As the summer draws to an end and the new academic year gets closer, one of my favourite events of the year is nearly here! This year, Orientation Week is going to take place from the 11th to the 15th September and is a great opportunity for new international and some home students to find their way around Sheffield, meet new people and settle into University life in a relaxed and supportive environment before the busier Intro Week.
Writing from the experience of being both a student participant and an Orientation Ambassador, here are just a few of my tips for things that you shouldn’t miss during this week!
1. Make some new friends from all over the world:
One of the greatest parts of Orientation Week is the sheer number of new students that will be arriving at the university and the new friendships that can be made! From local students commuting in from Sheffield to students arriving from Australia, the people you meet during Orientation Week could be from anywhere!
2. Take a student led tour of the SU, Campus and Diamond Library:
Taking one of these tours is a great way of getting to know the most important buildings around the University without getting lost! Being led around by a student also gives you the opportunity to ask direct questions to a current student and also teaches you small tips for certain buildings – for example, you’ll need to swipe a student card to get into the university libraries.
3. Get ready to fast-track student registration:
If you are an international student who is coming to Sheffield on a visa then you can get your documents checked during Orientation Week and be fast-tracked for registration the following week. Save time queueing and get your paperwork done!
4. Get a ticket for the Interactive Challenge (Monday 11th September 2017):
One of the biggest events of the week, the Interactive Challenge is a “fast-paced combination of quiz questions and tactical challenges”. Whether you come along with newly made friends or come along to meet new people, there’s a challenge for everyone with some great prizes up for grabs!
5. Attend some Information Talks:
From workshops on how to manage your money to learning about Tier 4 visa restrictions and British culture, the Information Talks are a great way to get to know what services are available from the university, as well as where to find them!
6. Try an ice-breaker session or subject café:
These are some sessions run by student ambassadors where the majority of students do not know each other. Everyone is new and it’s a great opportunity to get to know new people over a few drinks or chilled games. Don’t worry if your English isn’t perfect or you’re feeling a bit shy – everyone is in a similar situation!
7. Take part in Traditional Ceilidh dancing (Wednesday 13th September 2017):
Try something new and be guided through a set of traditional Ceilidh (pronounced “kay-lee”) dance moves. No previous dancing experience is necessary and the Ceilidh night is always a relaxed and fun evening of action! (Remember to bring some comfortable shoes!)
8. Have a chilled evening and watch a film for free:
After a busy day full of activities, why not have a relaxed evening watching one of the Harry Potter films (for free!) in the Students’ Union’s very own cinema. It’s a great way of meeting new people but also in a calmer atmosphere. Don’t forget to bring your own snacks!
9. Explore the city on your own or with new friends:
Of course, not all of your life at university will be based in university buildings. Why not use some spare time to explore other areas of Sheffield? The city centre has a wide range of shops to buy new items for your new accommodation, West Street is full of lively student-filled restaurants and bars and the Peak District offers a traditional English countryside experience. This year, there will also be a Selfie Challenge run by the university which means that you can explore new parts of the City but also be in with the chance of winning some great prizes!
10. End the week at the Celebration Evening (Friday 15th September 2017):
The Celebration Evening is always a big event at the end of Orientation Week and is always a great opportunity to spend time with new friends (and a lot of familiar faces), celebrating your first few days at the University!
*Note: For full details on all the events that are running during Orientation Week this year, please look in the Orientation Week Booklet in your Registration Packs and is available online here.