New Graduate Student Orientation
New Graduate Student Orientation

With summer half over and the fall semester just around the corner, many of you are either getting ready to relocate to Berkeley or are already settling in locally.

For new graduate students, beginning your studies on a new campus may be both exciting and overwhelming. You may wonder: Where are the recreation centers on campus? What benefits do I get with the university health insurance plan? How do I apply for California residency?

For answers to these questions and more, attend New Graduate Student Orientation (NGSO) on August 22 — your one-stop event to learn what you need to know to get your life as a graduate student up and running.

“NGSO provides vital information on a variety of topics,” says Ellen Gobler, Senior Public Events Manager in the Graduate Division, “including student health services, professional development resources, accessing campus libraries and other resources. Workshops offer insights into, for example, getting effective mentoring, maintaining good mental and physical health, and ways you can advocate for yourself and others. We’re also excited to announce that NGSO is going paperless this year – students can download The GradBook guide on the UC Berkeley Events App to get access to the NGSO schedule, handouts, and graduate events year-round.”

ngso meet new friends
New friends in the making!

Following welcoming remarks by the Dean of the Graduate Division and President of the Graduate Assembly, workshops will be held in both the morning and afternoon. Sessions will address a wide range of topics, such as navigating fellowships and funding sources, and building a more inclusive and empowering community for all.

If you need to polish your writing skills (and who doesn’t?), you may want to check out the Academic Writing workshop, a popular staple of past orientations that introduces you to academic norms for writing papers, theses, and dissertations; applying for grants; and preparing articles for publication. Also offered are workshops highlighting professional development services that will help you plan ahead to prepare for careers within and beyond academia.

The day will also provide opportunities to complete the Mandatory Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment Prevention training, a requirement for all incoming graduate students. Four sessions will be held throughout the day; students are encouraged to RSVP in advance, as space is limited. (Some colleges, schools, and departments are holding sessions as part of their own orientation activities; a list of those groups can be found here.)

This year’s NGSO will be followed immediately by GradFest, a collaborative student activities and resource fair tailored to graduate students, organized by partners in Graduate Division, the LEAD Center, and the Graduate Assembly. “GradFest came about after working with various graduate student and seeing a need to demystify the campus resources available to them and create opportunities for socialization outside of their programs,” explained Shirley Giraldo, coordinator in the LEAD Center. “The goal is for graduate students to develop a sense of community among their peers and become familiar with crucial resources available to them.”

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About Leo Zou

Leo is a bilingual journalist who studied at Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. Before joining the program, he had worked for three years in Beijing as a staff reporter with China's national newspaper, covering a wide range of topics from social unrest to business development.