University orientations: what to expect? |

You’ve finally gotten into the university of your choice, but now there’s another choice you have to make: freshman orientations. It’s billed as a fun-and-games overnight event to foster relationships for the next 3-4 years of your life.

While you can opt out of these orientation events, most people choose to attend them. And for those who do, here are the basics you’ll need to know:

There are are 3 basic types of orientation programmes

There are hall camps, faculty camps, and student organisation camps, each organised by a different committee.

It can be organised by a huge body, like the Student’s Union, so it covers all students. Some are organised by CCAs, so joining an orientation here means you’ll get to meet other people who are interested in the same things as you, but come from different faculties.

If it’s organised by faculty, then you’ll get to meet all your classmates and make friends before the semester starts. It’ll be a great time to get to know your seniors, who can give you tips on surviving the course.

If you’re staying on campus, hall camps are a great way for you to familiarise yourself with the students and the facilities in this communal environment.

Orientation camp duration

Held over the summer holiday period, these orientation camps normally take place over 2-4 days each. The camps usually happen back to back, so in theory, you can attend 3 consecutive camps… but be aware that doing so could super tiring.

This is because during one orientation camp, you can expect to have little sleep and lots of action.

Your fees for orientation

Some orientations are mandatory, but there are plenty that are optional. Fees for these orientation camps may amount to $50, so you’ll have to choose which one you’ll want to attend. Check out each orientation camp to see what the costs are, and what they offer if you have to choose just one.

Most of these camps are first-come-first served, and all applications must be made online.

What to expect

Depending on the orientation camp you pick, they can take place either on campus or at locations like Sentosa, to bring in a bit of fun.

Each camp usually has its own theme – some are charitable, like NUS’s Rag and Flag, while others are more about games, like NTU’s Death Match (ADM faculty) and some are about food, like SMU’s Icon Camp.

Expect a lot of team-building activities like passing ping pong balls or balancing games, as well as a lot of close boy-girl contact (it’s meant to be embarrassing after all). After the humiliating orientation games in years past, schools are taking an active role in moderating the level of acceptance.

Whether they’re all about team challenges, truth-or-dare games, or individual games, they’re meant to foster closer connections to your camp-mates. Throughout all the fun and games, the GLs will be taking care of participants.

The camps often see many types of personalities – from the shy ones, to the super enthusiastic ones, to the camwhores – so it’s a great way to find your tribe. Plus, you’ll get a commemorative t-shirt to remember your time!