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2020 International Student Orientation Program (ISOP) Orientation Leader and Head Orientation Leader Application

Orientation leaders (OLs) and head orientation leaders for the International Student Orientation Program (ISOP) are undergraduate students in Columbia College or Columbia Engineering who assist Multicultural Affairs in welcoming first-year international undergraduate students to Columbia University. Leaders play an integral role in that they shape a positive orientation experience and prepare new international students for a successful beginning to their Columbia University career.

Orientation leaders are in charge of a group of about 10 international students throughout the orientation program. The major responsibility of an OL is to support new students in their OL group. Both positions are open to domestic and international students. Leaders must have a passion for intercultural learning and a desire to help international students adjust to life on campus and in New York City.

Head orientation leaders are responsible for handling logistics of ISOP events, as well as managing social media for ISOP. A head OL does not have his/her own student group but supports OLs and ISOP Coordinators in their work.

The application deadline for Head OL and OL applications has been extended to Friday, March 20. 


  • Attend the International Student Orientation Program OL Meet and Greet
  • Attend and participate in all required OL training sessions 
  • Assist with moving students into residence halls
  • Facilitate orientation activities (cultural, recreational and/or educational) during ISOP and stand-alone international events during NSOP
  • Actively participate in orientation field trips with new international students
  • Respond promptly to emails regarding your schedule and work responsibilities
  • Show up on time and be prepared for all trainings, ISOP and NSOP international events
  • Attend OL debrief meeting after ISOP
  • Attend ISOP reunion during Fall 2020
  • Head OL only: Attend three additional meetings with Multicultural Affairs staff during Spring 2020
  • Other duties as assigned

Required Qualifications

  • Full-time enrolled Columbia University undergraduate in Columbia College or Columbia Engineering
  • Minimum GPA of 2.5 at time of application and in good academic standing
  • Maintains good judicial standing from the application process to the end of NSOP
  • Effective intercultural communication skills and sensitivity in working with students from diverse backgrounds
  • Familiarity with Columbia University campus and building locations, as well as university resources, policies, and services
  • Ability to work both independently and enthusiastically as a team member
  • Excellent leadership, communication, time management, and listening skills
  • Demonstrated self-awareness, positivity and willingness to learn and improve throughout the orientation planning process
  • Ability to exhibit grace under pressure and to stay calm during emergencies
  • Ability to participate in Friday Lunch Chats, which take place in September and October 2020
  • Must be available for assigned shifts through the end of NSOP

Note: Students who have other paid or unpaid duties (e.g. resident adviser, member of CUEMS) during ISOP training, ISOP and NSOP are NOT qualified to be an orientation leader or head orientation leader. Also, on-campus housing from August 24, 2020 - September 5 is only possible for students who will live on-campus for Fall 2020. 

Preferred Qualifications​

  • Prior leadership experiences that are related to international education, intercultural communication and social justice education
  • Proficiency in more than one language
  • Experience living in another culture
  • Head OL only: Some experience in organizing event logistics and comfort with managing social media platforms
  • Head OL only: Some experience in creating and editing videos

International at Columbia


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