First Year Orientation 2023

We want to shout out a huge THANK YOU to each and every one of you for making First Year Orientation 2023 an absolute blast! Your energy, support, and all-around excitement turned this event into something we'll never forget.

As we move forward into this academic year, let's carry the spirit of Orientation 2023 with us. Let's continue to support one another, learn from each other, and create a campus environment that fosters growth and excellence.


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The people that I met during Orientation are the ones I call family now and are the ones that pushed me to achieve things I never thought I could.

2019-21 Orientation Leader


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Why should I attend Orientation?

Orientation is your opportunity to build further connections with your classmates and other UWaterloo students, be introduced to the unique traditions at UWaterloo and in your faculty, and learn more about what Waterloo has to offer. You will also have the opportunity to get to know your campus and explore the larger City of Waterloo community.

We think Orientation is an important part of your first-year experience at Waterloo - but don't just take our word for it! 

Orientation  has been and continues to be one of the most memorable and rewarding experiences of my time at the University of Waterloo. It not only gave me the sense of community, but also a sense of belonging.

2018 Orientation participant 

What is the schedule for Orientation?

If you have confirmed your Orientation registration, your personalized schedule will be available in your Portal Calendar in mid-August.

Start dates

  • Depending on your move-in day, Waterloo Orientation will begin on September 2, and will end on Saturday, September 9. If you live off-campus, Orientation begins on September 3.
  • International Orientation takes place August 31- September 2.
  • Classes will begin on September 6, 2023. Events that occur after classes begin are scheduled so that you should be able to drop-in, participate, and then head to class. 

What events and activities are part of Orientation?

You'll have the opportunity to participate in exciting events to connect you with fellow Warriors. Some things you can look forward to are:

  • Show your spirit in black and gold to support the Waterloo Warrior's varsity football team in their game against the Windsor Lancers
  • Explore the City of Waterloo
  • Attend the WUSA First-Year Fair to learn about your student association and win prizes 
  • Foodies prepare! Keep an eye out at events for a variety of local food trucks
  • A musical play performed by fellow students about the ins and outs of university life, called TBH: To Be Honest
  • So much more!

Does orientation cost anything?

The Orientation Fee is included in your fall term fee statement in your Quest account. The cost is $129.39 + HST. This covers your Orientation kit as well as 25+ events you’ll be able to attend! 

If you have been invited to attend Orientation, but the Orientation Fee does not appear on your fall term fee statement, you will be able to pay the outstanding balance by cash or credit when you check-in for Orientation in September.

Not able to join?

If you cannot attend Orientation, please make sure to opt-out of the Orientation Fee through your Quest account prior to paying your fees. Please see Registrar's Office important dates for applicable deadlines to opt-out of your various refundable fees. 

I'm an international student. Are there orientation events to help me get settled in Canada?

International Orientation will take place from August 31- September 2, with some additional meet-ups and events throughout Waterloo Orientation. At International Orientation, you'll learn about the services supporting you at Waterloo, travel around the region to pick-up essentials, access immigration support, and learn about Canadian culture.

You can register for International Orientation at the same time you register for Waterloo Orientation. Once you register, event information will be available in your Portal Calendar in mid-August. There is no cost associated with International Orientation.

How can I connect with other incoming students, upper year students and Waterloo staff before I arrive?

  • Waterloo Ready webinars will continue through August. You can still register for Ask Me Anything events with campus services and upper-year students.
  • Follow @uwaterloolife and .@yourwusa to learn more about campus life and connect with your campus community. 

Waterloo Orientation is a partnership between the Waterloo Undergraduate Student Association (WUSA), the Student Success Office (SSO), and the University's six faculties.