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? Where are the libraries?
For answers to these questions and more, attend the New Graduate Student Orientation on August 23 — your one-stop event to learn what you need to know to get your life as a graduate student up and running.
“The NGSO provides vital information on a variety of topics,” says Ellen Gobler, Senior Public Events Manager in the Graduate Division, “including student health services, establishing residency, and campus libraries and resources. Workshops offer insights into, for example, getting effective mentoring, maintaining good mental and physical health, and ways to relax and take a break.”
Following welcoming remarks by the Chancellor, Dean of the Graduate Division, President of the Graduate Assembly, and keynote speaker Professor Kinch Hoekstra of the Department of Political Science, workshops will be held in both the morning and afternoon, before and after lunch. 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 staple of past orientations that introduces you to applying for grants, academic norms for writing theses and dissertations, 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.”