New students will have many opportunities to connect with each other and experience all that Oberlin offers through a series of specially designed orientation programs.

group of students sitting around a table eating dinner.
PALs have dinner together in the StudiOC large meeting room. Photo credit: Walter Novak

Peer Advising Leaders

Once you arrive in Oberlin, you will meet your assigned PAL—Peer Advising Leader—from either the College of Arts and Sciences or Oberlin Conservatory.

These PALs are trained to support you during your transition to college life—how to get around campus, offices to frequent for academic advising and personal assistance, best places to study alone or with a group, where to buy (or attain for free) essentials, how to manage your time, and much, much more. PALs also help first-year students use Oberlin’s academic and developmental advising system to its full potential.

Through our PAL Program, we want to:

  • improve the quality of students experience, learning, retention, and success
  • support students in learning to take advantage of the great range of educational opportunities and developmental support at Oberlin
  • help students gain skills in interacting across our diverse student body within a supportive environment

Essentially, PALs want to show you how Oberlin works so that you can fulfill your academic goals and flourish both developmentally and socially while you’re here.

Meet the 2019-2020 PALs:

College PALs

Community Engagement Institute

The Oberlin community reaches beyond its 440-acre campus. We regularly interact with the cultural, music, arts, education, and community organizations and programs in Oberlin and Lorain County.

The Community Engagement Institute is the first of many opportunities provided throughout the school year that links new students with local organizations in Oberlin. 

To learn more, contact the Bonner Center at or 440-775-8055 .

Discover Community Engagement Institute

Connect Cleveland

students sort items in distribution center.
Students sort repurposed medial items for Medwish  Center.
Photo credit: William Bradford


As part of Orientation week, you’ll spend a day in Cleveland learning about its arts and culture, and its myriad opportunities for future internships, service, and employment. You’ll also participate in a site-specific service project.

Discover Connect Cleveland