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Orientation 项目

Orientation is an essential part of the new student experience at Smith College. The program provides students with information and resources critical to their overall success in college. The week before the start of classes, all new first-year, 转移, visiting/exchange students and Ada Comstock Scholars gather to learn about the college and get to know each other. All new students should participate fully in the entire Orientation program.

Two students holding signs that say "Welcome to Smith College" and "We can help!" on move-in day
Photo by Jim Gipe/Pivot Media

About Orientation

Fall Orientation will take place from August 29–September 2, 2024.

What to Expect

The Orientation program empowers new students to develop a resilient mindset by teaching them to identify and utilize resources that will improve their college experience. 学生 become active members of their Orientation teams where they learn to both contribute freely and 庆祝 the contributions of others. 最后, Orientation provides opportunities for students to find joy, explore their interests, and begin fulfilling and positive relationships in the Smith community.

学生 will be introduced to their faculty liberal arts advisers (LAAs) to create a plan for their academic career. They will also have several occasions to meet faculty from all departments in order to learn more about the myriad programs of study available to them.

To help students become respectful and responsible members of the Smith community, Orientation includes discussions about:

  • living in a diverse community
  • supporting health and wellness
  • academic integrity and values
  • student rights and responsibilities

Of course, Orientation also facilitates recreation and social connection. 学生 can expect plenty of events, both scheduled and impromptu, that allow them to make friends, 工艺, 庆祝, 傻了, and settle in at Smith.


All new students are divided into teams led by student Orientation Leaders (OLs). 团队 will meet repeatedly throughout Orientation, collecting points by attending events together and completing quizzes and challenges. The winning team will be recognized at an end-of-Orientation celebration. In their teams, students have built-in buddies for meals and events as well as a dedicated support system as they go through the Orientation process together.

更多的 information about teams will be provided directly to students in July via email.


New students will spend their first Saturday at Smith taking part in 组的一天. Most students take part in on-campus 组的一天 sessions, while some students selected by random lottery are able to participate in Outdoor Adventure groups.

组的一天 Sessions

The sessions accelerate students’ familiarization with campus partners by getting them involved directly with the staff who run centers and offices at Smith. 学生 will spend the whole day with their teams and take part in three different 组的一天 sessions.

Examples of 组的一天 Sessions

Making zines with the Smith College 库 and Special Collections
Introduction to safety and self-defense techniques with Campus Safety
Hands-on plant propagation with the Botanic Garden
And so much more!

The Smith Outdoor Adventure Program (OA) will offer a number of outdoor-focused group programs during 组的一天. In order to ensure both the engagement and safety of all participants, Outdoor Adventure group capacity is limited.

Detailed information about OA programs, including the OA Lottery Opt-In Form, will be provided directly to students in July via email. For a basic overview of the process, see below:

  • OA groups are filled through a random lottery process.
  • 学生 will have a window of time to complete the OA Lottery Opt-In Form.
  • On this form, they will indicate which groups they are willing to participate in.
  • When the opt-in form closes, students will be randomly selected and placed in OA groups until capacity is reached.
  • 学生 who are not placed in OA groups will take part in the general 组的一天 sessions with their teams.

Because OA capacity is limited, students are asked to be fully committed to participating before they opt-in to the lottery. No-shows and late drop-outs effectively reduce the program capacity and deprive others of the opportunity to participate.

If you do not attend your OA group on Saturday, you will not be permitted to participate in the 组的一天 as an alternative activity. Exceptions will be made only in extreme circumstances. Concerns should be directed to The Orientation Team at as soon as they arise.

Some students who participate in pre-season training and activities for certain fall sports will not participate in 组的一天. Pre-season athletes will receive directions from their coaches regarding Saturday activities.

Preparing for Orientation

Packing List

For general guidance on packing for college life, consult the Office of Residence Life’s “For New 学生” section of their FAQ

Temperatures in late August in Western Massachusetts can reach as high as 90°F/32°C and as low as 55°F/13°C, but generally remain around 80°F/ 6°C. August can also see some of the highest rainfall of the year. Please consider this when packing for arrival.

For the Orientation experience, all new students are encouraged to pack at least the following: 

  • Warm weather clothes that allow for movement (walking, running)
  • Comfortable shoes 
  • 太阳镜
  • 防晒霜
  • A reusable water bottle
  • Rain gear (waterproof boots/shoes, rain jacket and/or umbrella)
  • Light layers for evenings/nights (sweater, flannel, etc.)

For Outdoor Adventure (OA) participants, please consult the materials that OA program directors send directly to participants for a detailed packing list.


Communication about Orientation and the First Year Experience will be sent directly to students via their Smith College email address. 学生 must check this inbox regularly for important information about campus and academic life. When communicating with a Smith College office as an enrolled student, students should use their Smith email address in order to properly identify themselves and avoid their message being marked as spam.

A group of students pick out their first-year plants in the greenhouse.

Pre-Orientation 项目

If you’re an international student, a first-generation student, a pre-season athlete, or a student committed to maintaining culturally inclusive communities, you could sign up for one of our pre-orientation programs.

Learn about these helpful programs and how to register.

View the 项目

Additional Information

Family Orientation

Orientation isn’t just for new students! On move-in day—August 29, 2024—parents and families are encouraged to explore the campus and meet some of the staff and faculty who will help to shape their student’s college experience. 家庭 spend the morning with their students as they check in, move into their rooms, 吃午餐, and hear the first presidential address of the year. In the afternoon, while students are getting filled in on the essentials of campus and academic life, families can partake in walking tours or one of several sessions tailored to their curiosity or concerns from 2–5:30 p.m. For a full list of events and sessions open to families, please see the Family Orientation schedule below:

The fall 2024 Family Orientation schedule will be posted in early August.

Smith Reads

What to Expect

All new students participate in Smith Reads by reading the same assigned text before arriving on campus. This allows students to participate in their first shared academic dialogue at Smith, which happens in the form of informal chats with peers, facilitated small group discussions, and a large-scale speaking engagement with the Smith Reads author.

This Year’s Smith Reads

The fall 2024 Smith Reads text will be announced soon. 检查 the Smith Reads page for updates this summer.

Contact The Orientation Team

Clark Hall 101

Smith College

Northampton, MA 01063