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SPOT Group Photo
September 13 - 18, 2023

Stanford Pre-Orientation Trips

Stanford Pre-Orientation Trips (SPOT)

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What is SPOT?

Stanford Pre-Orientation Trips are immersive, outdoor experiences that take place the week before New Student Orientation and are designed to ease the transition of students to life at Stanford as well as foster Stanford Identity, community, and personal growth through activity, self-reflection, and mentorship.

Cost: $525. Financial aid is available. The cost of SPOT will be billed to your Fall 2023 Stanford account.

SPOT 2023 Registration Dates

The SPOT Lottery Application is closed.
SPOT 2023 program dates: Wednesday, September 13 - Monday, September 18. FROSH and transfer student move-in are on Tuesday, September 19. Your SPOT leader will guide you to your neighborhood.

Trips and Types

  • SPOT trips are five and a half days long and are aimed at easing your transition to life at Stanford.
  • SPOT finishes immediately before New Student Orientation.
  • There are no experience requirements for SPOT.
  • SPOT offerings include adventures in basecamping, backpacking, and coastal adventures. They are all open to all experience levels! No experience necessary!

What about physical ability, camping experience or other prep?

SPOT isn’t about physical exertion, but instead the immersive experience, preparing for college and getting to know your group and leaders! Some trip types involve hiking and camping. No problem if you are new to this sort of thing — most are! That being said, all trips involve physical activities and your own human power to either carry your food/gear to a campsite or destination.

SPOT leads the Stanford Experience by…

  • Empowering personal growth through challenge, self-reflection and mentorship.
  • Developing awareness of interconnectedness and value of community within the Stanford environment.
  • Contributing students to the campus community prepared to actively participate and lead.

Be a part of THIS Stanford tradition and have a ton of fun doing it!

Welcome Packets

Backpackers in Plumas national forest

Plumas National Forest

Learn more

How to Register

  1. SPOT Registration opens during the summer quarter. For 2023, the dates are June 5 – 19, 2023.
  2. Placement will be decided by a lottery process in cases where the registration exceeds the number of spaces.
  3. Once your registration is confirmed and you’ve been placed on a SPOT trip, you will receive an email with details about your trip.
  4. Download and READ your welcome packet and equipment list
  5. You need to complete a Medical History form and Gear Request form and sign a waiver of liability by August 6th.
  6. Arrive on campus Wednesday, September 13th, from 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM.

Required Forms

The following two forms are required for each individual to participate in SPOT.  Each form must be completed fully in blue or black ink, signed and dated, with original copies returned by mail or in-person by Friday, August 4th to: SPOT, 285 Santa Teresa St, Stanford, CA 94305.

Medical History Form

Please double check that you have completed each and every line and include all allergies and medical information that is pertinent to your ability to participate in SPOT.

Fill out the form here

Assumption of Risk Form

Front and back. A parent or guardian must also sign this form if you will still be under 18 when the trip begins.

Fill out the form here