Students, schools gearing up for first in-person orientation since COVID-19 halted events – CBC

Schools are expecting orientation attendance to match pre-pandemic numbers

Aug 29, 2022

As the countdown to the first day of school begins, post-secondary institutions in Canada are getting ready to host their first fully in-person orientation week for incoming students — a rite of passage that was postponed for two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

For Maddie Fines, a first-year student at Trent University in Peterborough, Ont., it’s a chance for a fresh start.

“I’m really looking forward to just branching out and meeting new people,” she told CBC News.

This excitement is felt among all of those involved in orientation — from students to volunteers and staff. After two years of Zoom introductions and virtual tours, student life is finally ready to return to something more normal this fall.

Mahsa Eskandari, an associate vice-president of programming at Wilfrid Laurier University Students’ Union in Waterloo, Ont., spoke to CBC News about the importance of orientation week.

“There’s a lot of this culture that surrounds [post-secondary], especially with the orientation week. I think for a lot of people, that’s one of the most exciting times,” she said. “You come to campus and you feel the energy, you feel the space, the spirit that everyone kind of has.”

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