Li Malm Kelber moved from Malmö to Gothenburg to start studying at the University of Gothenburg, where she is currently pursuing her bachelor's degree in Media, Aesthetics, and Cultural Entrepreneurship. Alongside her studies, she actively contributes as a board member of the student union’s Department of Humanities. This year, she also participated in organising the orientation days for new students at her faculty. Therefore, we took the opportunity to ask Li some questions about their orientation days.
Orientation days are common in universities across the globe. They provide an ideal opportunity for freshmen to acclimate to their campus, meet classmates, and build a sense of community right from the start. It can especially be valuable for those who are new to the city, as it offers a chance to explore their new surroundings.
What do the orientation days look like at the Faculty of Humanities in Gothenburg?
At the Faculty of Humanities, we have two weeks packed with activities for new students to kickstart their time at the university. The orientation day is a diverse mix of events aimed at providing something for everyone. During this year's welcome weeks, we organised a range of events, including dinner parties, volleyball matches, a boat trip, and a game night. At our faculty, we are usually 3-to 4 coordinators and a couple of mentors (typically known as phaddrar; current students who act as mentors to the new students and supporters to the coordinators).
Can you tell us about your role in the project?
I was one of the coordinators, which means I’ve planned and structured the orientation days. This includes being in contact with companies, planning activities, making a schedule for the mentors and creating content to share on Instagram and Orbi.
What motivated you to get involved in organising the orientation days?
When I began my studies, I experienced a great welcome and I wanted to provide new students with a similar experience. I hope they felt that same sense of excitement and inclusion. Hopefully, this might motivate them as well to participate in planning and executing next year's welcoming for new students.
How do you think these welcome days contribute to the overall experience of new students, and why are they important?
It's such a great way to get to know other students in a natural and relaxed setting. Plus, the mentors who also attend these events are so friendly, they really make you feel welcome! When I participated as a new student in the orientation days, I met so many people and made new friends. It’s important to have these welcoming events since it can ease the fear and pressure of starting a new class.
Is there a specific aspect or outcome of this year's orientation days that you feel particularly proud of?
I felt proud of our mentors, they attended every event where they really cared for the students and helped us, coordinators.
What advice would you give to someone interested in organising orientation days?
Pay attention to all new students and show them that you’re there for them and want to help. Moreover, if you’re interested in organising upcoming orientation days, keep an eye on our social media and in Orbi where we inform you about the next ones.
Finally, Do you have any other upcoming events or activities that you are involved in?
We are at the moment planning several upcoming events, including initiatives aimed at raising money for "Musikhjälpen" for example. More information about these events will be shared on Instagram and Orbi.