Orientation is your first step to a great academic life - it equips you with information and services that help make your transition from high school to college or any Higher Education (HE) institution for that matter much easier.
In some HE institutions, the orientation event could be just for a day, and in some, it could go on from a weekend to a whole week. During this time, you can gain an understanding of policies, offices and services that the institution has to offer, and also network with new and returning students.
Most institutions lay it down as mandatory that new entrants attend orientation. The benefits of attending your first day orientation are many!
Many international students are not only beginning a new educational programme, but are also experiencing a whole new culture for the first time. On-campus faculty and staff will educate you about services offered such as academic and career counselling, personal counselling, grievance cell, library, on-campus patrol, safety process, cafeteria and entertainment centres on campus, and places of worship. Faculty advisors are available to answer queries about classes, majors, electives, lectures, workshops and related subjects.
Generally orientation sessions have representatives from the International Student Associations, clubs, sororities and fraternities to make you feel welcome, and help you meet students from different cultures. You may even have your own home country’s association on campus where you can catch up with your countrymen. It does not stop here – you get to learn about the attractions the particular region has to offer as well.
You can learn about your institution and campus life from current students – get the inside story about Greek Life, activities, sports and athletics, and many other attractions and benefits from the student body itself. Who better to gather information from than fellow seniors!
As new students, you will be assigned faculty advisors who will guide you through the process of selecting your classes and registering for them. Feel free to ask questions about your financial aid, if applicable meal plans and accommodation/housing. You will also be able to get your Student ID card at orientation.
Some institutions even set-up kiosks, where you can check out available part-time jobs such as working on-campus in the library or cafeteria. At times, there are certain events held specifically for your parents and family members where they will be informed about residence life, campus safety and security, academic support services, student health care, community expectations, and tips on how to support students during their transition to institution will also be provided... Most often, parents also need to get adjusted to the transition!
Orientation prepares you to embrace life as a student in a new setting, with its accompanying lessons and changes, with gusto. So instead of skipping it, attend it and familiarise yourself with the institution where you will be spending the next few years of your life...and yes, don’t forget to have fun!
Our blog section provides more Help and Advice for students.
Image source: www.brandeis.edu