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International Buddy Program Application

The International Buddy Program (IBP) strives to make incoming international students feel welcome and help 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, which can make a world of difference for incoming international students who are getting ready to come to New York City. 

International Buddy Program (IBP) Buddy Responsibilities and Qualifications


  • Commit to be a buddy to new international students from June to September, 2018.
  • 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 Saturday, April 14 (time to be determined).
  • Reach out to assigned first-year buddies and share relevant inforamtion (e.g. transition/packing/Columbia experience, etc.) electronically over the summer break.
  • Attend the International @ Columbia Open House in Fall 2018 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 and be in good academic standing.
  • Completed participation in the Sexual Respect Initiative.
  • Ability to answer new international students' 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 2018 and not studying abroad in Fall 2018. 

Important Dates:

  • IBP Buddies Application Due: 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, March 11
  • Interview Notification: Friday, March 16
  • Interview Dates: Monday, March 19 to Friday, March 23 
  • Selection Notification: Tuesday, March 27
  • Training for Selected Buddies: Saturday, April 14 (time to be determined)

The application is closed. For 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.