How busy will my student be during his or her first year at HBS?

The HBS experience will be different for every student and partner. However, most people find the first year to be extremely busy with academics, getting to know your classmates, clubs, and other activities. It is up to you and your student to prioritize and balance your time.

Should I live on or off-campus?

This question is really hard to answer. This is such a personal decision. We know a lot of partners who enjoyed their life on and off campus.

The best thing about living on campus is the proximity to everything: friends, activities, Spangler (food, post-office, etc.), the Health Clinic, Shad (sports), etc. Your student will love the short commute to class as well.

You will also have access to Graduate Common Program (GCP), who plans and organizes extracurricular activities meant to enhance residents’ social life and build strong networks.

Some partners also asked us whether they should choose SFP (Soldiers Field Park) or OWA (One Western Avenue). After trying both, we can say that SFP is older but bigger (more closet space). OWA has a dishwasher in every apartment (!!) but is smaller. And it is hard to totally escape the construction noise, especially in SFP area, because a big part of it is under construction.

The best of living off-campus would be the proximity to restaurants, bars, grocery shops. You can also escape the “HBS bubble” more easily. If you have animals, it might be easier to find a pet-friendly apartment off-campus.Most popular off-campus neighborhoods are Harvard Square, Peabody terrace, Central Square, Allston. You can also see these blog posts on housing.

What insurance is better to choose? 

All Harvard University students are automatically enrolled in the Harvard University Student Health Program (HUSHP). Most of the partners that need insurances also buy the same one. We have one clinic right on campus, which is very convenient. We encourage everyone to make their own research and decide what is better in their situation because there are many options.

During our Orientation for partners & families event, we will have a Harvard University Health Service (HUHS) representative. If you have any questions now, let us know in advance. We will forward your questions to HUHS and you will receive more information during the info session.

Do some of HBS families have pets?

Concerning the pet-friendly apartment, they are very rare on campus. Especially because some buildings are under renovation, we have less and less pet-friendly apartments. We would really suggest seeing with Harvard Housing how many pet-friendly places they still have available.
Also, some partners & students have had a permission to have a dog at their place for medical reasons. You can learn more about pet-friendly apartment here.

What is the cost to join Shad Hall (Fitness Facility) as a partner?

For the year September 2016 – August 2017 Shad Hall membership fee for partners was $396. Fees are pro-rated throughout the year ($363 for 11 months,  $330 – 10 months and so on) so please stop by our reception desk or call 495-6060 for the current rates and membership information.

Also, you can find additional information about Shad Hall here.

How can HBS help me with my career?

Partners have access to career resources at HBS. You can find information here.

Are partners able to earn certifications through Harvard? i.e Project management, business-related, etc?

Partners are welcome to sit in on a class for a day with their student. So you can do it couple times but you will not be able to earn certification. Harvard Extension School probably the only one option to earn certification through Harvard. You can find more information about it on the website.

You can find some useful information about education in the Boston area here.

Can I join Clubs at HBS?

Partners can join clubs just as their student can do. We have more than 80 clubs at HBS, from the Partners Club to the Basketball Club or the Design Club. You can find the list here.

You will be able to join a club during the Club Fair which usually happens in early September.

The Partners Club and Crimson Parents are the only 2 clubs offered FOR and BY partners. We really look forward to meeting you at the Club Fair!

Are there any useful resources of news and events on campus for partners?

Thrive@HBS is an app that offers quick and easy access to health and wellness resources and emergency contact information, as well as Shad exercise schedules, menus in the dining hall, and the latest events.

Also, you can find shuttle live map there. Harvard shuttle is a very convenient way to go to Cambridge, for example. Worth to mention, that it is free for students and partners. It only requires a Harvard ID, and as a partner, you will have it. After you officially register as HBS partner, you can login in Thrive with the email you provided for registration and hop on Harvard shuttle for free.

Shops and restaurants on and near campus

On campus, we have Spangler food court, Spangler grill, and a coffee place in Chao center. They provide an affordable way to eat. During the lunch time, it could be very busy. When we could, we were trying to come before or after busiest hours. Especially on Wednesday mornings, when we could have waffles at a discounted price!

But if you are looking for a nice place to eat, you will find a lot within a walking distance from HBS campus (near Harvard Square or Central Square). The Daedalus and Park Restaurant & Bar are really popular for HBS students and partners meetings. Cafe Luna offers amazing brunches and breakfasts.