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International Buddy Program Application

The International Buddy Program (IBP) welcomes incoming international students and helps them prepare for their transition to college life before they arrive on campus. The program matches new international students ("cubs") with returning international or U.S. students ("lions") according to their expressed preferences. The "lions" serve as a resource for four to five incoming international students. "Lions" provide a friendly face, helpful information and offer that first Columbia friendship for incoming international students who are getting ready to come to New York City. 


  • Commit to be a buddy to new international students from June to September 2019.
  • Informally mentor four to five first-year international students who signed up to be in IBP. Connect via email, Facebook chats, Skype, Facetime and other channels of electronic communication. 
  • Participate in IBP on-campus training on Friday, April 26, 1:00-3:30 p.m.
  • Reach out to assigned first-year buddies and share relevant information (e.g. transition/packing/Columbia experience, etc.) electronically over the summer break.
  • Attend the International @ Columbia Open House in Fall 2019 to meet their assigned first-year buddies in person. 
  • Participate in "Friday Lunch Chats for International Studentsthroughout September to provide face-to-face support to first-year international students over lunch. 


  • Full-time enrolled Columbia University undergraduate in Columbia College or Columbia Engineering
  • Minimum GPA of 2.5 at time of application (must be in good academic standing)
  • Completed participation in the Sexual Respect Initiative
  • Ability to respond to student questions in a timely manner and provide relevant transition information to incoming international students
  • Willingness to work with a diverse group of first-year international students online to build intercultural friendship and community
  • Not graduating in May 2019 and not studying abroad in Fall 2019

Important Dates

  • The application deadline to become a buddy is Sunday, April 7 at 11:59 p.m.
  • We will notify you if you have been selected for an interview by Monday, April 8
  • Interview dates will take place Tuesday, April 9Friday, April 12
  • We will notify you if you have been selected to become a buddy by Wednesday, April 17
  • Training for selected buddies will take place on Friday, April 26, 1:003:30 p.m.

Questions about being a buddy? Please contact

International at Columbia


510 Alfred Lerner Hall
2920 Broadway
New York, NY 10027

Call: 001 (212) 854-0720

Fax: 001 (212) 854-9801

Office Hours
9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.