First Year Experience

As a new Franklin student, you will participate in First Year Experience, an transition program designed to introduce you to the University and help you make the transition from secondary school or another university to life at Franklin.

The program is an integrated mix of activities and represents the University’s foundation in the liberal arts, emphasizing Franklin’s multicultural and international academic learning environment. The components that make up the program vary depending on your student profile (freshman, transfer student, or study abroad) and include the following:

New Student Orientation

Life at Franklin is a distinctive blend of American and European culture, and during Orientation, you will see what you need to succeed as a student while getting the most out of the experience of living in Europe. This year, Orientation activities will be held online, and we are excited to get started. 

Participation in all components of Orientation is mandatory. During Orientation, you will have the opportunity to meet other students, learn more about Franklin and what it means to live here, discuss your academic options with University advisors, and discover the services and resources that Franklin offers. Orientation information and activities are crucial to your success at Franklin.

The Undergraduate Fall Orientation will take place on campus between Tuesday, August 16 and Saturday, August 20. Throughout Orientation, students will meet other new students, get to know some of the people and resources that will be part of their Franklin experience, and register for courses. First-year students will also take part in the first sessions of their First Year Seminars. Our goal is to help students feel prepared and informed and give you as solid of a start as possible. Each year, our Orientation program culminates in a day trip to Valle Verzasca, a beautiful part of Ticino we visit each year to mark the end of orientation.

Students are greeted by staff members and student leaders who work together to help make sure you have a strong start. Three teams of student leaders make up the student side of our Orientation Team: Orientation Mentors, Academic Mentors, and Resident Assistants.

What Student Leaders do

First Year Seminars

New first-year students and transfer students with fewer than 30 credits are assigned a First Year Seminar, a three-credit, semester-long course that reflects a specific research interest of the Franklin faculty members who lead them. First Year Seminars cultivate the fundamental critical and academic skills necessary for succeeding at university.

The instructor of your First Year Seminar will also serve as your Academic Advisor, and the seminar provides an opportunity for you and your classmates to get to know them. A student with expertise in the subject matter of your First Year Seminar is appointed by the faculty member as an Academic Mentor for the course. An Academic Mentor participates in each section of the First Year Seminar to help new students manage the opportunities and challenges of university-level coursework. 

Academic Advising

Your First Year Seminar professor will also be your Academic Advisor, who is assigned to you upon your arrival, when your enrollment in your First Year Seminar is confirmed. You will have the opportunity to work with your Academic Advisor both in and out of the classroom. Your Academic Advisor helps you choose courses and develop a full educational plan compatible with your academic and life goals.

Assignments in the First Year Seminars introduce you to academic resources, such as campus libraries, information technology (IT), and the Writing and Learning Center.

Academic Mentoring

Every Franklin student enjoys the support of an Academic Mentor, a third or fourth year student who follows your First Year Seminar and provides academic assistance to the class. The Academic Mentoring program is coordinated by Professor Kate Roy and provides students with direct support from their peers. 

Tutte le Strade

“Tutte le Strade” means “all roads” in Italian, and the name captures the spirit of this comprehensive program of activities for the campus community in the first part of the fall semester. Events range from the intellectual to the experiential and include visits to local festivals, movies, hikes, and special guest lectures. You'll experience the warmth of our tight knit community through this program aimed at fostering intercultural and social development in the First Year Experience. Tutte le Strade is managed by the Office of Student Life in collaboration with staff, faculty members, and student leaders. 

For more information see our FAQ or contact us at