For the past few weeks, the 1,360 members of the class of 2017 have been transitioning into life at Yale. But a smaller group is experiencing a different kind of transition to the University — this year’s group of transfer students.
Twenty-six transfer students enrolled at Yale this fall, an increase from 21 last year and 22 in the 2011–’12 academic year. The TroCo program, which pairs new transfer students with returning ones, has expanded this year to include a two-day orientation program during Camp Yale.
“When I transferred here, we did have transfer counselors, but we didn’t have any sort of orientation, kind of just a free-for-all, so it was pretty difficult to figure out how to register for classes,” said Chelsea Messinger ’15, a co-head of the TroCo program.
The TroCos, who helped organize the new orientation, decided to expand the resources offered to new transfer students by building from their own experiences coming to Yale after having already attended a different college, Messinger said. She said she and fellow students felt as though they wanted more structured guidance upon arriving on campus.
The transfer student admission rate for the 2012–’13 academic year was 2.7 percent, with 970 applicants.
The orientation program included a scavenger hunt, a session on class registration, a workshop on science requirements and meetings with various deans.
Lindsay Falkenberg ’15, a new transfer from Emory University, said the orientation was helpful because adjusting to aspects of life specific to Yale, such as shopping period, was “tricky.”
“It’s interesting when you’re a transfer student because you’re not a freshman,” she said. “You know how to do college, but you don’t know how to do college here.”
TroCo Cory Myers ’15 said immediately bonding with a group of students in a similar situation as him helped make adjusting to the University easier.
Ezriel Gelbfish ’16, who transferred to Yale this fall from Yeshiva University, said he has found Yale students to be welcoming, though transfer students from last year told him integrating into life at Yale can be difficult. He added that the structures in place, such as the orientation, TroCos and the residential college system, have made the transition easy.
The transfer students also have an opportunity to attend FOCUS, a community service preorientation program for sophomores and transfer students that pairs small groups of students with local nonprofit organizations.
Of the 26 transfer students, 20 are male and six are female.