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How to Transfer to GWU

Welcome to GW, and congratulations on making the courageous and life-changing decision to transfer! With only about 450 transfer students per year (that’s about 4% of the student body), it can seem like you’re on an island, but with these tips and tricks, you’ll feel right at home in no time! Here’s a step-by-step guide of how to transfer to GW.

When you first get to school-

1. Go to the orientations, welcome to GW events, dorm meetings etc.
It’s easy to assume that since you’ve already been to college, these meeting are going to be superfluous and boring, and you might be right. The endless name games and icebreakers might be enough to put you over the edge, but it’s a great way to meet new people (a common enemy brings people together faster than anything!) Plus, for as much as you do know about being a college student, there are many specifics that you don’t, and you might actually learn something, like where to go when you need coffee at 3am.

2. Meet with your advisor!
This may seem obvious, but many students don’t make the time. It’s easy to forget to go to your advisor once you get settled into classes, or assume that you can handle your schedule yourself, but transferring can be tricky, and you never know where extra credits can be applied unexpectedly. Make sure you talk to your advisor to find out! (They can also help guide you if you want to petition a specific department that didn’t accept your credits the first time around.) Some programs even have special advisors just for transfer students, so you’ll get detailed, transfer specific information. Don’t forget to check in every couple of months as well!

3. Sign up for the TEAM Mentor program:
This is a program designed to connect new transfer students to seasoned pros. It’s new to the university this year, but it’s already been very well received. Older transfer, mentor students can help you with everything from where to pick up your packages and how to get the water pressure in your shower fixed. They can even help you find the best Chinese food or show you how to refill your Gworld, answer questions about advisors, academic programs, Greek life, clubs, and just about anything else you can think of. If you haven’t already signed up for the program, email Ben Miller (benmill@gwmail.gwu.edu) at the center for student engagement.

4. Get involved!!
It doesn’t matter what it is that you like to do, be it sports, politics, community service, writing, etc. just find a way on campus to get involved! GW is known for its overly-involved students, so the best way to feel at home here is to jump right in! It’s also a great way to make friends with students who share the same interests and goals as you. Commit to joining at least 2 clubs your first semester. The first general body meeting might be awkward, but you’ll be thrilled you stuck it out a month later. Plus, they are a great way to rack up leadership roles that look awesome on your resume.

Later on-

1. Consider Greek life:
About 22% of students are involved in Greek life on campus. It’s a big part of the social scene here at GW, and if you think you may be interested in joining, then it’s worth looking into. There are 11 Panhellenic Sororities at GW and recruitment will take place October 4th to the 9th. You can sign up online through the center for student engagement if you’re considering going through recruitment! And if you decide Panhellenic recruitment isn’t for you, there are plenty of alternative Greek organizations on campus to check out- professional, honors, and service.

2. Take a class just for fun!
It’s easy to get bogged down with the required general education requirements and the classes you need for your major. However, a class that seems interesting and fun can actually be the perfect stress reliever. Whether it’s an exercise class like zumba or yoga or a more academic one that sounds interesting or has an awesome professor (GW has some great professors that are experts in their fields!), take advantage! This is the one time in your life that you will get the opportunity to learn about anything you want! GW has plenty of interesting albeit seemingly random classes (like massage therapy, interior design, and Kung Fu) that may not be practical, but they will be fun!

3. Explore the City:
Being in the “Foggy Bottom Bubble” is simple and comfortable, but there is so much more to Washington, DC than just that! One of the benefits of going to school at GW is all that Washington, DC has to offer. Whether it’s the history you’re looking for at the Smithsonian Museums or taking Capital or White House tour (book this WAY ahead of time!), or going to the shops in Adams Morgan, Georgetown, and Eastern Market, there is so much to see, do, and eat! Don’t forget all that Washington has to offer! 

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