Skip to main content

Coronavirus Updates: Visit Cornell’s Coronavirus Resources and Updates for campus-wide information. Visit COVID-19 FAQ for Cornell's International Community for summer resources, immigration information, visa status, and more.


August 17-20, 2020



What is Prepare?

Prepare is the Office of Global Learning's pre-orientation program for incoming undergraduates. We encourage all new international undergrads to arrive in Ithaca before Cornell's new student orientation to attend Prepare.

Prepare gives you an early start on your Cornell experience. You'll learn about resources to help you settle in at Cornell and make friends from around the world. We can't wait to meet you!

Prepare 2018 participants asking questions at panel discussion
Prepare 2018 volunteers answer participant questions

Time to Adjust

University orientation for the entire first-year class begins at the end of the week before classes start. Prepare gives you a chance to recover from your jet lag 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.

Prepare 2019 students hiking at Taughannock Falls
Prepare 2019 students at Cayuga Lake

Meet Upper-Level International and U.S. Students

International and U.S. upperclassmen will be at Prepare sessions to answer all of your questions and give you the inside track on campus life.

Prepare is not all work and no play! The program includes fun social activities and time to explore campus and the Ithaca area. Join us for a smooth start to your Cornell career and the chance to make friends for a lifetime.

What is the difference between Prepare and Cornell freshman orientation?

Prepare is a pre-orientation program just for international undergraduate students held Monday through Thursday of the week before classes start. University orientation for the entire freshman class begins Friday of that week, so Prepare gives you a chance to settle in and begin to get your bearings before you plunge into other orientation activities and academic tasks.

Can I attend Prepare if I’m a graduate student?

Prepare is for undergraduates only. If you are an international graduate or professional student, you can attend International Graduate and Professional Student Orientation. In addition, be sure to check with the Graduate School and your field of study to see what other programs you can attend.

Can I attend Prepare if I’m an international exchange or transfer student?

Yes! Prepare is open to all new international freshmen, exchange, and transfer students.

Can I attend Prepare if I’m an American who has been living abroad?

American students who have been living abroad and would like extra time to adjust to life in the United States are welcome to attend Prepare.

Where will I stay during Prepare?

You can move into your on-campus housing the first day of the Prepare program: Monday, August 17, 2020.

What will my parents do while I’m attending Prepare?

Prepare activities are designed for students, and you will be quite busy during the program. We'll give your parents information about activities and sight-seeing around Ithaca. Your parents will not be able to stay with you in the Cornell residence hall, so we suggest they make arrangements for lodging at Ithaca-area hotels and motels as soon as possible, since availability is limited.

More Questions? Email us.


Next Up: Orientation for Graduate and Professional Students