International Definitions

Columbia Definitions

The community at Columbia is inclusive of various definitions of the term “international student” to provide support and programming.

  • Narrow Definition – All citizenships other than the United States (non-U.S. citizens or non-U.S. permanent residents). These are students who will need to undergo the visa process to enter the United States.
  • Broad Definition – Narrow plus U.S. citizens and U.S. permanent residents who went to school outside of the United States. Growing up outside of the United States brings another perspective to the international community.

U.S. Government Definitions

  • U.S. Citizen – one who was born in United States territory, or to a parent or parents with U.S. Citizenship at the time of birth; or, status granted through the naturalization process
  • Dual Citizen – a citizen of two countries at the same time
  • Permanent Resident - Any person not a citizen of the United States who is residing in the U.S. under legally recognized and lawfully recorded permanent residence as an immigrant. Also known as "Permanent Resident Alien", "Lawful Permanent Resident," "Resident Alien Permit Holder," and "Green Card Holder"
  • Third Culture Kid – a person who grew up in one or more countries outside their passport country, and having been raised in a foreign culture, created a third culture, a mixture of the two. Also known as TCKs, Global Nomads and/or Cross-Cultural kids

International at Columbia


505 Alfred Lerner Hall
2920 Broadway
New York, NY 10027

Newsletter Sign-Up

Call: 212-854-0720

Fax: 212-854-6972

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