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International Student Orientation Program

Are shuttle services offered from the NYC airports to campus?

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 mta.info and use the "trip planner" tool to get a route to campus.

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Is it possible to participate in only some of the sessions in ISOP? I would like to spend some time with my parents in New York City.

Full participation is required for all ISOP participants. If you would like to enjoy New York City with your parents, please plan to arrive before ISOP starts. Keep in mind that ISOP is not responsible for expenses incurred prior to the start of ISOP.

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Can I move into my room prior to the start of ISOP?

No, students may only move in when ISOP starts. If you need hotel accommodations, please visit the local hotels list provided by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.

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Can my parents attend ISOP?

ISOP is for students only; however, there will be some concurrent sessions and events for families run by Student and Family Support. Student participants will be extremely busy over the course of the program, and parents are encouraged to allow students this time on their own to make connections and become comfortable in their new home.

Please keep in mind that parents and family members who travel with their students will be responsible for their own accommodations.

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If I choose to participate in COÖP or CUE, will I miss receiving important information for international students?

We encourage students to apply to all pre-orientation programs that interest them. Information shared during the pre-orientation program will be made available to international students who do not participate in ISOP. There is also programming during the NSOP week that all international students should attend, especially those who do not participate in the pre-orientation program. In addition, there are on-going programs and one-on-one support for international students throughout their time at Columbia. 

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Are meals included in ISOP?

Yes. All meals are included during ISOP. ISOP will communicate with registered participants for their dietary needs.

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Is ISOP mandatory for international students?

No, ISOP is not mandatory. However, we expect students who choose to participate in ISOP to attend all programs scheduled during pre-orientation.

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If I decide to participate in ISOP, when will I move to campus?

ISOP 2020 participants will be able to move into their assigned housing on Thursday, August 27, 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

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How much does it cost to participate in ISOP?

The program fee for ISOP 2020 is $300 USD.

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).

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Who can participate in ISOP?

Any Columbia College or Columbia Engineering first-year student who is not a United States citizen or who, regardless of citizenship, self-identifies as an international student can take part in ISOP. Visiting and exchange students are not eligible to participate in ISOP.  

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