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Pre-Orientation Programs

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Stanford offers the following pre-orientation programs for first-year and new transfer students. In order to attend any of these programs, students must register in advance. All programs will conclude by the first day of New Student Orientation (NSO) so that you can participate fully in the programs and activities of NSO. More information with registration instructions, application deadlines, and program details will be shared during the summer.

Cardinal Service Pre-Orientation Experience

Students gathering in front of brightly colored mural.

Program Dates: September 11-13, 2021.The Cardinal Service Pre-orientation Experience is a new pre-orientation opportunity that gives students the chance to get to know one another, learn more about Stanford’s neighboring communities, and to better understand how students can do community service in their time at Stanford. The experience focuses on visits to local nonprofits and community organizations and activities designed to help students reflect on what service, community partner, and issue might be right for them to pursue. Students participating in this inaugural year will help give the program its permanent name. Registration will open in early summer. The participation fee will be scaled according to financial need, such that those with the greatest need will be able to participate at no cost.

Application Period: June 21-28. Program details and link to register. Participants for this program will be assigned September 11 as their move-in date.


First-Generation/Low-Income Student Orientation

Three students smiling at camera, holding sign that says, "FLI at Stanford"

Program Dates: September 11-13, 2021. FLI-SO is a pre-orientation program offered to incoming undergraduate students who identify as first-generation and/or low-income. This program is focused on supporting the transition to Stanford with an emphasis on research and experience; specifically speaking into the unique challenges that FLI students may face as they enter a university setting. Information and registration forms will be provided during the summer. There is no additional cost to participate.

Application Period: Open June 21. Program details and link to register. Participants for this program will be assigned September 11 as their move-in date.


International Student Orientation (ISO)

RA greets new student outside dorm on move-in day.

Program Dates: September 11-13, 2021. All new international students for whom the Bechtel International Center issues immigration documents are required to attend ISO as part of their transition to Stanford. U.S. citizens, permanent residents living abroad, and any student for whom Bechtel does not issue a visa should not attend ISO, though you may request to attend on the Approaching Stanford Form and provide an explanation. These requests received through the Approaching Stanford Forms will be reviewed and approved by the Bechtel International Center staff. Eligible students will receive additional information this summer. There is no additional cost to participate.

Registration: Approaching Stanford Forms. Participants for this program will be assigned September 11 as their move-in date.


Neurodiversity Transition Orientation

Wilbur Complex with palm tree in the foreground.

Program Dates: September 11-13, 2021. By participating in the Neurodiversity Transition Orientation, students will gain knowledge and receive information on topics including campus resources, residential life and independent living skills, transportation, community resources, social support, and an introduction to neurodiversity. In addition to the Stanford Neurodiversity Project staff, peer mentors will support students for the duration of the program. Applications open in the summer and there is no additional cost to attend.

Application Period: Open June 21. Program details and link to register. Participants for this program will be assigned September 11 as their move-in date.


Stanford Native Immersion Program (SNIP)

Large group of SNIP participants smiling, wearing matching red shirts.

Program Dates: September 9-14, 2021. SNIP is a fun-filled experience designed to help incoming native first-year and transfer students adjust to life on the Farm. Program information and registration forms will be sent to eligible students during the summer. There is no additional cost to attend.

Application Period: Summer. Program details. Participants for this program will be assigned September 14 (morning) as their move-in date.


Stanford Pre-Orientation Trips (SPOT)

Group of students on SPOT hiking on rocky terrain.

Program Dates: September 8-13, 2021. SPOT provides immersive experiences that takes place the week before New Student Orientation and are designed to ease the transition of students to life at Stanford. It is designed to ease the transition of students to life at Stanford as well as foster Stanford identity, community, and personal growth through activity, self-reflection, and mentorship. 

Application Period: June 11-20. Program details and link to register. Participants for this program will be assigned September 13 as their move-in date.