What is Orientation Week?
Orientation Week is a week of events that takes place during the days leading up to the beginning of classes. It is an excellent opportunity for new students to get to know the University, the city of Montreal, other new students, and upper-year students. It comprises: University-wide Discover McGill Day, student-run multi-day Froshes, Academic Expectations sessions, Off-Campus Connects, and much more!
Why should I do Orientation Week?
Orientation Week is your time to discover all the great things McGill has to offer. From Campus Life & Engagement’s University-wide Discover McGill event to student-run Froshes, there is no shortage of events and activities for you. Plus, there is no better time to meet people, from support staff to fellow first-years to upper-year students, through fun and engaging events. The memories you make and people you meet during the week will be a great start to your McGill career.
Who can (and cannot) participate in Orientation Week?
The Orientation Week events and programming listed on this website are for all new undergraduate students at McGill University. New students includes students entering their first year of university at McGill in the Fall, students who entered McGill in the Winter term of the previous academic year, transfer students new to McGill, and exchange students new to McGill. Returning students, family members, and (non-McGill-attending) friends of new students are not permitted to attend Orientation Week events.
New graduate students to McGill University should visit the McGill Graduate Orientation Week page for more information.
How much does it cost to participate in Orientation Week? Shouldn’t students under 18 pay less for Frosh?
Depending on what you choose to do, participation in Orientation Week can cost as little as completely free. Most individual events are free or have minimal costs. There is a cost associated with participating in any Frosh, which covers costs such as admission fees, transportation, and food. At times during Orientation/Frosh, additional food and beverage may be available at a cost. Some Froshes offer bursaries for students in identified financial need to cover some or all of the costs. The cost of alcohol is not factored into Frosh costs and there are additional behind-the-scenes costs associated with ensuring events and venues are accessible to students of all ages. For this and other reasons, students of any age are asked to pay the same price.
What is Campus Life & Engagement?
The Campus Life & Engagement (CL&E) team is a part of McGill Student Services and specializes, in part, in the transition into your first year of university. They help you settle in and find the people and services you need to start your university career. Campus Life & Engagement is located on the third floor (suite 3100) of the Brown Student Services Building (3600 McTavish Street). You can also reach CL&E by email or phone (514-398-6913).
What and where is AskMcGill?
This Orientation season be sure to visit an AskMcGill kiosk to have your questions answered! Kiosks are staffed by students who are available to help you discover the tools you need to find the answers you are looking for! The AskMcGill kiosk is also where you can go in-person with your Orientation Week registration questions and troubleshooting The permanent AskMcGill Information Centres, located in the Brown Student Services Building (scheduled to re-open in the Fall) and Service Point, will be open year-long to provide you with ongoing support! You can also access the AskMcGill online instant answer service at ask.mcgill.ca.
What can I do if I have accessibility concerns and/or believe that I will face barriers during Orientation?
During Frosh, make sure to look out for “Access Allies” who are dispersed throughout each Faculty Frosh and will be identifiable by the “Access Allies” buttons they will be wearing. Access Allies are Frosh Leaders and O-Staff have been trained more extensively on how to promote accessibility and mental health during Frosh. They are available to listen and support students with accessing every Frosh event. Furthermore, they have an increased awareness for identifying accessibility barriers and troubleshooting accessibility needs during Frosh.
For all other events, you can reach out directly to the Event organizers if you have specific accessibility questions or concerns. The Orientation Week registration form will also have a section where you can optionally disclose whether you have a disability, health condition, or other accessibility concern, and what barriers you might face during Orientation. This information is shared confidentially with event organizers.
We also suggest that you connect with McGill’s Office for Students with Disabilities (OSD) about support services available to students while at McGill.
What student support services are available to me during Orientation Week?
During Orientation Week, many of the student support services that are offered to you year-round will be available. Some services may not be available on the weekend or at night; however, event organizers work with special or alternative providers to ensure that safety and first-aid resources are available. Some key services you may want to be aware of about during Orientation Week include Campus Life & Engagement; WalkSafe; DriveSafe; M-SERT (McGill Students’ Emergency Response Team); McGill Security; Student Health Service; Counselling Service; the Office for Students with Disabilities; Peer Support Centre; the Office of the Dean of Students, SACOMSS (Sexual Assault Centre of the McGill Students’ Society); and the Office for Sexual Violence Response, Support, and Education. Visit this directory for a full list of resources and services at McGill.
If I have a question about Orientation Week that isn’t listed here, whom can I contact?
Check out the Contact page for information on how to contact us. Make sure to also check out the McGill Orientation Week Facebook page to stay up-to-date.
Can my parents participate in Orientation Week / Frosh?
Orientation and Frosh activities are for student participation only. If your parents want to learn more about McGill, we encourage them to check out our McGill Parents Tent and Parent Information Sessions. Browse the Parents & Family section of this website for more information.
I attended an orientation event during the summer. Is this the same as Orientation Week?
McGill holds a number of orientation events over the course of the summer, including CSI McGill, Target McGill, and Summer Send-Offs. While these are very informative, they do not cover the breadth and scope of Orientation Week. If you attended a summer/pre-arrival event, make sure to still attend as many Orientation Week events as you can!
Who is hosting events during Orientation Week?
Orientation Week events are planned by a combination of Campus Life & Engagement (CL&E), other University offices and units, Faculty student associations, and different campus clubs, groups, and departments. The Events page’s listing includes the name of each event’s organizer(s).
How can I find out more about a particular event?
Descriptions and contact info for each each event can be found in the Events page.
If the event has reached its capacity, what can I do?
If the event’s registration has been capped/sold out, check back frequently to see if spots have opened up because of un-registration. A waiting list function is not available. Some events (e.g. Academic Expectations Day sessions) do not have caps and will allow you to add the event to your calendar; however, the event will still be first-come-first-served and the room capacity will dictate how many can attend.
Can I attend an event if I do not register for it?
We ask that you register for all events you intend on attending. Event organizers will receive a list of all registered students. If you come to an event without having pre-registered, the organizer may turn you away, especially if the event capacity has been reached. Registering will help you track your schedule, provide organizers with attendance information, and secure your spot in a limited registration event.
How do I know where the event is located?
The location, or starting location, for every event will be provided to you on your personal user page closer to the event date.
Is alcohol being served during Orientation Week?
The large majority of events during Orientation Week will not be serving alcohol. However, some events during the week (mostly Froshes) may include the option to purchase alcoholic beverages. Please note that the legal drinking age in Quebec is 18 and all establishments and stores will require proof of age to purchase alcohol. It is also not permitted to sell alcohol to persons under the age of 18. Carrying open containers of alcohol in non-designated areas, such as Montreal streets, is illegal and may result in a substantial fine.
I missed an event, is there any way I can still receive some of the information it provided? / I will not be in Montreal by the time Frosh starts, but I would still like to participate. Is that possible?
If you will be missing or have missed Discover McGill, you may stop by the Campus Life & Engagement office in the Brown Student Services Building (3600 McTavish Street, Suite 3100) for a Discover McGill kit and to talk with our knowledgeable staff.
If you are unable to attend a Frosh that you signed up for, you may email the Frosh organizers directly and in the case of an extenuating circumstance, a refund may be provided. If you will be unable to attend the beginning of Frosh but would still like to take part, you can email the Frosh organizers and they may be able to provide a means of getting you your bracelet and activity bag so you can participate in the remaining activities. Partial payments/refunds will not be received/given for individual activities.
Is it possible for me to do a Faculty Frosh outside of my Faculty?
Although McGill encourages students to build bonds outside of your Faculty, Faculty Froshes are conducted with the purpose of getting to know other students in your Faculty and we do not permit you to register for a Frosh outside your Faculty. Also, many of the larger activities during Faculty Frosh are done with other Faculties, so you will still get the opportunity to meet other new students outside your Faculty. If an extenuating circumstance exists, such as a Frosh reaching its registration capacity, students may email the outside Faculty’s Frosh organizers and an exception may be made. Non-Faculty Froshes do offer the opportunity to meet students outside your Faculty, if that is an important consideration for you.
What is the difference between Orientation and Frosh?
Orientation Week is a multi-day period encompassing all the different events for incoming students hosted by a number of groups. Frosh is student-run, coordinated by either a club, group, or Faculty/School student association and is primarily comprised of social activities. Frosh is part of the larger Orientation Week.
Who are the Orientation Leaders?
Orientation Leaders are upper-year students who support Orientation Week activities, namely Discover McGill and Frosh. Discover McGill Leaders are upper-year students in your Faculty who will help guide you through the day’s activities. Frosh Leaders are upper-year students who will guide you through the days’ activities throughout Frosh. Although Discover McGill and Frosh share the same pool of student Leaders, please note that your Discover McGill Leaders may not end up also being your Frosh Leaders. Leaders are heavily trained by the University on topics such as consent, safety, equity and diversity, accessibility, community-building, communications, and conflict management.
Do I have to attend every event?
No, you are not required to attend every event in the week or in your schedule. While we encourage incoming students to make the most of what Orientation Week and Frosh has to offer, we also encourage students to self-care and take breaks as need be. If you are going to miss an event during Frosh, please inform your Leaders.
I registered for a Faculty Frosh, can I switch to a Non-Faculty Frosh? / I registered for a Non-Faculty Frosh, can I switch to a Faculty Frosh?
It is possible to switch Froshes during the registration period (i.e. before frosh begins). To do so, please contact us. After Frosh has started, switches may be allowed in cases of extenuating circumstances.
What if my School/Faculty/program doesn’t have a Frosh?
Every School/Faculty at McGill technically belongs to a Frosh, although your program name might just not appear in the title of your Frosh. Here are some of the most common examples we see of this:
- Architecture students participate in Engineering Frosh.
- Kinesiology (BSc) students participate in Education Frosh.
- Nursing students participate in Science Frosh.
- Pre-Med or Pre-Dent students participate in Science Frosh.
- Social Work and Religious Studies students participate in Arts Frosh.
Can I do a Faculty Frosh and a Non-Faculty Frosh?
Although it is not encouraged, you can do both a Faculty and Non-Faculty Frosh. You will be charged the full price for each Frosh regardless of how many events you attend and may be required to arrange for transportation between the two on your own. Please make sure that both sets of Frosh Leaders are aware of how you will be dividing your time.
I cannot attend all of Frosh. Can I still participate? Will the price be the same?
If you cannot participate in every activity during Frosh (i.e. you need to leave at certain points), you are still welcome to participate in most Froshes (Some Outdoor Frosh options may require that you be available from the start to end date). Please contact your Frosh organizers for more information. Please always inform your Frosh Leaders if you will be missing an event.
What do I need to bring with me to register for Frosh and/or pick up my Frosh bracelet and bag
Students registering for Frosh on the Lower Field of McGill’s Downtown Campus or Centennial Centre on Macdonald Campus should bring a copy of their McGill Student ID card, which can be picked up at the Service Point Building on McTavish or Laird Hall on Macdonald Campus.
Who can I contact about an error or issue with this website?
Please contact Campus Life & Engagement with any questions or comments related to this website.
Are you on any social media platforms?
McGill Orientation Week is on Facebook and Instagram. Make sure to include #McGillOWeek in your posts!
You can also follow Campus Life & Engagement on Snapchat for stories from the week.
Is there a McGill Orientation Week app?
Some Orientation features – and much more – are all available through the official McGill App.