The Center for First-Year Experience prepares incoming students with the resources and guidance needed to adjust to our campus.

Incoming students have the opportunity to participate in two orientation experiences as a new student.


Student Orientation, Advising, and Registration (SOAR) gives a closer look at what life is like for a UW–Madison student. As you visit campus and discover the exciting resources waiting for you, you will feel like you're already a part of a great campus and a dynamic city. SOAR sessions are offered throughout the summer for fall/summer admitted students and in January for spring admitted students. At SOAR you will:

  • Find out what it means to be a student at UW–Madison
  • Work in small groups with faculty, staff, and student advisors to explore your academic interests and learn about the academic structure of the university.
  • Learn about our academic advising and student support systems
  • Select your first-semester courses and enroll online
  • Engage in small-group discussions about campus issues and resources
  • Get your student identification card (Wiscard)
  • Meet other new and current students
  • Learn your way around campus on a walking tour

Learn more at the SOAR website.

Wisconsin Welcome

During the start of the each semester, a variety of events are coordinated through the Wisconsin Welcome program. These events are designed to welcome new students to campus. Campus-wide events begin during move-in and continue through the first six weeks semester. You'll have a great time meeting new friends and beginning to find your place in the UW–Madison community. It's also a chance to find answers to your questions, learn about more about academic opportunities on campus, find your way around, learn about Wisconsin history and culture, and discover all that the university has to offer.

Learn more at the Wisconsin Welcome website.