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University of Iowa students can choose remote or in-person orientation

In the midst of the many festivals and block parties, a different event is bringing visitors to Iowa City this summer: the University of Iowa’s orientation.

For the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020, Iowa’s freshman class of roughly 4,500 students has the option of visiting the campus this year. And about two-thirds of them are choosing to do so, filling the Iowa House Hotel to the brim while becoming acclimated to their new university setting.

“We’ve met many students from all over,” said UI fourth-year student Chloe Boswell, who is on the orientation team. “It’s really exciting just to see how programs are changing and how much fun people are having. And everybody’s excited right now that we’re in a person, of course. But we were still equally excited during the summer when we were still online.”

Orientation is a two-part program held for incoming UI students. The first part includes an academic advising meeting and registering for courses. That is held completely online in May, June, July and August.

The second part of orientation covers campus, student resources, and what life as a Hawkeye is like.

University of Iowa students walk on Madison Street past the Iowa Memorial Union, Friday, Aug.  20, 2021, in Iowa City, Iowa.

Due to COVID-19, both programs have been fully virtual the past two years. However, this year the UI is offering students a new option.

Incoming students can choose if they want to explore campus and complete the second part of orientation virtually or in person. Students can choose to do the “Becoming a Hawkeye” on-campus orientation program that occurs throughout June and July, or learn through a series of summer webinars.