The Orientation year is a part-time programme run over 25 Saturdays of five hours each that will introduce you to the way the Gerrit Rietveld Academie works. It will help you to gain insight into your possibilities, so that you will be able to make a well-founded choice about studying at an art academy. The Orientation year gives you the opportunity to make a collection of works, which you can use to apply to the Rietveld Academie or any other academy.

During the Orientation year you can find out if studying art and design suits you. It is also meant for people who are serious about and committed to working with visual media but who do not yet have sufficient material for an entrance exam at the academy. Participants can also attend an in-house day of consultations, to assess if they are suitable candidates to apply for the Rietveld Academie entrance exams.

Students of the Orientation Year have a minimum age of 16 and a maximum age of 50, but they vary in age and they have many different backgrounds. Classes are in English, as a number of participants are from abroad. All Orientation Year teachers speak Dutch as well.