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Looking for orientation for international graduate and professional students? See the Orientation for Graduate and Professional Students page.

Watch 2022 Orientation Videos

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. 

Sneak Peak Prepare 2023!

Prepare 2023 will have online and in-person portions. You will watch a set of short online videos and participate in two virtual synchronous sessions in July. In-person Prepare runs on Cornell’s Ithaca campus several days before the start of regular New Student Orientation.

You'll have time to move in and get settled before the start of new student orientation. Sign up to make lasting friendships and settle into Cornell. We expect to welcome over 300 students in Prepare.

Read "Why attend Prepare?" below to find out more about what Prepare offers. We're happy to talk with you about any questions or concerns before or during Prepare. We can't wait to meet you!

Check back for a link to register in spring 2023!

Jump to 2023 Fees and Logistics

Questions? Email us.

Prepare 2018 participants asking questions at panel discussion
Prepare 2021 games

Why attend Prepare?

Past participants say Prepare was a foundational part of their experience as new Cornell students. Attending Prepare helped them to transition to life in the U.S. and at Cornell and gave them a base of friendship that continued through their time at Cornell.

Our typical participation in Prepare is about 300 new students. Join us for a smooth start to your Cornell career and the chance to make friends for a lifetime!

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
  • Small group and mentor sessions with upper-level international students
  • Story Circles intercultural workshop
  • Cornell campus scavenger hunt
  • Sports and games nights
  • Meals and social time with other new international students
Prepare 2021 students by the lake at Taughannock Falls
Prepare 2021 Taughannock lake

2023 Fees and Logistics

Paying for Prepare

Check back for more information

Prepare Logistics


More information to come. 


Prepare will pay for and provide all meals during the duration of the program August 12. More information to come. 


You are expected to arrange your own transportation to Cornell’s Ithaca campus in time for move-in and check-in. More information to come 

All Prepare programming is within walking distance of student dorms. 

Accessibility Accommodations

Cornell University 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.

Prepare Schedule

Coming Soon! 
Prepare 2021 umbrellas
Prepare 2021 picnic

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between Prepare and Cornell first-year orientation?
Prepare is a pre-orientation program for incoming international undergraduate students. Prepare gives you a chance to meet other international students and get your bearings before you begin campus orientation activities and academic tasks.
Is Prepare available on video?
Prepare 2022 is a hybrid event, with two half-day virtual synchronous sessions and the remainder of the events held on campus and in the Ithaca community. If you'd like to get a preview of Prepare or if you're unable to attend, check out these videos from Prepare 2021:
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 transfer student?

Yes! Prepare is open to all new international first-year 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 will receive housing assignments from Cornell Housing before the start of the program and will be able to arrive on the date and time indicated on your registration.

More questions? Email us.