Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Orientation Week

Are shuttle services offered from the NYC airports to campus? Can I get to campus by taking public transportation?

There are no shuttle services from campus, but cabs are readily available. Let your driver know you need to go to "Columbia University at 116th and Amsterdam."  If you are traveling from the Newark, JFK, or LaGuardia airports, it is possible to use a variety of buses and trains to get to the University. Be mindful that this route will take some time and may involve multiple modes of transportation. Please visit and use the "trip planner" tool to get a route to campus. Enter "Columbia University Main Campus" as your destination address.

Are there shuttle services from local airports to campus?

There are no shuttle services from the airport to campus, but cabs are readily available. Ask the driver to take you to "Columbia University at 116th and Broadway."

Do I need any money during orientation?

Your orientation fee covers the cost of the program. However, you may want additional money for special events, subway rides, and off-campus dining.

How do I get to campus, and where do I park when I arrive?

When you arrive on campus on your move-in day, Public Safety will greet you, guide you to a temporary unloading area, and provide a map to nearby parking garages.

How do I set up a bank account?

Columbia University has a special banking relationship with Santander Bank, and you'll find Santander ATMs on campus. Other banks can also be found within walking distance of the campus.

How do I update my address on file?

Once you establish your Columbia email login, also known as your UNI, you may log on to Student Services Online (SSOL) to change your address. For any issues in creating your account, please email

I have a disability. How will my needs be accommodated during orientation?

We have an incredible Office of Disability Services here at Columbia! Students are strongly encouraged to contact the office to discuss any disabilities prior to NSOP, to prepare for orientation week and the academic year. Please email the office by late July.

I have special dietary needs. Will I be able to eat during orientation week?

Kosher, vegetarian, and vegan dining options will be available during orientation week and beyond. Have allergies? Let our dining staff know!

If I've shipped items to campus, where do I pick up my packages?

Students with photo ID can pick up their packages from the mail room. The mail room does not deliver packages to the residence halls. Due to the high volume of packages delivered at the beginning of the semester, there may be a wait of more than a week to access your shipment(s). Please plan to bring with you or to purchase locally anything you'll need in the first 1-2 weeks.

My parents plan on staying in NYC beyond my move-in day. Will I have time to hang out with them?

While it is common to have family members stay in NYC for an extended amount of time to sightsee and/or visit other family and friends, the week of orientation is packed with mandatory and social programs and affords little time much else. It is a vital opportunity to learn the Columbia ropes, make connections, and build friendships within your new undergraduate community.

What events will be happening during orientation week?

You will receive a schedule upon arrival but may refer back to this website for periodic updates.

What is NSOP?

The New Student Orientation Program (NSOP) is a required program for all undergraduate students in Columbia College and Columbia Engineering.

What should I be doing to prepare for my classes?

Your advising dean in the Berick Center for Student Advising will reach out to you over the summer with the steps you should take to get ready. Be sure to check your LionMail account for his or her email! You can also take a look at these FAQs on advising and classes from incoming students.

Where can I learn about academic advising?

Please visit the Berick Center for Student Advising website, and look for an email from your advising dean over the summer.

Who can I talk to if I’m having a hard time adjusting during NSOP?

Being anxious or nervous is completely normal, and we’re here to help you in any way we can. Our NSOP staff and volunteers have all been in your shoes at one point.

We recommend reaching out to to your orientation leader (OL) or resident adviser (RA) with your concerns. If you would like guidance from a full-time administrator, staff are easy to locate and approach. Still not sure who to contact? If you email NSOP, a handful of individuals will receive your inquiry, and someone will follow up with you. We’re here to support you!

Will we learn how to navigate the subway lines, buses, and commuter rail system during NSOP?

One of the best parts of living in New York City is the ability to explore everything it has to offer simply by having a MetroCard and understanding how the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) works. Our OLs can teach you how to use a MetroCard machine, which has a simple touch screen interface. They can also help you understand how the various bus routes and subway lines, how they operate, and how to read an MTA map. We have plenty of programs throughout the city during NSOP, and travel to and from these will help you practice getting around. You’ll soon be a pro at navigating the city! We'll also let you know which websites and apps (like HopStop) can help you get from Point A to Point B.



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