Skip to main content


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

What is Prepare?

Prepare is the Office of Global Learning's pre-orientation program for international first-year and transfer undergraduates. Prepare 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 can't wait to meet you! We're happy to talk with you about any questions or concerns before or during Prepare.

Announcing Prepare 2022!

Prepare 2022 has a hybrid format. You will watch a short set of online videos and participate in two virtual synchronous sessions on August 3–4. Then join new students from around the world on campus August 13–16. By attending Prepare, you'll have time to move in and get settled before new student orientation begins on August 17. 

Important Dates

  • August 3–4 (8:30–10:30 a.m. ET): Virtual Prepare programming
  • Saturday, August 13: Campus housing move-in and Prepare registration 8 am - 1 pm. First on-campus programming begins in the evening. If your transportation requires you to arrive before August 13, please email us.
  • August 14–16: More Prepare! Prepare ends in the afternoon on August 16.
  • Wednesday, August 17: Cornell orientation begins in the afternoon.

View the Prepare 2022 schedule (tentative).

Sign me up now!

Registration closes at 11:59 p.m. ET on July 8.


Jump to 2022 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 200 to 250 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
  • Picnic and hike at Taughannock Falls State Park
  • Meals, sports and games nights, and social time with other new international students
Prepare 2021 students by the lake at Taughannock Falls
Prepare 2021 Taughannock lake

2022 Fees and Logistics

Paying for Prepare

The registration fee for Prepare 2022 is $200. Students living on campus pay an additional $96 for early move-in. The cost of Prepare will be charged to your Cornell account and appear on your bursar bill.
If you're an international student receiving Cornell financial aid, your aid package will cover the cost of Prepare. If you have specific questions about your financial aid, please reach out to the Office of Financial Aid. We do not currently have additional funding to help non-aided students cover the cost of Prepare.

Prepare Logistics



Prepare participants should plan to check-in for Prepare and move in to their on-campus housing between 8 am - 1 pm on Saturday, August 13. Cornell Housing will send a message to Prepare students in July with instructions to sign up for their move-in time. 

Students arriving on August 12 will soon be able to request an early move-in through the Housing portal. Students arriving after 1 pm on August 13 can still be accommodated, and Prepare will provide further instructions soon.

Students living off-campus in the fall must check-in to Prepare between 8 am and 1 pm on August 13.

View the Prepare 2022 schedule (tentative).


August 13: Prepare will provide dinner.

August 14: Prepare will provide breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

August 15: Use your Cornell Dining meal plan for breakfast and dinner*. Lunch is a picnic provided by Prepare.

August 16: Use your Cornell Dining meal plan for breakfast and dinner*. Lunch is a picnic provided by Prepare.

*Students not enrolled for a Cornell meal plan may purchase meals individually at the entrance of the dining hall, or they may choose to eat off-campus.


You are expected to arrange your own transportation to Cornell’s Ithaca campus in time for move-in and check-in on August 13.  

All Prepare programming is within walking distance of student dorms except the Taughannock Falls picnic, for which buses are provided (included in registration fee).

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. Register now!


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

Check out the Prepare 2022 schedule (tentative).

Sign me up!

Registration closes at 11:59 p.m. ET on July 8. Register now!

Calling All Volunteers

Are you an international undergraduate interested in volunteering for Prepare? Incoming international students rely on help and guidance from current students like you. Opportunities as a volunteer include leading breakout sessions, speaking on a student panel, and serving as a peer mentor. You must be at least in your second year. The deadline to register as a volunteer is Wednesday, July 20.

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.