What is New Student Orientation?

Orientation is a time for students to learn about the school’s policies and procedures, meet with advisors, and get acclimated to the campus.

It allows students to connect with other students and faculty members, learn about available resources on campus, and receive support as they begin their college journey.

Attending orientation is crucial for new students transitioning from a community college to a four-year university.

Related: How to Make the Most of Your Community College Experience

This transition can be challenging and overwhelming, so students need to understand the expectations of their new school and have an opportunity to connect with other transfer students who may be going through similar experiences.

At orientation, students will have the chance to build new relationships, ask questions, and get the support they need to succeed in their academic pursuits.

Attending orientation, students can feel confident and excited as they move forward in completing their educational pathway.

New Student Orientation Stethoscope, Black, School Table, Colored Letters Spelling Out 'Orientation'

What is the Purpose of Student Orientation?

The purpose of student orientation is centralized on providing students with information the administration believes is critical to their success as a student at their institution.

At universities, orientation is an important part of the student experience. This process helps students become familiar with the university, its faculty, and its staff.

Orientation also helps students understand the academic programs and opportunities and the university’s values and functions.

Additionally, orientation provides students with a complete schedule of courses for the upcoming year, helping them plan their coursework and stay on track for graduation.

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Overall, student orientation is essential to any university experience, providing new students with the information they desperately need.

Typically students do not speak with an advisor or complete any class registration documents during the orientation period.

This is because counselors will likely reach out to complete a meeting notice to meet with new students on a personal basis to develop a plan for degree completion.

Something as simple as a campus map will go a long way in preventing stress and anxiety (trust me, nothing is worse than leaving for class early only to cut it close by a minute because you opened eleven other classroom doors before finding yours).

Benefits Specific to Student Types

How an orientation program is conducted wholly depends on the institution and the student group they are catering to. Most universities and colleges have separate orientation days for the various student populations.

Different student types include:

  • Transfer Students
  • International Students

Transfer Students

Transfer students coming from community colleges often face a unique set of challenges when entering a new school.

Unlike returning students, transfer learners must attend orientation because it eases the transition from community college to university.

In addition to being unfamiliar with the campus and the curriculum, they may also feel like they are starting from scratch to meet new people and make friends.

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Student orientation can help to ease the transition for transfer students by providing an opportunity to learn about the new school and meet other students.

Scholars can access various discussions and classes that promote student inclusion through games or events intended to engage learners of all groups and backgrounds.

New Student Orientation, New School, Old School, Street Sign with Arrows

During orientation, transfer students can tour the campus, learn about the different academic programs, and get acquainted with the school’s policies and procedures.

Most importantly, new student orientation gives transfer students a chance to socialize and make new friends.

Transfer students can quickly feel at home at their new institution by meeting other pupils and getting involved in campus life.

In some situations, universities will have their orientation online. Future enrollees will register and attend orientation after receiving a zoom link from the institution.

International Students

Another student group that benefits from new student orientations is international students.

According to data conveyed by the California Community Colleges Data Mart, 26,063 foreign students were enrolled at a California Community College during the Fall 2021 semester and Spring 2022 term.

Data Report, CCC Data Mart, Foreign Students Enrollment (Fall 2021 & Spring 2022)

New student orientations are, thus, not only for permanent residents or California residents but also for foreign students traveling to the United States, some for the first time, to participate in America’s higher education system.

Student orientation is a time for foreign students to meet and engage with Americans and other foreign & international students.

Events like new student orientation grant foreign students the help of the institution by allowing pupils to meet in person.

New Student Orientation is Valuable

Academic success is mostly derived from your personal ambition, acumen, and motivation to perform well.

However, factors beyond a student’s control can derail an otherwise stable process, such as a lack of campus information or failure to acquire a necessary document for administrative purposes.

Recommended Reading: 5 Tips to Help You Transfer from Community College to University

Participating in a new student orientation eliminates the risk of being unprepared for the first day of classes.

New student Orientation is a time to understand the institution and learn a little about the history or campus layout.

New student orientations are also almost always jam-packed with information about programs the academy offers and the enrollment demographics of the incoming class.

Students will often have an opportunity to meet with an advisor or faculty member and register to receive their university identification card or learn about courses.


Whether new to university life or transitioning from a community college, attending new student orientation is essential to your educational journey.

At orientation, students have the opportunity to connect with other students, learn about available resources on campus, and receive support as they begin their academic pursuits.

By attending orientation, new students can feel confident and excited as they move to complete their educational goals.

So if you are a new student, be sure to attend orientation and start your college experience off on the right foot!