Students wearing black and gold attending an orientation week event

Orientation is an important time of transition for more than 9,000 new students arriving on campus. That’s why the University of Waterloo is delivering even more customized Orientation activities to meet the varied needs for our diverse group of students, including:

  • International Undergraduate Orientation (September 1 to 3) — For first-year students who have a study permit, attended high school internationally, are new to Canadian culture, or are developing their English language skills; family members welcome to attend.
  • Out-of-Province and American Undergraduate Orientation (September 3) — For first-year students and their family members from across Canada and the United States to get introduced to Waterloo and life in Ontario.
  • First-Year Undergraduate Orientation (September 3 to 9) — For all new first-year students. Many will participate in International, American and Out-of-Province Orientation before joining in with First-Year Fall Orientation.
  • Undergraduate Transfer Orientation (September 4 to 9) — For college transfer students, university transfer students, 2+2 students.
  • Exchange/Study Abroad Orientation (September 4 to 9) — For undergraduate and graduate students coming to Waterloo as an exchange or study abroad student.
  • Graduate Student Orientation (September 5 to 9) — For all incoming graduate students.
  • Program-specific Orientation — Many departments also host program-specific orientation programming.

“This year, with our increased number of incoming international students, International Undergraduate Orientation and other customized programming for students demonstrates the University’s commitment to giving our students useful tools, helpful resources and a meaningful experience at Orientation. Together with the Federation of Students, Graduate Student Association, Faculties, and other key campus partners we look forward to welcoming all new students to the University of Waterloo community.”

Pam Charbonneau, director of the Student Success Office

All new first-year undergraduate students will come together for some new and returning features s as part of Orientation this year including:

  • Waterloo Fest – An event hosted in partnership with Wilfrid Laurier University that takes students to explore Uptown Waterloo in a festival/market style event.
  • Portal Orientation checklist - A customized checklist for students to get prepared and organized for school is available in the Portal mobile app or web. Lists includes things like: set up your student email, become Fees Arranged, complete the Academic Integrity Module, etc.
  • Portal App  A new Orientation widget in Portal this year to allow students to register for all Orientation events through the system. Students will also check-in to Orientation and all of the campus-wide events throughout the week using the Portal app and access their personal Orientation schedules.
  •  Single & Sexy is a collective play about attitudes and behaviours written and performed by University of Waterloo students and alumni. The high energy, entertaining and powerful presentation shares scenarios and attitudes students may witness or experience. The play will be staged in the PAC again this year so students can see the play with their residence dons and engage in pre- and post-discussions about the provocative topics presented.
  • Warrior Welcome A new immersive video experience will welcome to students to campus at this year’s four separate Warrior Welcome events in the PAC. NHL referee, amateur champion golfer, cancer survivor and Waterloo Alum Garrett Rank will speak to students about his life experiences since being a student at Waterloo.

“This year, we’ve partnered with Wilfrid Laurier University and the City of Waterloo for WaterlooFest, a community-wide celebration to welcome first-year students to the University of Waterloo and the community they’ll call home for the next few years.”

Antonio Brieva, President, Federation of Students

You can follow the fall 2017 Orientation excitement on TwitterInstagram and Facebook with the hashtag #UWOW17. You can also add @uofwaterloo on snapchat for live video snaps from student leaders throughout the week.

Classes start on Thursday, September 7, but Orientation activities will continue until Saturday, September 9.