College Tips, American Culture, Life at KU

What to Do Your First Week at KU

Want to make the most of your first week at school? We have some tips from other international students and your expert team of student advisors.

Start with these basics, and feel free to share your own suggestions in the comments!

Get to know your AAP team


There’s a lot to do your first week, and the KU Academic Accelerator Program can help you with registering for classes, setting up a bank account, even booking travel home during school breaks.

  • Artie Markosov and Lauren Van Sant are your Student Services Advisors.


  • Artie focuses on coordinating student activities, and Lauren focuses on orientation and making sure things run smoothly.
  • Reach out to them if you have any questions. You can also call 913-284-7126 or 800-422-0513 to speak with a KU AAP concierge services advisor any time.

Make friends


Meeting new people is a big part of the college experience. While talking to strangers might be intimidating, your first week is great for being bold and just introducing yourself to neighbors, people in your classes and people in the dining hall.

  • Remember that everyone is in the same situation as you. It’s a new year, and other people want to make friends too.
  • Look for people with common interests. Check out some school clubs, sports teams and other activities. Still, don’t be scared off by differences. You’ll meet a variety of people with varied personalities and interests, so keep an open mind – you never know who might wind up a great friend.
  • Introduce yourself to your RA, or Residence Assistant. He or she can help introduce you to your neighbors and give you an idea of what to expect your first year.

Explore your campus


The beautiful KU campus and the city of Lawrence have a lot of great things to offer. Why not invite some neighbors or people from orientation to join you? That way, you combine exploring with some fun bonding.

  • During orientation, attend a campus tour – you’ll learn a lot from someone who’s already familiar and can answer questions.
  • Wandering around will help you feel comfortable in your new home, and you’ll discover cool things in the area. Your KU AAP Student Handbook has a helpful map and a list of stores and restaurants.
  • Before your first day of classes, look up where each one will be and walk there so you don’t get lost. Being on time is very important in college.

Update your loved ones


You’ll want to tell your family and friends back home about what’s new. Set aside some time to catch up over the phone or using your computer.

  • If you haven’t already, send them your school email address and your shipping address. Who doesn’t love care packages full of good stuff?
  • Skype is great (and free) for having fun video chats with family and friends around the world.
  • Remember to ask them about how things are going – their lives are interesting and important too!

Pick up school supplies

Running this errand will help you prepare for the year, and give you a good excuse to explore. Even if you brought things with you, chances are you forget a few things.

  • You’ll definitely want notebooks, pens and highlighters. Other popular items are index cards for studying, paper for your printer and a USB drive for backing up notes and school work.
  • If you want convenience, the school bookstore likely has everything you need.
  • Other sources might be farther away, but will also probably be cheaper. For instance, consider dollar stores, Walmart and Target, or if you can wait for shipping (you can get a 6-month trial of free 2-day shipping with Amazon Student).

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