The Do’s and Dont’s of a first-semester transfer student

Being a transfer student can be frustrating. Learning your way around a new campus, making new friends, dealing with the process of transferring credits, and registering for classes aren’t exactly the most exciting moments in

Being a transfer student can be frustrating. Learning your way around a new campus, making new friends, dealing with the process of transferring credits, and registering for classes aren’t exactly the most exciting moments in your college career.

Temple will enroll about 1,000 transfer students this semester, Director of Admissions Timm Rinehart said. Upon acceptance, students are provided with information about Temple and instructed to complete an online orientation.

“All transfer students have the option of completing their orientation online,” said Moira Stoddart, program director for the Office of Orientation and New Student Programs. “This option became available in 2006, in response to transfer students seeking more flexibility in completing their orientation.”

The online orientation presents students with information about academic programs and resources. Afterward, students are asked to take a short quiz reviewing the information learned. Students may opt to attend an on-campus orientation for more information.

Once transfer students have had the chance to adjust to campus life, the Office of Orientation and New Student Programs conducts an assessment, giving students the chance to make suggestions for an easier transition for future transfer students.

“We are currently working to create and provide programs throughout the year to consistently provide resources and assist in the on-going transition of our students,” Stoddart said. “Our mission is to accommodate the transitional needs of all incoming students.”

Aside from orientation, take a look at this fool-proof guide – advice for transfer students from transfer students. You can’t go wrong.

DO ask a lot of questions. “Be a pest,” said sophomore communications major Myriam Wilson. “Call Temple about financial aid. Call them about housing. Make sure that all your credits transfer.”

DO find out what credits will transfer from your previous institution and plan your classes according to what courses you have left to take, senior architecture major Pankti Patel said.

DON’T assume that Temple will ensure housing. Some fall 2007 transfer students complained that Temple promised them housing and mid-summer sent letters apologizing and informing the students that they would need to find alternate housing. Utilize Temple’s Off Campus Living Web site to find listings of apartments, houses and roommates.

DO “all transfer paperwork on time and keep meticulous records,” junior secondary education major Nikita Pavlov said. “As fine of an institution as Temple is, its recordkeeping abilities are often times not the best.”

DON’T schedule classes without the help of an adviser. This is why Temple has many academic advisers: to help students graduate on time. After meeting with an adviser, do not be afraid to contact him or her with more questions.

DO take a tour of campus and walk around upon arrival before classes begin. Whether your tour is with an Owl Ambassador or simply walking around with a friend, learning the lay of the land is always a good idea.

DON’T feel overwhelmed or scared because of Temple’s location. “I feel very safe on Temple’s campus,” junior pre-nursing major Amanda Brown said. According to Temple’s Web site, Temple’s campus boasts 118 police officers and 30 security officers.

DO join a club or activity. Did you know that Temple offers more than 175 student organizations? With so many to choose from, you’re bound to find at least one that interests you!

DON’T be afraid to leave your comfort zone. Temple is often referred to as “Diversity University,” and it is something that this institution prides itself on. “Do get out there and meet people that you most likely wouldn’t have gotten the chance to meet back at home,” junior philosophy major Michael Prince said.

DO attend sporting events. It’s a great way to gain Temple pride and see school spirit at work.

DO take advantage of Temple’s many academic resources – they’re funded by your tuition. Try Paley Library, the TECH Center, IBC and Tuttleman Learning Center, and many more. “You’re paying for these resources, so you should take advantage of them since they’re there for your use,” sophomore journalism major Amy Fuhrmeister said.

DON’T isolate yourself. It’s never fun to sit in a dorm room alone. Whether you’re hanging out in the Student Center or waiting for a class to begin, strike up a conversation with the people around you. “Don’t be nervous,” sophomore public relations major Laura Macenka said. “It’s easy to meet people. You’re not alone.”

Jessica Lawlor can be reached at

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