Beyond Columbia

Tom Wolfe once said, “One belongs to New York instantly, one belongs to it as much in five minutes as in five years.” New York is a city bursting with possibilities and opportunities, all just waiting to be embraced. From world-class hospitals to world-shaping technology to world-changing ideas and a world-champion attitude, New York is truly one of a kind. It’s literary, culinary, contemporary, and classic—and as a Columbia student, you’ll make the most of it all. 

Where the whole world is just a subway ride away.

This is a city of discovery, and virtually every subway stop is alive with possibility. Here, you’ll find more museums, theaters, galleries, restaurants, street vendors, cafes, clubs and performance venues than you could explore in a lifetime. Every day in New York offers glimpses into new worlds, each one an opportunity to gain new perspectives and continually re-shape who you are.



languages spoken



miles of bike lanes 



street vendors




Once a technological marvel, now a technology megahub, New York is a city that’s redefining industries and reimagining the future—a living lab where your classroom learning becomes real world reality. Where you can find your focus, or focus on giving back through a wide range of civic engagement and service learning opportunities, in Morningside Heights and throughout the five boroughs. 

A place of endless possibility.

Sometimes, it’s good to follow the crowd. Our NYC bucket list is well-traveled for a reason: it leads to some truly unforgettable experiences. 

  1. Run in the NYC Marathon
  2. Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge
  3. Picnic in Sheep Meadow
  4. Marvel at the floats at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
  5. Experience the wonder of the holiday windows on 5th Ave
  6. Fill your belly with the city’s finest morsels Smorgasburg in Brooklyn
  7. Join the live audience of the TODAY show, Good Morning America or Saturday Night Live
  8. Enjoy Italian food on Arthur Ave in the Bronx
  9. Ice skate in Bryant Park
  10. Stroll along the High Line
  11. Smell the flowers at the NY Botanical Garden in the Bronx
  12. Treat yourself to banana pudding at Magnolia Bakery
  13. See a Tony-winning show on Broadway
  14. Ride bikes around Governors Island
  15. Cheer for performers at Showtime at the Apollo
  16. Sing karaoke in Koreatown
  17. Browse antiques at the Hester Street Fair flea market in Lower East Side
  18. Take a free Staten Island Ferry ride
  19. Pick a team to cheer for: the Yankees or the Mets
  20. Ride the Wonder Wheel at Coney Island
  21. Browse books at the Strand Bookstore
  22. Stroll the boardwalk at Rockaway Beach in Queens
  23. Admire the stained glass at St. Patrick's Cathedral

24. Eat dumplings and egg custard tarts in Chinatown

25. Attend a poetry reading at Nuyorican Poets Cafe

26. Kayak on the Hudson River

27. Get spooked at the Halloween Parade in Greenwich Village

28. People-watch at a sidewalk cafe in Soho

29. Listen to a free jazz performance at Lincoln Center

30. Attend the Puerto Rican Day Parade

31. Share a crazy milkshake with a friend at Black Tap Craft Burgers

32. Attend the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting

33. Stay up late to see the immersive theatre experience Sleep No More

34. Cross your fingers and enter the lottery for Hamilton tickets

35. Enjoy an outdoor movie screening in Brooklyn Bridge Park

36. Laugh with some rising comedic stars at the People's Improv Theater or Comedy Cellar

37. Take advantage of New York Restaurant Week and sample different chefs

38. Walk all 32 miles of Manhattan’s shoreline as part of the Great Saunter

39. Stumble across movie and TV sets as you explore different neighborhoods

40. Watch a victory parade march down the Canyon of Heroes

Where will Columbia Blue take you?
Columbia student Aiman on an engineering job site

In the world's greatest city: "Exploring New York City is one of my favorite pastimes. Leveraging Columbia's museum pass has opened doors (quite literally) to several museums I never knew I could visit. Learning from museums, attending exhibits and venturing out with friends has created memories I will cherish forever."

Danvers, MA
Mechanical Engineering
Columbia student Sabrina T.-W. from Chicago, Illinois

A college town in NYC: "Living and going to class on Columbia's campus means having all the professional and social activities that New York has to offer at your fingertips. Columbia's campus is beautiful, and I love that I can also engage with Harlem's rich culture."

Chicago, IL
Political Science, Concentration in English
Columbia student Alejandra D.-P. from Mexico City, Mexico

In the world's greatest city: "I truly don't think I paid for a single museum visit all last year, which is incredible in a city that boasts as many as NYC does. The Passport to Museums has given me privileges like just 'popping in quickly' at the Met to see an exhibit and spending entire days along Museum Mile."

Mexico City, Mexico
Economics, History
Columbia student Olivia S. from Skillman, New Jersey

A college town in NYC: "The unique opportunity to live in residential Morningside Heights and still experience the energy of New York truly gives Columbia students the best of both worlds. This truly makes the area feel like home. My favorite thing to do is meet friends at the Hungarian Pastry Shop, as it has the best dessert (tiramisu!) and there are always students gathered inside to create a very welcoming atmosphere."

Skillman, NJ
History, Concentration in Public Health
Columbia student Trey P. from Chapel Hill, North Carolina

In the world's greatest city: "I have been able to see several Broadway shows for free through Columbia’s Urban New York program. Every semester, they send out raffle information for students, and through that I have been able to see Jagged Little Pill, Funny Girl and Wicked all for free!"

Chapel Hill, NC
Creative Writing, Sustainable Development
Columbia student Katherine E. from Hialeah, Florida

A college town in NYC: "Columbia’s campus is an oasis in the city. When you’re in the center of campus, it can be super quiet. You're not surrounded by the buzz of the city, which can be very comforting. My favorite thing to do in Morningside Heights is visit the parks, especially when dogs are able to run free in the morning. It’s always a boost being surrounded by fluffy dogs and greenery!"

Hialeah, FL
Neuroscience and Behavior
Columbia student Zoie G. from Kingsford, Michigan

In the world's greatest city: "My favorite thing to do in the city is explore jazz clubs with my friends! We love checking out new places around the city. It gives you a great opportunity to listen to amazing people and experience more of the city."

Kingsford, MI
Computer Science