Georgetown University in Qatar (GU-Q) has launched a comprehensive New Student Orientation (NSO) that will run virtually until August 20 for the largest incoming cohort of first-year students in the school’s history.
This is the "latest signal that QF-partner institutions are gearing up for a successful fall semester despite the public health crisis", according to a press statement.
Through a combination of pre-recorded modules and online engagement with staff, faculty and current students, this year’s six-week-long virtual NSO programme aims to provide 141 new students with the resources, guidance and strategies needed to thrive at GU-Q. Members of the Class of 2024 will be bonding with their classmates, learning about clubs, activities and cocurricular and research opportunities, putting together their course schedules and preparing for the exciting four years to come.
In his welcome address to the new students, GU-Q dean Dr Ahmad Dallal stressed the need for future leaders who would take on the task of building a better future for humanity in light of ongoing global turbulence. “You were chosen to join GU-Q because you demonstrated a number of excellent qualities. But the one that makes you truly a 'Hoya' is your willingness to work for positive change in the world," he said.
The NSO programme is organised by assistant director for Student Programmes Uday Rosario, who said: “This year, 30 GU-Q students will be mentoring incoming students as orientation advisers, which is twice as many as last year, to make sure we provide our largest incoming class with the best possible introduction to our programme and our community, and to make sure they have access to all the resources they need to succeed.”
Reflecting on this year’s NSO theme, 'Multiculturalism in a Digital World', International Politics major Malak Elmoh, one of the two students helping organise the programme as NSO co-ordinators, said: “We are looking at accommodating and sustaining diversity to encourage healthy dialogue and discourse regardless of differences.” The Class of 2024 will be joining a diverse student body at GU-Q of more than 40 different nationalities.
Culture and Politics major Heba Mohamednor, the other NSO co-ordinator this year, predicts that future NSO’s will continue to include virtual elements. “The transition to college life can be very stressful, even without the challenges of a pandemic, because there is so much new information to take in. Offering aspects of the programme online means students can go at their own pace, and still have time to engage with their advisers and with other members of their incoming class for a smoother transition that doesn’t overwhelm them.”
The NSO programme will culminate in the annual New Student Convocation ceremony, a formal initiation into Georgetown’s academic community.