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 21 — your one-stop event to learn what you need to know to get your life as a graduate student up and running. Please RSVP!

“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 services, 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 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 Vice Provost of Graduate Studies and Dean of the Graduate Division and President of the Graduate Assembly, workshops will be held in both the morning and afternoon. 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.)

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.

“Every semester UC Berkeley welcomes new graduate and professional students excited to begin a new academic and professional journey,” explained Deepak Sharma, Coordinator in the LEAD Center. “GradFest serves as a community-building welcome to acquaint new students with campus resources, student organizations and student projects. It also allows for a facilitated experience for students to meet across various academic programs. This bi-annual event connects students to the campus early on and builds the Cal spirit in the graduate community.”  

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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.