We know that students and families are eager for information about Oberlin’s plans for New Student Orientation. It will begin remotely on August 3.

We are excited to welcome you to campus and present a new hybrid model for delivering New Student Orientation. We believe that what we have planned will support students in making the transition to college in what we know is a challenging time.

The information presented here will give you a sense of what your commitments for the month of August will generally look like, our programming for New Student Orientation, and be helpful as your family makes plans for the rest of the summer.

Program Overview

We have provided a week-by-week overview of the schedule for the month of August.

Week 1: August 3-9

Orientation will begin remotely at 8 p.m., EST on Monday, August 3 with a welcome from President Carmen Twille Ambar. Students will also begin to meet in their PAL and ConPAL cohorts during this week.

College of Arts and Sciences and Double Degree Program students participating in the Critical Skills for New Obies Winter Term program will be expected to attend a total of 5–6 hours of programming throughout the week. Conservatory students will meet for 2-3 hours. This programming will take place during weekday evenings, eastern time, and the weekend will remain free.

Week 2: August 10-16

New students meet with their academic advisors and register for courses. Students will also continue mandatory meetings with their PAL and ConPAL cohorts to prepare for registration and begin preparations for traveling to campus.

Additional and essential programming will take place during the mornings and afternoons. The total time commitment will continue to be about 5-6 hours, and the weekend will remain completely free.

Week 3: August 17-23

Students work in cohorts to discuss and develop shared community norms around living together on campus.

Week 4: August 24-30

Welcome Week! Students will spend the week settling into their residence halls, building a routine on campus, spending time with their PAL and ConPAL cohorts, and more.

Additional details to come about which elements of this week will be in person.


Please note that many August sessions—including all sessions led by PALs—are required for both New Student Orientation and the winter term program entitled Critical Skills for New Obies.  

All incoming arts and sciences students are required to participate in this program. Double Degree Program students are invited but not required to participate; however, they are still required to attend many of the sessions as part of Orientation, regardless of whether they register for winter term credit.

Orientation for International Students

Oberlin’s Orientation for International Students provides opportunities for international newcomers to meet one another. Targeted programs and events will ease your transition to Oberlin and living in the United States.

Contact the International Student Resource Center, whose staff can assist you with everything from Visa status to getting around campus.

New Student Orientation Schedule

Although New Student Orientation will convene remotely this year, you’ll have experiences and information to aid in your your transition to college life and jumpstart your process of building community among other first-years.

From meeting your PAL to advising sessions for financial aid and academic courses, and trivia games and affinity group meetings, Orientation will have something for everyone.

The schedule is available online or via the Guidebook App. Download to your laptop or mobile device and check out events at your convenience. Use it to stay up to date with activities, meetings, auditions, and more.

Once you’ve downloaded the app, open ‘‘Oberlin Orientation 2020.’’

Please direct questions about New Student Orientation to Director of Orientation Tina Zwegat at tzwegat@oberlin.edu or 440-775-8167.

View or download the Orientation Schedule
Get the Guidebook app

Orientation Videos

Missed a virtual presentation? No worries. Browse our collection of recorded New Student Orientation videos and view a session of your choice.