New Student Orientation Logo

New Student Orientation

Welcome to GW!

We are so excited to welcome you to the George Washington University! New Student Orientation aims to aid in the academic, personal, social, and cultural transition of new undergraduate students and their families to the GW and D.C. communities. The programming you participate in is designed to introduce you to the academic culture and class registration process, community expectations and resources, and involvement opportunities on-campus and in the city. We hope you take advantage of all that GW has to offer and utilize the people around you for support and guidance as you begin your journey.

Students: make sure you complete the Next Steps listed in your student portal, like setting up your GW email and submitting health forms. Also review Orientation details, which will be displayed in your portal once you register for the event. New Student Orientation will be held Monday, August 19-Sunday, August 25. Please continue reading for more information about specific move-in dates.

Still have questions? No problem! You can follow [email protected] on Instagram for more insight into the GW student experience and life on campus. email [email protected] with any questions or concerns about the New Student Orientation process.

Move In

International first-year and transfer students can move-in as early as Monday, August 19, after 10 a.m. Check-in and pre-arrival information will be communicated through your GW email prior to Orientation.

Domestic first-year students will be assigned a move-in time frame for Wednesday, August 21. Check-in and pre-arrival information will be communicated through your GW email prior to Orientation.

Domestic transfer students can move-in on Thursday, August 22, after 10 a.m. Check-in and pre-arrival information will be communicated through your GW email prior to Orientation.

Pre-Orientation Programs

Pre-orientation programs are co-curricular opportunities prior to the start of New Student Orientation. Programs and activities range from outdoor adventure to leadership development. Below is a list of offerings - visit the websites to learn more!

Please note: if you are participating in a pre-orientation co-curricular program, you will move in prior to the first-year move-in date which vary by program.

  • GW Hillel's LaunchPad DC
    • LaunchPad DC offers incoming first-year students a unique opportunity to start one’s experience with Jewish life at GW. Move-in is available on August 19 with the full program running August 20-21. Learn more and register at gwhillel.org/student-life/firstyear.

  • Adventure Bound

    • Adventure Bound allows new students to meet their peers, learn more about life at GW, and build lasting memories in the great outdoors. There are four options: Backpacking, Whitewater, Ocean, or DC Exploration & Service. Move-in is available on August 17 with the program running August 17-20. Learn more at go.gwu.edu/adventurebound.

  • LEAD GW

    • Ready to jumpstart your GW leadership journey? LEAD GW (Leadership Exploration and Development at GW) empowers incoming students to learn more about themselves, socially responsible leadership, and their new home. Move-in is available on August 18 with the program running August 18-20. Learn more at go.gwu.edu/leadgw.

  • Founding Scholars

    • Founding Scholars welcomes incoming first-generation college students to life at GW. Students will build community with other first-gen students, connect with faculty and staff, and learn about valuable academic and campus resources. Move-in is available on August 18 with the program running from August 18-20. Learn more at go.gwu.edu/foundingscholars.

  • SEAS New Student Getaway

    • New Student Getaway is a three-day trip that all SEAS first-year students are required to participate in before Orientation and the start of classes in the fall. At the New Student Getaway, students begin forming friendships, learn more about their academic programs and university life, and participate in activities from whitewater rafting to volleyball, hiking, and zip-lining. Move-in is available on August 18 with the program running August 19-21. All forms will be available in GW 101 and must be submitted by Sunday, July 7, 2019. If you have any questions, please email [email protected].

  • Women's Leadership Program

    • The incoming cohort will participate in pre-orientation programming centered around learning more about the four different cohorts, WLP administration, and one another. Move-in is available on August 18 with the program running August 19-20. If you have any questions, please email [email protected].  

New Student Orientation - Programming & Schedules

Students and families will be provided schedules electronically prior to arriving on campus. Below is a snapshot of what can be expected during the week.

STUDENT PROGRAMMING

International first-year and transfer students will participate in the International Services Office (ISO) mandatory Immigration Session scheduled to take place on Tuesday, August 20, in the morning. Additional information and other details will come directly from ISO. Questions can be directed to [email protected].

First Year Students (Domestic and International) - August 21-25

  • Wednesday - Kick-Off and Welcome followed by evening social programming
  • Thursday - programming begins around 9:00 a.m. and concludes around 11:00 p.m. (with optional social programming)
  • Friday - programming begins around 9:00 a.m. and concludes around 11:00 p.m. (with optional social programming)
  • Saturday - Convocation Ceremony and Welcome Day of Service (11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., followed by First Night event)

  • Sunday - optional programming, mandatory Title IX workshops (sign-up information goes to GW email)

Transfer Students (Domestic and International) - August 22-23

  • Thursday - Kick Off and Welcome followed by evening social programming
  • Friday - programming begins around 9:00 a.m. and concludes around 6:00 p.m. followed by optional social programming

FAMILY PROGRAMMING

Families, prior to your arrival be sure to check out the Family Resource Module to learn about your student's academic journey and requirements, as well as find answers to other questions you have about life at GW such as how to pay your tuition, how the dining plan works, student support resources, FERPA, financial/student account information, and much more. To access the module visit: https://blackboard.gwu.edu. (Username: gwfamilies; Password: raisehigh)

To review the schedules of all Family Orientation sessions being offered, please scroll down to find the schedule that corresponds to your student’s move-in date. A reminder that if you wish to attend family programming and have not yet registered, please do so using this link before August 6. Family Orientation Registration Form

PLEASE NOTE: ALL FAMILY PROGRAMMING IS OPTIONAL. Please forgive small programmatic alterations as we finalize logistics. Final schedules will be delivered electronically and on paper once you arrive on campus.


Families whose students are registered for a Pre-orientation session (and who will move in on 8/17, 8/18, or 8/19) will use the following schedule on Monday, August 19:

Monday, August 19 Schedule
Time Title Description
 

9:00 a.m.

 

Financial Wellness

 

This session will introduce you to all the ways your student can be financially prepared for college, from budgeting tools to financial aid deadlines for future years.

10:00 a.m.  

Coffee Break

 
 

10:30 a.m.

 

Overview of “The Series”

 

“GW: The Series” is a mock reality-TV show that depicts scenes from life as a college student at GW. Our first year students will be watching these scenes and then debriefing them with a trained peer facilitator. The family session will offer an overview of the various scenarios as well as a user’s guide to GW resources that support students who are confronted with these common college-student challenges.

 

11:45 a.m.

 

Academic Advising and the Role of the Family

 

Come and meet our professional advising staff from various academic programs, and learn about the best ways to offer support for your student as they navigate their academic choices.

12:30 p.m.  

LUNCH (provided)

 

Families will eat a catered lunch with other parents of students in the same program groups.

 

1:30 p.m.

Various Programming Opportunities  
  • Student Resource Fair (meet professionals in your student’s support network)
  • Individualized appointments with Disability Student Services
  • Parenting for Optimal Student Well-Being (learn how to coach your GW student for mental, physical and emotional health)
 

3:00 p.m.

 

Panel for First Generation Families

 

If your student is a member of a first generation to attend college, come meet with the staff dedicated to help them (and their families) navigate this new landscape with confidence.

Families whose students are registered to attend the Hillel Launchpad pre-orientation program (and are scheduled to move in on 8/19) will observe the following schedule for Monday, August 19 and Tuesday, August 20:

Monday, August 19 Hillel
Time Title Description
 

1:30 p.m.

 

Various Programming Opportunities

 
  • Student Resource Fair (meet professionals in your student’s support network)
  • Individualized appointments with Disability Student Services
  • Parenting for Optimal Student Well-Being (learn how to coach your GW student for mental, physical and emotional health)
 

3:00 p.m.

 

Panel for First Generation Families

 

If your student is a member of a first generation to attend college, come meet with the staff dedicated to help them (and their families) navigate this new landscape with confidence

Tuesday, August 20 Hillel
Time Title Description
 

9:45 a.m.

 

Hillel Staff Introduction

 

A warm welcome to our new GW Hillel families and an introduction to the mentors and resources that will support students throughout their affiliation with Hillel - as GW undergrads and beyond!

 

10:00 a.m.

 

Overview of “The Series”

 

“GW: The Series” is a mock reality-TV show that depicts scenes from life as a college student at GW. Our first year students will be watching these scenes and then debriefing them with a trained peer facilitator. The family session will offer an overview of the various scenarios as well as a user’s guide to GW resources that support students who are confronted with these common college-student challenges.

 

11:00 a.m.

 

Academic Advising and the Role of the Family

 

Come and meet our professional advising staff from various academic programs, and learn about the best ways to offer support for your student as they navigate their academic choices

 

12:00 p.m.

 

Lunch (provided)

 

Our Hillel Team is ordering a lunch that is appropriate for kosher diets.

 

1:00 p.m.

 

Jewish “Adulting” at GW

 

Connect with Hillel Executive Director Adena Kirstein & Senior Jewish Educator Rabbi Dan Epstein to learn more about the approach Hillel takes to providing students the tools they need to live meaningful Jewish lives in college and beyond.

 

2:00 p.m.

 

Program Concludes

 

Families whose students are scheduled for move in on Wednesday, August 21, will use the following schedule on Wednesday, August 21 and Thursday, August 22:

Move In on Wednesday, August 21
Time Title Description
 

10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., in 2 hour incremental time slots

 

Move in to residence halls

 
 

5:00 p.m.

 

Dinner on your own

 

Please see the Buff and Blue Guide for Families for suggestions on navigating the Foggy Bottom dining scene.  (Link below.)

 

7:00 p.m.

 

NewStudent Orientation Kickoff

 

Hear from GW’s President, as well as our Dean of Students, our Orientation Coordinators and other leaders who are looking forward to welcoming you to the GW family. All students and family members welcome.

 

8:15 p.m.

 

Faculty Panel: How to Inspire your Curious Learner to Make the Most Out of College

 

Up to two family members per student are invited to join us for a faculty panel discussion on how to coach your student to be a curious learner and how to maximize their potential through their faculty resources.

 

9:15 p.m.

 

Program concludes

 
Thursday, August 22
Time Title Description
 

8:15 a.m.

 

Financial Wellness

 

This session will introduce you to all the ways your student can be financially prepared for college, from budgeting tools to financial aid deadlines for future years.

 

9:15 a.m.

 

Overview of “The Series”

 

“GW: The Series” is a mock reality-TV show that depicts scenes from life as a college student at GW. Our first year students will be watching these scenes and then debriefing them with a trained peer facilitator. The family session will offer an overview of the various scenarios as well as a user’s guide to GW resources that support students who are confronted with these common college-student challenges.

 

10:00 a.m.

 

Panel for First Generation Families

 

Get your questions answered and hear from current first-gen students and staff about resources, support, and more.

 

10:45 a.m.

 

Understanding Study Abroad Opportunities

 

Our study abroad team will present information on the vast number of opportunities for study in other countries (from week-long programs to our Global Bachelor’s Program) and how to help your student build their academic schedule to accommodate their goals. 

 

11:00 a.m.

 

Disability Support Services  (DSS) Q&A

 

Learn how your students can advocate for themselves to ensure their academic and physical differences are not just accommodated, but honored, here at GW. Individual appointments with the team are also available on a first come-first served basis.

 

11:15 a.m.

Coffee Break OR 

Careers and Internships

 

GW’s Career Services Office takes a holistic approach to assessing strengths and understanding goals as part of a student’s search for meaningful life work.  Join them as they share some of their strategies for education as well as their approaches to internships, alumni mentoring and career search.

 

12:00 p.m.

 

Parenting for Optimal Well Being

 

Learn from GW’s Colonial Health Center team of physicians and counselors how to effectively coach your GW student for mental, physical and emotional health.

 

12:45 p.m.

 

Lunch (on your own) OR Financial Aid Open House

 

Come see our new Colonial Student Services lounge, located on the ground floor of the Marvin Center, where students can come to “one-stop-shop” with their questions regarding their financial account, their registration/ transcript, and their financial aid package.

1:45 p.m.  

Academic Advising and the Role of the Family

 

Come and meet our professional advising staff from various academic programs, and learn about the best ways to offer support for your student as they navigate their academic choices

2:00 p.m.  

Disability Support Services  (DSS) Q&A

 

Learn how your students can advocate for themselves to ensure their academic and physical differences are not just accommodated, but honored, here at GW. Individual appointments with the team are also available on a first come-first served basis.

 

2:30 p.m.

 

Resource Fair OR “What to Expect When You’re Expecting a First Year Student”

 
  • Our Resource Fair offers a chance to meet all the members of your student’s support team, including Campus Security, IT, Residence Life, and more!
  • “What To Expect…” is designed for families who are sending their first or only child to college, but all are welcome. Our exclusively-student panel will tell it like it is about all aspects of student life here at GW.
3:30 p.m.  

Military-affiliated Families and Students information session 

Hear from staff in the Office of Military and Veteran Student Services to learn more about the GI Bill, involvement, and more.
 

3:30 p.m.

Dining Kickoff and Family Send-Off

Our final session for families! Come and taste all the good foods available from 50+ GW Dining partners on U Yard!  Over on Kogan Plaza, drop off a special note for your student, grab a few giveaways and take a picture with your new college student!
 

5:30 p.m.

 

Dinner on your own/depart

 

Siblings registered for the sibling program will follow the below schedule for Thursday, August 22 (sibling programming is ONLY offered on this day):

Sibling Program Thursday, August 22
Time Title Description
 

8:30 a.m.

 

Dropoff in Marvin Center begins

 

We will ask that you sign a waiver and let us know whether you wish to sign out your child or whether your child has permission to leave on their own.

 

9:00 a.m.

 

Activities Begin

The fun won’t stop!  From silent disco to arts and crafts to ultimate frisbee on U Yard, there will be something for everyone!
 

12:45 p.m.

 

Pickup for Lunch On Your Own

 

PLEASE collect your child from Marvin for lunchtime togetherness!

 

1:30 p.m.

 

Activities Resume

 

Afternoon activities include a sampling of college courses you can’t find in high school (think anthropology or philosophy!), a session on beginning the college application process from our veteran admissions staffers, and an improv comedy show as the grand finale!

 

3:30 p.m.

 

Pickup for Family Send off

 

Please pick up your children no later than 3:30pm so that everyone can enjoy the fun at the Dining Tasting and Send-Off Celebration!


Families of transfer students who are moving in on Thursday, August 22, will follow the schedule below for Thursday evening, August 22, and Friday, August 23 (transfer students and their families will attend some of the same programming):

Transfer Students Thursday, August 22
Time Title Description
 

Anytime after 10:00 a.m.

 

Move in to residence halls

 
 

5:00 p.m.

 

Dinner on your own

 
 

7:00 p.m.

 

Orientation Check-in

 
 

7:30 p.m.

 

Welcome and Orientation KickOff

 

Hear from GW’s President, as well as our Dean of Students, our Orientation Coordinators and other leaders who are looking forward to welcoming you to the GW family. All students and family members welcome.

 

8:00 p.m.

 

Program concludes

 
Transfer Students Friday, August 23
Time Title Description
 

8:30 a.m.

Check In (if did not check in on Thursday)  
 

9:00 a.m.

 

Breakfast and Resource Fair

Our Resource Fair offers a chance to meet all the members of your student’s support team, including Campus Security, IT, Residence Life, and more!

 

10:00 a.m.

 

Faculty/Staff/Student Panel

 

Hear from current GW students, staff and faculty members about campus life and student success 

 

11:00 a.m.

 

Multiple Programming Options

 
  • Colonial Student Services Tour (Q&A) (see above)
  • Disability Support Services session (see above)
  • Military-affiliated Families and Students information session 
  • Student schedule lists additional break out sessions that are available for students ONLY
 

12:00 p.m.

 

Lunch on your own

 
 

1:00 p.m.

 

Academic Advising and the Role of the Family 

PROGRAM FORMALLY SPLITS FOR STUDENTS AND PARENTS

 

Hear from current students and staff members about academics at GW, understanding advising,  and learn about the best ways to offer support for your student as they navigate their academic choices

 

3:00 p.m.

 

Family Programming Formally ends 

 

Additional resources for families planning their summer are available from Student Support and Family Engagement.

Take a look at the Buff and Blue Book:

Class Registration

Please note that first-year students will register for classes for the fall semester over the summer. Next steps and how to prepare are provided in the student portal beginning May 1. It is essential that deposited students check their portal in May for dates, deadlines, and details regarding class registration.

Transfer students can register for classes as soon as their deposit is processed. Students should check their portal and Blackboard for next steps in preparation for class registration.

When registering for classes, students will use their GWid to log into GWeb at banweb.gwu.edu.

Orientation Staff

Kendra Scott - Director, New Student OrientationKendra Scott

Director, New Student Orientation

Hometown: Alexandria, VA; currently resides in Arlington, VA

Alma Mater: James Madison University (BA, 2010, M.S. Ed, 2012)

Favorite time of year in D.C.: Cherry Blossom season and Foggy Bottom Farmers Market

#OnlyAtGW moment: I rode a SoulCycle class with Michelle Obama!

Student Coordinators

Lars - Student Coordinator

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lars L.

Hometown: Annapolis, MD

Academic Year and School: Junior - Class of 2020

Melody - Student Coordinator

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Melody A.

Hometown: Robinsville, NJ

Academic Year and School: Junior - Class of 2020

Orientation Peer Advisors

Njeri - Orientation Peer Advisor

 

 

 

 

 

Njeri A.

Hometown:  Charlotte, NC

Academic Year and School: Junior - Class of 2020, Columbian College of Arts and Sciences

Fun GW Snippet: My friends and I have movie nights in SMPA and Duques lecture halls.

Asher - Orientation Peer Advisor

 

 

 

 

 

Asher P.

Hometown: Houston, TX

Academic Year and School: Sophomore - Class of 2021, Milken Institute of Public Health

Fun GW Snippet: Hot take: a sausage, egg, and cheese on a cinnamon raisin bagel is the best GW Deli sandwich.

Alexa - Orientation Peer Advisor

Alexa V.

Hometown: Levittown, NY

Academic Year and School: Sophomore - Class of 2021, School of Engineering and Applied Science

Fun GW Snippet: I was able to visit the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center through one of my student organizations.

Jeremy - Orientation Peer Advisor

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jeremy P.

Hometown: St. Louis, MO

Academic Year and School: Junior - Class of 2020, Elliott School of International Affairs

Fun GW Snippet: For my acting class, I got the chance to attend the Helen Hayes awards, the DC version of the Tony's!

Talia - Orientation Peer Advisor

 

 

 

 

 

 

Talia H.

Hometown: Manhattan Beach, CA

Academic Year and School: Sophomore - Class of 2021, Elliott School of International Affairs

Fun GW Snippet: I got excused from classes for a week to work the final days of a gubernatorial campaign in Virginia.

Jackson - Orientation Peer Advisor

 

 

 

 

 

Jackson M.

Hometown: Lewisboro, NY

Academic Year and School: Sophomore - Class of 2021, Columbian College of Arts and Sciences

Fun GW Snippet: For my Dean's Seminar, I went to the TSA Testing Facility behind Reagan Airport.

Jan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jan N.

Hometown: Wellesley, MA

Academic Year and School: Junior - Class of 2020, Elliott School of International Affairs

Fun GW Snippet: I play club ultimate frisbee on the national mall!

Hannah - Orientation Peer Advisor

 

 

 

 

 

Hannah S.

Hometown: Smyrna, DE

Academic Year and School: Sophomore - Class of 2021, Columbian College of Arts and Sciences

Fun GW Snippet: I got to see Hillary Clinton speak at the Kennedy Center freshman year for an event honoring women who have shaken up expectations in their countries!

Danny - Orientation Peer Advisor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Danny D.

Hometown: Morristown, NJ

Academic Year and School: Sophomore - Class of 2021, Columbian College of Arts and Sciences

Fun GW Snippet: I’m sometimes the mascot!

Campus Contacts

Want to do dig a little deeper? Visit these campus offices to discover resources available to you!

Connect With Us

Share your #GW2023 pride and connect with your fellow classmates and GW at go.gwu.edu/gwsocial. You’re one step closer to creating and sharing your #OnlyAtGW moments.

For more information on the student experience, follow [email protected] on Instagram.

Students and families will receive communication from GW over the summer through our Next Stop GW email newsletter.

If you have questions or concerns, please email us at [email protected].