Orientation day or orientation week is a gold mine for students. Also known as Freshers Week in the UK, it’s the one time of the year when you can try a host of new experiences, food, and explore your new campus in its entirety.
The best part? Most — if not all — of these experiences are free.
Student societies, gyms, local cinemas, restaurants and more are all gearing up to get you to visit their premises or sign up for their offerings. You can expect a range of freebies, taster sessions and more to tempt you.
Of course, you’re not obligated to commit to anything. Most societies and venues know that students are a busy bunch and have many existing obligations. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the free stuff they’ll be giving out, even if for a short period.
Here are some free things you can expect during orientation week, exclusively for students.
Orientation week: 6 free things to expect
Every university is bound to have its own on-campus gym and a range of fitness classes on offer: personal training, yoga, spin, dance, and HIIT classes, to name a few.
While you’ll have to pay to access these classes, the best time to try them out is during orientation week. Gyms will likely offer free trial periods ranging from a week to a month. Some gyms may offer them for a longer period.
This will give you plenty of time to try various activities on your list to your heart’s content — and get fit while you’re at it.
Excursions and trips
If you’ve just moved to a new country, orientation week is a godsend. Taking place just before the start of your classes, it gives you the chance to familiarise yourself with your campus and wider surroundings before you’re required to buckle down for classes.
Campus societies are fully aware of this — which is why many of them often offer to show you around during orientation week. It’s likely that you’ll come across trips to go sightseeing or bar-hopping, to checking out the local art scene.
Some of these societies may also arrange trips to visit a nearby town, but you’ll likely have to pay for this as there will likely be transportation and ticketing costs that come with the trip.
Stationery and organisational supplies
One thing you’re guaranteed to receive in droves during any orientation week is stationery and organisational supplies. Clubs and societies know that as a student, you’re going to need plenty of stationary, notebooks and other supplies to keep on top of your work — and they’ll be working hard to provide these for you.
Where can you find these? Just pop by your campus orientation — or Freshers — fair. You’ll see many stalls set up, many of which will be giving out free pens, notebooks, binders, and folders.
Getting your hands on them is easy — usually, all you’d have to do is leave your contact details or sign up for a newsletter. Of course, you’ll be able to opt out of these at a later date if they don’t interest you.
While this isn’t as common, you can still expect to find some organisations and societies giving out free clothes during orientation week.
This could include free t-shirts as they’re the easiest to print and distribute. It’s probable that these free t-shirts will be emblazoned with a large logo, but it’s to be expected if you’re looking for free goodies.
You might also come across free accessories like beanies, pins, iron-on patches, and jewellery, so keep your eyes peeled for these.
Many student societies may give out eco-friendly products to students during orientation week.
Some things you can expect include metal or bamboo straws, wooden pens, menstrual cups, tote bags, and reusable cling film.
There’s nothing students love more than free food. With all the classes, campus visits, and commutes, there’s always the need to save money — and usually, food is where most students will attempt to cut costs. However, cooking takes up a lot of precious time and can sometimes be a burden on top of an already tiring day.
Societies and organisations know this all too well, and will likely offer you free food over the course of orientation week. You can expect everything from baked goods like brownies and cupcakes to full meals. Some may also offer vouchers to restaurants.