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August 23, 2022
Photo of Stanford Tree mascot in Green Library (Photo credit: Linda A. Cicero, Stanford News Service)

Welcome, Stanford Transfer Families

We are delighted to welcome you, together with your new transfer student, to the Stanford family. Approaching Stanford is the process that has been guiding our new students in their transition to Stanford. While we have been sending them weekly newsletters with important information, this summer newsletter for families is just for you!
Read on in the Newsletter for:
If you have any questions, please contact us and we'll be happy to help!
Approaching Stanford Team
(650) 723-7674
You have received this email because your student provided your contact information on their Approaching Stanford Forms. If a family contact did not receive this newsletter, please ask your student to send an email to approaching@stanford.edu with the name and email address and we will add them to our distribution list for upcoming newsletters. Thank you!

Academic Advising at Stanford

The Office of Academic Advising is dedicated to welcoming our new students to Stanford and helping them feel at home here; encouraging them to explore the full intellectual richness that Stanford offers; helping them reflect on their choices and determine how to make the most of their Stanford experience; and supporting them in pursuing their goals, both personal and academic. A Stanford education is designed to prepare students for lifelong learning, to gain the intellectual skills they will need in any career they may ultimately pursue, and to develop the ability to engage meaningfully in addressing the needs of our increasingly complex world.
This is not simply our work; we regard it as our privilege. It is an honor to be among the first people on campus to help launch these extraordinary students on their Stanford journeys.

First Steps 

Although we know that all our students come to Stanford academically well-prepared, we also work with your students to manage the transition Stanford. We know from experience that this process unfolds gradually as students encounter Stanford for the first time. Most of these “firsts” are exciting, but some can be challenging and may shake a student’s self-confidence. We know, and we want you to know, that it is entirely normal for students to experience some setbacks and disappointments along with their joyous moments. We encourage students--and we hope you will encourage them, too--to seek advice, cultivate resilience, and remain open to changing course if their initial goals have taken them down a path that is proving to be problematic or unfulfilling. We encourage them to use their first year or more to explore the amazingly diverse curriculum of the University, and refrain from committing to a single path until they are clear that it is the right one for them.

Academic Advisors 

All students are assigned to a professional Academic Advisor, an "Undergraduate Advising Director" (UAD). Transfer students will work most frequently with the Undergraduate Advising Director for Transfers who will serve as their primary advisor through their time at Stanford. In addition to the Transfer advisor, students will also have the opportunity to meet with other Undergraduate Advising Directors. UADs in the residences offer general academic advising as well as advising for undergraduate research opportunities. Specialized UADs can address coterminal opportunities and pre-professional interests, such as pre-law, pre-health, pre-business, and pre-education.

Our philosophy of advising

Because academic decisions are ultimately a student’s own, advisors will rarely tell students what to do, but together they will provide students with the information, perspectives, and guidance they need to make well-informed and well-reasoned decisions. We will sometimes counsel students toward or away from certain choices, but we ultimately respect their autonomy and recognize that they need to “own” their own educational, as well as personal, decisions.

Introductory Seminars (IntroSems)

Introductory Seminars (IntroSems) present first year, transfer, and second year students with the unique opportunity to learn in small, discussion-based classes taught by premier research faculty from across the University, including the professional schools. IntroSems help students meet faculty mentors and peers with shared intellectual interests. Students can explore a field or potential major through focused classes that provide valuable hands-on learning. These classes often mix classroom sessions with local field trips to Silicon Valley industries and to world-class Bay Area theaters and museums. Seminars may fulfill both general education and department requirements. We have found that students who enroll in an IntroSem during their first year are more likely to conduct research projects, participate in Stanford’s overseas programs, and graduate with honors. Encourage your student to apply for one of these extraordinary small classes. 
Photo of Frosh/Transfer 101 section (Photo credit: VPUE)

Transfer 101

At Stanford we believe that no one can succeed alone, and we hope that our students will learn that the quality of the relationships they build with peers, faculty, and staff will help them achieve their personal and professional goals. To support the transition to Stanford’s dynamic campus, new transfer students have the special opportunity to enroll in Transfer 101, an Autumn Quarter 2-unit seminar in which two continuing transfers lead a group of new transfers through weekly conversations and activities that build community, strengthen friendships, develop healthy habits, and reflect on values and goals. Talk with your student about enrolling in this course, and encourage them to develop these important skills needed to thrive at Stanford.
Photo of Dr. Liz Hadly (Photo courtesy of Liz Hadly)

Three Books 2022

Three Books is Stanford's signature common reading program for undergraduate first-year and new transfer students. Each year, a faculty moderator carefully selects a theme and books/media for incoming new students to read and discuss with each other. The program culminates in discussions with the authors and guests during NSO and Autumn Quarter. The 2022 Three Books theme is Biodiversity. To learn more about this program, read faculty moderator Dr. Liz Hadly's letter to students introducing the Three Books.
Photo of Justice Sonia Sotomayor speaking at Stanford in 2017 (Photo credit: Aaron Kehoe, Stanford News Service)

Food for Thought

"I think that’s the only way I know how to live life in a meaningful way. To become who you are and to do the work you want to do is to be open to want to learn and give at the same time.
I figured out first how to be a generally informed citizen before I tried to be a specialist in anything else. And that’s the advice I would give all of you who are experiencing college. Take courses in areas that [..] might make you a more knowledgeable person. Curious people go further.” - Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, speaking at Stanford in 2017
Orientation Volunteers holding

Move-In & New Student Orientation

We are excited to welcome students and families to campus in September! Move-In Day for new students is September 20 and New Student Orientation (NSO) will take place September 21-25, 2022. All new students are required to live on campus and attend the in-person NSO.
We invite families to join us at Move-In and the first day of NSO. All are welcome; you will not need tickets to attend, and we will not be checking guest vaccination records. However, if you are feeling ill on those days, we ask that you refrain from coming to campus. Please note that guests arriving from international travel are expected to take a Covid test prior to coming to campus.
Move-In Day, Tuesday September 20: Check-in will begin at 8:00 a.m. at the Housing Service Centers where students will pick up their Stanford ID cards and room keys. All students should pick up their keys by 5:00 p.m. Transfers living in Graduate Housing may arrange to move in earlier and should plan to stop by Kimball Hall/Gerhard Casper Courtyard to pick up their NSO packets. There is no formal campus programming on this day; families accompanying their students are welcome to take the time you need to help your student get situated. From 4:00-5:00 p.m., the Kimball Resident Fellows and their student staff will host a reception to greet students and families. After moving in, you may wish to go with your student off campus for dinner and errands. 
NSO, Wednesday September 21: Families are invited to join us for the first day of NSO. The day will begin with the Opening Convocation Ceremony at 10:00 a.m. in the morning, followed by open houses and welcomes throughout the afternoon. Plan to say your goodbyes before dinner so that students can join their transfer cohort for their first dinner and House Meeting together (required). We know many families will not be able to visit Stanford this fall, and we look forward to welcoming you to campus in the future.

Vaden Health Requirements & Health Insurance

Vaden Health Services is the student health facility on campus and provides the following:
We ask all parents and guardians to read the 2022 Student Health Matters Handbook to review important information about Vaden's Entrance Health Requirements, the Campus Health Service Fee, and Cardinal Care Health Insurance.
Health Insurance Requirement: All students are required to have adequate health insurance. They have the option to remain enrolled in or to waive Cardinal Care, the university-sponsored health insurance plan in which all students are automatically enrolled at the start of their entry quarter each year. Click here to learn more about the requirement, as well as the annual September 15 deadline for your student to acknowledge or waive Cardinal Care Health Insurance.
COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement: Stanford requires all students to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 with booster. For detailed information, please see: Covid Guidance for Students and read the University's August 8 message to students about fall guidance.

Stay Connected

Visit our Stanford Families website regularly to stay informed about programs, resources, and events. Once the academic year begins, you will receive the Stanford Families Newsletter as well as other important updates from the University.
If you have any questions or concerns about your student during the academic year, please contact our Parent & Family Help Line at (650) 725-0649 or mykidis@stanford.edu. We will be happy to help you!

Upcoming Summer Newsletters

Stay tuned for Approaching Stanford Newsletters for families this summer on the following topics:
  • August/September: Campus Communities and Life on the Farm
  • September: Moving to Stanford (Move-In Instructions)

Contact Us

Office of Academic Advising
Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education
Follow @approachingstanford on Instagram
590 Escondido Mall | Stanford, CA 94305-3085 US
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