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If your school offers more than one orientation date, it’s wise to choose the earliest possible. An early orientation will give you the opportunity to choose classes and housing before other students.

Get the lay of the land by attending your college’s summer orientation.

While they might sound boring, college summer orientations are actually pretty fun. Not only do you get help choosing your College Classes: A New Student’s Guide college classes, but you also have the opportunity to explore your new college campus and make new friends. Plus, most orientations only last a couple of days and are jam-packed with a variety of academic and social activities. It's a great way to kick off your college experience and help you feel more ready for the big move-in day.

What can you expect at your summer orientation?

  • Tours of academic buildings, residence halls, sports facilities, and administration buildings
  • Welcome addresses and motivational speeches from college officials and guests
  • Student involvement activities and get-to-know-you exercises
  • Meetings with teachers, current students, faculty and staff
  • Sign ups for student services like computer networking and ID cards
  • Academic placement testing: Many students will need to take placement tests in subjects like math, writing and foreign language before they can schedule classes.
  • Financial aid and course schedule counseling
  • College town tours
  • Dinners and entertainment for students and parents
  • Your first experience with college dorm life
  • Help with class scheduling so you're preparing for registration

When is new student orientation?

Many colleges and universities hold new student orientations or a "welcome week" a few days before the first day of classes to accommodate students traveling from a distance, but many larger schools have multiple orientation schedules that give students the opportunity to go through orientation earlier in the summer.

While orientation is not always mandatory, it’s greatly beneficial to all new students. Students who don’t attend orientation are often at a disadvantage in terms of making new friends, finding their way around, and getting the course schedule they want.

For information on when your summer orientation will be, visit your college’s website or consult an admissions representative.

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College Classes: A New Student’s Guide
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