residence hall for some rest and relaxation.
TACOMA: A LINK TO THE WORLD
Interested in international commerce and the intricacies of trade relations? Join us as we explore Tacoma’s linkages to the rest of the world through international trade relationships, focusing particularly on the Pacific Rim, and learn why Seattle and Tacoma are known as the port to the west. This experience will include field trips to organizations involved in international commerce, such as the World Trade Center and the Port of Tacoma, as well as local importers and exporters. After, we all convene for a delicious meal at one of the many local ethnic food restaurants to talk about the importance of cross-cultural awareness in business and enjoy some local cuisine! At the end of each day you will come back to your residence hall for some rest and relaxation.
VEGAN IN THE NORTHWEST
Are you committed to, or exploring, a plant-based diet and lifestyle that respects all species? If so, come out and join us for “Living Vegan in the Pacific Northwest.” During this time we will tour a local company that produces plant-based food products volunteer for an avian sanctuary that rescues abused and/or neglected chickens and roosters to help give them a full and fulfilling life! We will learn all about where to shop in Tacoma for specialty vegan groceries, as well as visit some restaurants that serve vegan menu items. Don’t forget to bring favorite vegan recipes to share, so that we can create our very our cookbook, including a delicious vegan cheese we will teach you to make. At the end of each day you will come back to your residence hall for some rest and relaxation.
DAY CANOEING/DAY KAYAKING
Looking to get out on the water? Wanting to try out sa new sport? Join us as we explore the Hood Canal by canoe and kayak. Open to all experience levels! Get out and take in in the fresh sea air and tranquil scenery. Who knows, maybe we will get to encounter some majestic sea life? During this time you will be staying either in rustic cabins, or tents, at our beautiful basecamp on Hood Canal, Don’t worry, you will have access to showers and running water in your campsite. At the end of this adventure-filled experience you will have the opportunity to participate some awesome activities facilitated by your orientation leaders at camp or go on another day trip. Specific equipment is also required for this trip, please see the end of the survey for a link to that list.