Welcome to the NUS Freshman Orientation portal. Here, you will find information concerning Orientation activities held at NUS this year.
Orientation is an optional and voluntary student activity organised by students for students. It is not an academic activity and there has not been any concrete correlation between participation in Orientation and improvement of academic performance specifically.
Notwithstanding, NUS believes Orientation is beneficial to students for the following reasons:
1. Holistic University experience.
NUS strongly believes that students benefit not only from academic activities offered by the University. Indeed, the University experience should entail much more. Valuable learning takes place outside the classroom, often in student activities that allow students to interact with each other in different settings to learning people skills and other soft skills that will be important to their overall success in the long term.
We therefore think that it is apt that students start their University experience outside the classroom, before they go into the classroom when the official semester starts. Orientation may thus serve as an important signal to students to value both in and outside the classroom learning to benefit fully from a holistic University experience.
2. Peer Support
For many freshmen, transitioning into University may not be entirely smooth. The NUS education demands students to be self-directed learners. It demands a heightened level of choice-making, prioritisation and resourcefulness that may be new – and indeed even stressful – to some freshmen, but is needed for the students’ future lives of rapid disruptions and lifelong learning.
To ease their transition into the University, we believe it would be beneficial to freshmen to form their own personal networks of peer support, to complement the family and other sources of support that they may already have. Through their interactions with peers and seniors during Orientation, we believe freshmen would be able to identify those whom they could go to for counsel and support.
This peer support is complemented by more official support that the University provides, such as academic advising in the Faculties/Schools, the University Counselling Services, and the Office of Student Affairs.
3. Community building.
Orientation marks the freshmen’s entry into the University community, and reminds them to participate fully in this community and to contribute to it.
4. Leadership development.
Orientation is organised by students, who are guided by the University’s rules and regulations pertaining to Orientation in particular, and student activities and student conduct in general. It gives the student organisers the invaluable benefit (as well as heavy responsibility) of organising a large scale activity while taking care of the well-being of the freshmen.
The student organisers often sacrifice their holiday or internship opportunities to devote their time and effort to Orientation.
As we rely on these student organisers (as they know best what freshmen want and need), Orientation has limited capacity. Those who are not successful in getting a place in Orientation need not be too disappointed. Throughout the University calendar, there are many other activities that can offer all students a holistic University experience, and opportunities to find peer support, as well as participate in and contribute to the NUS community.
I wish NUS Freshman Orientation every success in achieving its important objectives.
Associate Professor Peter Pang
Dean of Students