The International Student Orientation Program (ISOP) is designed to help international first-year students comfortably transition into the Columbia University community before the New Student Orientation Program (NSOP). Programs during ISOP range from helping new students set up a phone or bank account to understanding the Columbia academic culture and getting to know New York City.
Please note, 2020 ISOP will be modified to meet COVID-19 social distancing guidelines. We are awaiting city, state and University guidance to determine whether our program will be offered virtually, in person or as a hybrid. We will reach out to ISOP applicants later in the summer with updates.
The International Student Orientation Program (ISOP) is an optional pre-orientation program designed to help international first-year Columbia College and Columbia Engineering students, who have limited experience in the U.S., transition comfortably into the Columbia University community before the required New Student Orientation Program (NSOP).
- Set up a new life in the U.S.: Orientation leaders will offer support for you to get a U.S. cell phone, bank account and shop for college essentials
- Understand U.S. norms: You will learn U.S. norms to help you successfully navigate everyday life in New York City as well as Columbia-specific academic norms and resources
- Foster new friendships and community: You will have an opportunity to meet other new international students in a supportive environment before you integrate into the larger Columbia community during NSOP
If you have a question about ISOP that does not appear in the frequently asked question (FAQ) section below, please email ISOP@columbia.edu.
Any Columbia College or Columbia Engineering first-year undergraduate student who is not a U.S. citizen or who, regardless of citizenship, self-identifies as an international student may take part in ISOP.
Visiting and exchange students are not eligible to participate due to the specific nature of their program. Visiting and exchange students should refer to the orientation information provided by their sponsoring program.
Not sure if ISOP is something you need? Use this flowchart to determine if ISOP is right for you!
The cost for ISOP 2020 is $300.00.
A limited number of fee waivers are available to students who demonstrate high levels of financial need, as verified through Financial Aid and Educational Financing. Priority will be given to students with the highest levels of financial need. Students eligible for fee waivers must submit their online application no later than Sunday, May 17 at 11:59 p.m. (EDT).
Note: Students accepted into ISOP are required to attend all ISOP sessions and participate in all ISOP orientation leader small group activities on each day of the program. Students who do not fully participate in ISOP programs will be responsible for their housing/dining fees and may be removed from the program. Please plan accordingly.