Orientation Week

After students complete move-in, Orientation Week begins! Orientation Week aims to provide a mix of fun and educational components to help students transition and acclimatize to the GW community and becoming a college student. Students will be provided with plenty of opportunities to connect with one another, from their residence halls, their colleges, and from across campus. There will also be opportunities to explore D.C. beyond the GW campus during Orientation Week.

Additionally, there will be programming specifically for Parents, Families, and Supporters.

We have a lot of exciting things in the works for Orientation Week, and we can't wait to welcome you to campus and have you experience it! Below is a general outline of what to expect for events and programming during Orientation Week. Students were sent a personalized schedule unique to them to their GW email address.

There is an updated list [PDF] of Orientation: Conference Sessions, Affinity Spaces and Open Houses that are on offer during Wednesday and Thursday. 

  • 8:30-10pm 
    • Open House: Foggy Bottom Residence Halls
      • Foggy Bottom residents will have the opportunity to meet their building's CLRE team! Open houses will be hosted by our Community Coordinators who will help introduce residents to the various resources and networks of support our residence hall provides throughout the year.
  • 1-2pm
    • GW Hillel Open House

      • First year families are invited to tour our space and connect with staff, student leaders, and GW Hillel board members.

  • 2-4pm

    • Raise Up GW Community Fair

      • Join GW campus partners to learn how well-being plays an integral role in your success at GW during our community fair! Participants will learn more about the Raise Up GW initiative, well-being resources on campus and in the community, and have the chance to enter to win one of our prize packs!

  • 8:30-10pm

    • Open House: Mount Vernon Campus Residence Halls

      • Vern residents will have the opportunity to meet their building's CLRE team! Open houses will be hosted by our Community Coordinators who will help introduce residents to the various resources and networks of support our residence hall provides throughout the year.

  • 8:30-10pm

    • ​​Neighborhood Welcome Programs

      • These programs are geared towards facilitating connections and community across buildings within each of our residential neighborhoods. All residents are invited and should look out for more details from their Community Coordinator.

  • 9-10:30am
    • Hillel First Year Family Welcome Breakfast
      • First year families are invited to join us for a light breakfast and information session with Executive Director Adena Kirstein. Learn more about the GW Hillel philosophy, opportunities for your student, and to get answers to any and all questions regarding Jewish life at GW.
  • 8:30-10pm

    • ​​Building Welcome Programs

      • These programs serve to welcome our new first-year residents to their residence hall and facilitate connections among community members. Residents are encouraged to meet their neighbors and floormates as well as their Community Coordinator during these fun social events!

  • 9am - 5pm
    • Find Your Way Campus Tours (Optional) 
      • We'd like to welcome you to join us for an optional find your way campus tour guided by one of our Admission Guides! We will be running tours hourly at the Admissions Welcome Center in the University Student Center. 
  • 9am-5pm
    • Navigating Community Living
      • Campus Living & Residential Education is excited to present our "Navigating Community Living"orientation session for our first-year residential students. This session is geared towards preparing students to live in a shared community space and will assist them in setting expectations for their residential environment. Students with roommates will complete their roommate agreement with a professional staff member present, while students in singles will discuss strategies for being successful in a shared community. This session is for all first-year residential students, regardless of room type! To see more information about this session, please visit the CLRE Orientation webpage.
  • 10am-12pm
    • International Services Office (ISO) Orientation
      • Newly admitted GW students in F-1 Student status are required to attend our mandatory in-person New International Student Orientation. At orientation, you will learn essential information related to maintaining your immigration status as well as benefits that are available to you as an international student at GW. Take this opportunity to learn important immigration regulations, meet your ISO advisor, and connect with fellow international students!
  • 8:30-10pm

    • ​​Neighborhood Welcome Programs

      • These programs are geared towards facilitating connections and community across buildings within each of our residential neighborhoods. All residents are invited and should look out for more details from their Community Coordinator.

  • 8:30-10pm

    • The Mount Vernon Campus: Screen on the Green

      • Grab your GW blanket and your new friends and stop by the MVC Quad to watch the movie selected by you and your peers through a social media poll. Snacks will be provided!

  • 9-10:30am
    • Keynote Speaker: Daniel Pink
      • Students will hear remarks from Daniel Pink, author of five New York Times bestsellers, including his latest, The Power of Regret: How Looking Backward Moves Us Forward.
  • 10:30am-5:30pm
    • Orientation: Conference
      • Come and choose your own adventure as you start your time at GW! Folks from all over the university are excited to engage and talk with you about all of the opportunities we have to offer. Today between 10:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. you will be able to choose what sessions you attend and engage with, when you are not in a mandatory session.
  • 5:30-6:30pm
    • Transfer Student Social
      • Join the Transfer Student Organization and your peers for a panel discussion and pizza. You'll have the opportunity to mix and mingle with other current and new transfer students and get your questions answered.
  • 7-7:45pm
    • Buff & Blue Kickoff
      • You are encouraged to bring your buff & blue spirit, and learn some GW traditions at this high energy kick-off event! You will be addressed by GW President Mark Wrighton, Vice Provost and Dean of Students Colette Coleman, and student leaders from the Student Association, Residence Hall Association, Black Student Union, and more.

  • 8:30-11pm

    • GW Late Night presents House Party

      • Celebrate your first week of college (on-campus) with a House Party hosted by the Office of Student Life! Presented by SoleTunes, the House Party will feature live music, games, and prizes!

  • 9-11am
    • Academic School Sessions
      • Columbian College of Arts & Sciences Welcome Event
        • Location: Lisner Auditorium
      • School of Media & Public Affairs Orientation 
        • Location: School of Media & Public Affairs Room 310
      • Corcoran School of the Arts & Design Meet & Greet
        • Join us for a Meet & Greet at the Corcoran! Majors and minors are encouraged to attend. Pick up your Corcoran swag, enjoy coffee and donuts, and mingle with your fellow incoming students, faculty, and staff. Following a brief welcome from our Director, Dr. Lauren Onkey, at 9:15am, students will break out by program areas. Learn more about Corcoran Orientation here.
        • Location: Corcoran Flagg Building, 500 17th Street NW
      • The Elliott School of International Affairs Welcome Event
        • Location: The Elliott School of International Affairs building, 1957 E St., NW, check-in with a team member in the lobby
      • GW School of Business Orientation
        • The GW School of Business (GWSB) Office of Undergraduate Programs invites incoming new first-year students to learn more about the resources and opportunities available for business students. This session includes an overview of the School of Business, information on important resources, pathways for involvement, and tips from current students on how to maximize your undergraduate experience.

          Registration is available for new incoming first-year GW School of Business students. This session is for incoming GWSB undergraduate students only. Please complete the registration link by Monday, August 22nd at 5pm ET.

          Registration Link: https://forms.gle/RZUdkDhddQy1p7jB6 

        • Location: Check in at the Funger Hall 1st Floor Lobby Outside 103

      • School of Engineering & Applied Science: SEAS Your Future!

        • Students will receive an email on Thursday, August 18. to sign-up for one of three sessions for the morning and a more detailed location will be shared then.

        • Location:  Science and Engineering Hall

      • Milken Institute School of Public Health Orientation Event

        • Join the Milken Institute School of Public Health for New Student Orientation! Students will be able to participate in icebreakers and games, as well as a Walk in Someone's Shoes, a reflective exercise designed to develop mutual empathy and understanding among our first-year students. Breakfast and lunch options will be provided, and students will have the opportunity to win prizes for participating!

        • Location: Milken B100 A&B on the B1 floor of the Milken building

  • 11:30am-6pm
    • Orientation: Conference
      • Come and choose your own adventure as you start your time at GW! Folks from all over the university are excited to engage and talk with you about all of the opportunities we have to offer. Today between 11:30 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. you will be able to choose what sessions you attend and engage with, when you are not in a mandatory session. 
  • 6-7pm
    • GW Student-Athlete Welcome Panel
      • Join a panel of current GW student-athletes, coaches, and athletic administrators to discuss the GW Athletic Experience. Food provided. For first-year varsity student-athletes currently on roster only.
  • 7-9pm
    • Mount Vernon Campus Community Cookout
      • Join fellow Vernies for a community cookout on the MVC Quad and informally meet the staff who will be supporting you through your first year.
  • 9-11pm
    • University Student Center Presents Throwback Thursday Takeover
      • Join your peers for a fun throwback night to the early 2000s! Presented by the GW Late Night Committee, you'll have the opportunity to participate in trivia with a team of your friends, dance the night away, watch a fun film, play video games, and make your own crafts! There will be snacks and a chance to win prizes!​​​​​​​
  • All Day
    • District Connections
      • You will have the opportunity to experience the cultural and intellectual diversity of D.C., learn to navigate the city, and connect with their new classmates through excursions all over D.C. led by upperclass student leaders.
  • 12-3pm
    • Mount Vernon Pool Party
      • Catch some rays and cool off from the summer heat at the MVC Pool! Enjoy snow cones, snacks, and fun activities with friends as the summer comes to an end.
  • 4-8pm
    • National Mall Kickback
      • Celebrate the start of your GW career with food, fun, and lawn games on an iconic D.C. landmark, the National Mall! This event will give you a chance to connect with your new peers and build community.
  • 8pm
    • Late Night Monument Walks
      • Enjoy an evening under the stars in our nation’s capital and explore the monuments by moonlight, led by Orientation Leaders.
  • 11am-12pm
    • Convocation
      • Join your peers in the ceremonial start of the academic experience, where GW faculty and administrators welcome the incoming class.
  • 12:30-5pm
    • Welcome Days of Service Experience 
      • Be a part of this GW tradition! Convocation & Welcome Day of Service is your official welcome to the GW community. Join your peers in the ceremonial start of the academic experience, where GW faculty and administrators welcome you as an incoming class. Following the ceremony, you'll get connected to the world of community service and civic engagement at GW by serving together throughout DC and the region!
  • 7-10pm
    • First Night
      • Do you have school spirit? Show off your school spirit and kick-off the new year at First Night, an annual event that brings the GW community together! Explore the Foggy Bottom campus and enjoy some classic carnival games, inflatables, and food. Be sure to wear your best Buff and Blue for a chance to win some awesome prizes at our spirit contest!
  • Various Times
    • The GW Title IX Office New Student Orientation: Spotlight on Bystander Intervention
      • In this training students will learn how to prevent sexual harassment through the use of active bystander skills.  In addition, students will receive a refresher on their rights and responsibilities under Title IX, the resources and options available on campus, and how to contribute to a safe and healthy GW community.

Learn more about each component of GW's Orientation Program: