A Global Community

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Smiling Student on South FieldAt Columbia you will find peers from all over the world who engage with each other in serious dialogue between cultures, nations, races and religions.


Columbia is home to many renowned alumni who have gone on to change and influence the world.  Many of these eminent alumni were international students, such as Pixley ka Isaka Seme, founder of the African National Congress; V.K. Wellington Koo, Chinese diplomat; and Toomas Henrik Ilves, President of Estonia. Coming from diverse backgrounds and places, they traveled to Morningside Heights with a particular hope and goal in mind—to better themselves so they might better the world.


Columbia has historically been the center of innovation, but the quality of a Columbia education is truly measured in the way our internationally acclaimed faculty members interact with students. With faculty including Tsung Dao Lee, a Physics Professor and Nobel Laureate who has spent his entire teaching career at Columbia and Gayatri Spivak, a Professor of English Literature and founder of post-colonialism, an influential theory of literature that has spread to other disciplines, students should expect to become co-investigators in pioneering research, critical thinkers pushed by professors and deeply engaged global citizens seeking out new ways to help various communities.


An international student body does not merely refer to the number of countries, ethnicities or cultures represented, but it must describe the tenor and character of a place. Consider your future home at Columbia to be a place of both comfort and difference, where you may find students who come from the same small town as you, but also others with radically different views of the world.