students dancing at orientation

First Year Experience

Your Georgian College experience begins here!

Whether you’re attending Orientation, preparing for day one, or navigating through your first year, we’re here to provide a warm welcome and transition programming to support your experience as a new student.

Orientation and transition programs

Welcome to Georgian! We’re very happy to have you join the Georgian family and begin your studies.

Whether you’re studying in person, remotely, or a combination of the two, it’s going to be a great year! Orientation and transition programs aim to help you successfully transition and prepare you for your college experience.

four photos merged into one image. All images are photos of staff and students celebrating 2019 fall orientation day.

Pre-Orientation activities

Pre-Orientation activities are delivered before your first day of classes. Our goal is to help you connect with the Georgian community early and build confidence navigating your Grizzly journey. Events during this time are a combination of virtual and in person. Make sure to confirm delivery details through MyGCLife.

Head Start

Head Start is your first step to success! This is part of our pre-Orientation programming where you’re able to connect and engage with Georgian services, supports and resources to ensure your success. Head Start activities have concluded for the winter semester; however, the recordings will be live on MyGCLife.

Key features

  • Connect with your peers and make new friends
  • Discover Registrar’s Office supports and services
  • Meet your Georgian College Students’ Association (GCSA)
  • Meet our awesome peer mentors!
  • Explore international supports and services
  • Find out how Georgian supports your mental health and well-being
  • Learn about our counselling and accessibility supports
  • Learn about student co-op experiences
  • And so much more!

Academic Orientation

Your Academic Orientation experience is a crucial part of your start with Georgian. During this time, you’re able to take part in a variety of activities that support your success, both academically and personally.

Academic Orientation experiences begin early in the 2024 year. Check out the list below for your Academic Orientation date.

Thursday, Jan. 4, 2024

  • Barrie campus
  • Orillia campus

Friday, Jan. 5, 2024

  • Orangeville campus

Monday, Jan. 8, 2024

  • Muskoka campus
  • Owen Sound campus

Thursday, Jan. 11, 2024

  • South Georgian Bay campus

Parent and supporter programming

We recognize that you’re not starting your Grizzly journey alone. Through our parent and supporter programming, we aim to connect your parents and supporters to different services and resources accessible within the Georgian ecosystem.

What programming is being offered?

We’re in the process of planning more parent and supporter programs leading up to the winter 2024 Orientation experience. We’ll update this page once dates and details are confirmed.

Online experiences

Orientation pages on MyGCLife

Our online Orientation pages on MyGCLife are available now!

These pages include information about supports and services, outline our Head Start and Orientation schedule, the New Student Checklist, as well as student life opportunities and activities. There’s also a section dedicated to international students, with topics such as immigration, housing, insurance and cultural adjustment.

First Year Experience (FYE) Blackboard course

The Orientation team has also built First Year Experience (FYE) Blackboard modules to help you succeed as a new student! You’ll use Blackboard throughout your academic journey and it’s important that you become familiar with this online learning system. After you complete your course registration, you’ll see the FYE course in Blackboard. You’ll learn tips and tricks on how to ace your courses, get involved in the Georgian community, and thrive as a new student. This quick course is your roadmap to first-year success.

Your first six weeks

Each campus will feature different activities to connect you with your peers, get to know your campus, and have fun!

Many Orientation activities are set to occur before your first day of classes; however, the experience doesn’t stop there!

Curious about your on-campus experience? Check out this video to see what the Barrie Campus experience looks like!

Peer Mentors: What we do!

Peer Mentors are upper-year Georgian students who play a pivotal role in building community, a sense of belonging and connection at Georgian, and empower students to flourish through their first-year experience at college and beyond.

Now more than ever, students are connecting with their peers for support, highlighting the incredible importance of building a strong foundation and sense of virtual community among students early in their academic journey.

Peer Mentors are Georgian students who:

  • foster community and a sense of belonging on campus
  • build trusting and supportive relationships
  • facilitate peer-to-peer discussion and connection
  • role model student behaviour and integrity
  • provide referrals and resources for students
  • promote leadership and professional development opportunities
Five Peer Mentors posing for a picture

What our mentors and mentees have to say about the program

Mentor Julie and mentee Andrea talk about why they love the peer mentorship program and how it makes the transition to college life much easier.
First-semester student Andrea Cox describes how having a peer mentor has helped her transition into college life.
Mentor Julie Caterini describes why she decided to become a peer mentor and the leadership skills she has developed since joining the program.

Want a Peer Mentor? Apply to be a mentee!

As a mentee (first-year or new student), you’ll be matched with one of our awesome mentors who will support you through your transition to college, inform you of all the great services and supports Georgian has to offer, and provide opportunities for you to connect with other peers!

Get involved: Maximize your first-year experience

The best way to maximize your first-year experience is to immerse yourself into everything Georgian has to offer! We have a variety of student clubs, volunteer opportunities and workshops available to students. Here are a few ways to get involved:

  • Participate in Head Start, Academic Orientation and day one of classes to ensure you start off your experience right!
  • Complete the FYE Blackboard course to get familiar with Georgian supports and services.
  • Peer Mentor program – Apply for a peer mentor and connect with an upper-year student to support you through your transition to Georgian.
  • Join a club – Check out the variety of clubs offered at Orientation and during Clubs Week.
  • Be a changemaker! – Georgian’s Centre for Changemaking and Social Innovation (CCSI) provides experiential learning opportunities, skill development, teamwork and networking that will inspire you to influence social change in your community.
Colourful tree with student services listed on leaves

Common Questions (FAQs)

Does orientation focus on more than academics?Georgian College Chevron

Of course! Many of our campus partners come out to celebrate and welcome you to Georgian! There are events and activities planned, as well as opportunities to win swag and more. We want to ensure you experience everything Georgian has to offer.

Will there be an academic program session for all programs?Georgian College Chevron

Yes! You’ll have the opportunity to meet your program co-ordinator, review program and student expectations, as well as ask any questions you have regarding your academic choices.

Each program will have an academic program session to participate in. More information will be provided in your campus orientation schedule (released a few weeks before the start of the semester).

Where can I find supports and services available to me prior to attending orientation?Georgian College Chevron

There are many amazing support options Georgian has to offer including various academic resources and social/emotional supports and services. Check out our Guide for New Students for more details!

You can also follow many of our different Georgian social media accounts, check out the graphic below for more information.

social media accounts

List of Instagram accounts to consider following:

What are the expectations of me as a Georgian student?Georgian College Chevron

Georgian values excellence, community engagement, integrity, inclusion and sustainability. As a new student in our community, it is expected that you represent these values in all aspects of your student journey.

Are orientation events accessible?Georgian College Chevron

Definitely! Georgian College is committed to improving access to all college premises, facilities and services at all campuses. If you have any questions or concerns regarding accessibility while attending our orientation programming or student events, please email

How do I access online resources for orientation?Georgian College Chevron

All students are able to access their student systems and orientation resources after they have confirmed their offer to a Georgian program.

  • Full time students: You’ll have received a confirmation letter or letter of acceptance identifying your login details and default password. These login details will work for all of you student systems.
  • Part-time students: who have registered for individual courses through Continuing Education: You’ll receive this initial password to the preferred email provided after completing Georgian’s student number application.

If you have forgotten your login or password, please reset your password using the password management service or contact IT Support.

Contact us

We’re here to help you navigate campus, learn more about student services, find a peer mentor or get involved with events, programming and activities on campus.

Barrie Campus

Email: Email the Orientation team
Phone: 249.388.0796
Location: Room K201

Midland Campus

Email the Midland Campus

Muskoka Campus

Email: Michelle Kennedy
Location: Room 128

Orangeville Campus

Email: Stacey MacNeil
Location: Room 127

Orillia Campus

Email: Gail Hudson
Location: GCSA office, A111

Owen Sound Campus

Email: Danielle Barlow
Location: GCSA office, D102

South Georgian Bay Campus

Email the South Georgian Bay Campus