Columbia College | Columbia Engineering

International Buddy Program (IBP)

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. 

Information for Cubs:

  • All Columbia College and Columbia Engineering Class of 2022 international students (broad definition) are qualified to apply to be a cub.
  • All cubs will be matched with a lion based on their expressed interest, perspective majors and country/countries of origin. Cubs will be able to contact their lions via email, Facebook chats, Skype and other channels of electronic communication throughout the summer. The matched lions will be cubs' point people for pre-departure questions, and referral for campus resources.
  • All cubs will be informed of their matched lions on Monday, June 4.
  • Cubs will meet their matched lions in person during International @ Columbia Open House in September.  

Responsibilities of Lions:

  • Commit to be a buddy to new international students from June to September.
  • Each "lion" 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. 
  • 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 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.

Apply to be a Lion (Open to all Class of 2019, 2020, 2021 Columbia College and Columbia Engineering students)

Applications are due Sunday, March 11 to serve as lions in Summer 2018.  

Apply to be a Cub (Open to Class of 2022 Columbia College and Columbia Engineering self-identified international students) 

Applications are due Sunday, May 20 by 11:59 p.m (priority deadline). Cubs applied before the priority deadline will be matched with a lion on June 4. We still accept cub applications on a rolling basis until July 31, 2018. Cubs who apply after May 20 can expect to be informed of their matched lion 10 business days after they submit their applications.  

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.