What is Prepare?
Prepare is the Office of Global Learning's free preorientation program for international first-year and transfer undergraduates. It gives you an early start on your Cornell experience by introducing you to important resources for international students and helping you make friends from around the world—all before Cornell's new student orientation. We're happy to talk with you about any questions or concerns before or during Prepare.
Announcing Prepare 2023!
Prepare 2023 will have online and in-person formats. You will participate in two virtual synchronous sessions in July (July 24 and 25 from 8:00-10:00 a.m. ET). In-person Prepare runs on Cornell's Ithaca campus from Sunday, August 13 through Tuesday, August 15, allowing you to move in and get settled before the start of new student orientation the evening of August 15.
This year, Prepare is offered to you at no cost. Sign up by July 16 to make lasting friendships and settle into Cornell!
Jump to Prepare 2023 Logistics
Questions? Email us.
Why attend Prepare?
Past participants have called Prepare a foundational part of their experience as new Cornell students. It helped them to transition to life in the U.S. and at Cornell, and it gave them a base of friendship that continued through their Cornell career. This year, we expect to welcome over 300 students!
Time to Adjust
University orientation for the entire first-year class begins before classes start. Prepare gives you a chance to learn more about life as a college student in the U.S. before plunging into other orientation activities and academic tasks. You’ll learn about the U.S. academic system, Cornell's student life and traditions, and campus opportunities for the international community. Prepare gives you a chance to ask questions and discuss issues with staff from across the university, including academic departments, health services, and campus police.
Meet Upper-Level International Students
Upper-level international students will join Prepare sessions to answer all of your questions and give you the inside track on campus life. They will serve as your mentors and guides to life as an international student at Cornell.
Memorable Program Offerings
Here are some Prepare events to look forward to:
- Cornell Essentials: Immigration, health and wellness, career services, and more
- Cornell campus tour / scavenger hunt
- Casino night (no real money, but very real prizes)
- Small group and mentor sessions with upper-level international students
- Story Circles intercultural workshop (as used by UNESCO)
- Meals and social activities with other new international students
Watch 2022 Orientation Videos
- August 14 video: Immigration, academic integrity, career services, and more
- August 15 video: Wellness, community spaces, inclusion, and more
Prepare 2023 Logistics
If you're living on campus in fall 2023, you should plan to check in for Prepare and move in to your assigned room for the year between 1:00-5:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, August 13. If you arrive before 1:00 p.m. ET on August 13, you will not be allowed to move into your residence hall. You'll need to identify off-campus accommodations until Prepare check-in and move-in (1:00–5:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, August 13).
Students living off campus in fall 2023 will be expected to check in to Prepare between 1:00–5:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, August 13.
Check out the International Student Union's survival guide with tips on how to get from New York City’s John F. Kennedy airport to Cornell’s Ithaca campus.
Cornell is committed to providing universal access to all events. Please let us know on the registration form of any accommodations you require in order to participate fully in Prepare.
If family is accompanying you to Ithaca, please be sure that they make their own lodging arrangements at a hotel, as the Prepare program is unable to accommodate non-participants. Hotels fill up quickly in August, so it is best to book your lodging as soon as possible.