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Columbia Campus Visits

Roger_DooleyRoger_Dooley 6084 replies100309 threadsFounder Senior Member
edited September 2010 in Columbia University
Columbia is at the top of the most viewed list on CC's Campus Visits page, but we have a mere half-dozen reports right now. Check out Columbia University Visits.

If you have done a CU visit, please feel free to post your experiences as a visit report. Clearly, lots of people are wondering about the Upper West Side, Morningside Heights, and the students and atmosphere on the Columbia campus - your impressions will help build a composite picture of the school.

My first visit to Columbia is too old to post ('96), but it was a real eye-opener. I had expected a typical urban campus, but passing through the big gate on Broadway seemed to take one into a separate world. The students and staff we encountered were the opposite of the sharp-elbowed New Yorkers we expected, too - all went out of their way to be helpful.

Thanks for taking the time to share your impressions - if you want to describe your visit, be sure you are logged into the forum and click the "post report" link.
edited September 2010
78 replies
Post edited by Roger_Dooley on
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Replies to: Columbia Campus Visits

  • SueInTheCitySueInTheCity 9 replies0 threadsRegistered User New Member
    Columbia was not my top choice last spring when deciding which college to attend, but my campus visit definitely blew all the other options out of the water. I had been considering Duke, but New York City and Columbia trumped trees and the expansive campus there. New Yorkers certainly have a reputation for their slightly biting attitudes, however, you stroll into a cozy, welcoming, friendly, beautiful, and really inspiring environment when you step inside Columbia's gates. I remember that I just loved how students were hanging out on the famous Low steps, some reading, some discussing various issues, and others simply basking in the sun and enjoying a lunch with friends. The grassy knolls were full of students lounging about and partaking in various recreational activities. There were even little kids and what I presume to be neighborhood residents enjoying an afternoon on the Columbia greens. The visit definitely had me sold. I submitted my registration that afternoon when I returned to the hotel.
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  • nogarddernogardder 384 replies10 threadsRegistered User Member
    Wow, I didn't know you can post in this thread. Amazing.
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  • NathansubNathansub 53 replies16 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    I'll be in NYC this Wednes, Aug 1st. Do you think I can just walk into the admissions office and get a tour or orientation?
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  • karen61990karen61990 1548 replies51 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    yep, no appointment necessary.
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  • MSHPMSHP 187 replies33 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    It's definitely not as green or as spacious as some of your other schools that are out in the middle of nowhere, but I still liked the campus (not saying that it's all concrete and stuffy -- it's compact with enough green and space to loll around). I visited last summer and I really loved the school & the surrounding area. The buildings are also quite pretty and the fountains, statues, and sculptures all add to campus aesthetics.

    I thought the tour was pretty decent too. My only regret is that I didnt get a chance to visit during the actual school year.
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  • NooberNoober 252 replies13 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    I liked the bulldozers and Mexicans in the middle of the campus.
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  • So AuthenticSo Authentic 1200 replies41 threads- Member
    ^^haha thats why I said way back that they're doing some stupid construction on the campus. Worst time to take a tour because that will put off visitors
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  • ccmom09ccmom09 51 replies9 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    mexicans on campus??? What does that mean?
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  • fairlyconfidentfairlyconfident 51 replies12 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    ^^^ haha. I know I wouldn't send my kid to a school with Mexicans.
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  • GodfatherbobGodfatherbob 1230 replies81 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    ^^About 20 million of them here already, better get used to it, bud. If you'd like to meet some, I'd be glad to translate for you. Start by introducing yourself, say, "Soy un pinche racista." <
    Look it up, as54ole
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  • fairlyconfidentfairlyconfident 51 replies12 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    I hope we're all kidding here.

    I was laughing at ccmom's reaction of shock to the mexicans on campus comment. ha. ha. fue un chiste.

    oh, well. now I'm a racist.

    Like my grandfather always told me, never put anything in writing.
    Damn forums.
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  • redknightredknight 437 replies24 threadsRegistered User Member
    Godfatherbob is my new hero.
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  • luzbrillanteluzbrillante 77 replies4 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Er...getting back..on..topic...

    Anyone who's visited/attended Columbia,
    What did you think of the commute from the heart of campus to the heart of NYC?
    Were the campus and buildings more modern or classic, Goth, etc.? I haven't yet visited but from the pictures & brochures it looks beautiful.

    Any estimate of dorm sizes relative to other top-tier schools? I've heard Upenn's are not spectacular, Duke's are only a step above...

    Thank you for any responses!
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  • meadows23meadows23 16 replies2 threadsRegistered User New Member
    I loved the architecture at Columbia. The campus is extraordinarily gorgeous and wasn't quite as depressing as the Yale campus. I know, I know, Yale is beautiful too, but Columbia's campus is simply invigorating. I love the classical aspect.
    Loved the neighborhood surrounding campus, and the fact that the campus is so small (I am lazy - would not want to trek miles each day to class!!!) But do people ever get sick of the fact that Columbia is so condensed?

    I also went on a beautiful, sunny, brilliant day, so that probably contributed to the great impression I got. Everyone was out on the stairs and the lawn, and I just got a great vibe.
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  • wombatsoupwombatsoup 1099 replies57 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I just went two days ago. It was amazing. The campus is very beautiful, like a lot of people I loved the classical aspect with those two libraries. The guide talked about the core curriculum a lot, and it sounded pretty great. For those who aren't familiar with that, its a series of required seminar discussion based classes that makes up about a third of the curriculum at the college and a quarter at fu. Before this I was looking at St. John's college because they also offer that type of program, but Columbia's programs also offered more specialization and opportunities. That made it may first choice. As for the commute, to answer luzbrillante, there's a 7th avenue subway station literally right outside the gates, so commuting to Midtown is easy. The best part of my visit was seeing Jeffrey Sachs. He's on the list of Time's most influential people and he's the director of their Earth institute. There he was, without school even being in session, right outside Low Library, talking to a junior. They said that their faculty was involved with their students up to the highest level, and they weren't kidding. I was originally interested in Columbia only because it was an Ivy in NYC, but the visit really made me aware of what sets it apart from everyone else. Definitely made it my first choice.
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  • Fastfood15Fastfood15 591 replies53 threadsRegistered User Member
    I'll be there this Friday, and I will write a comprehensive report. I am considering ED, so I will be critical.
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  • pgh36pgh36 48 replies17 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    The Columbia campus is top notch but the core sucks
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  • madguitarmikeymadguitarmikey 28 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
    The Core is fantastic and the reason why Columbia isn't just another Ivy League yuppie breeding ground--you have to READ!
    I wish more schools had cores like that.
    It's all what you want I guess; some people prefer loose structure, some of us want rigid structure to take a leap off of.
    So don't hate.
    I really want the Columbia education, then it just so happens that everything else about the school is amazing.
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  • aechavarriaaechavarria 1 replies0 threadsRegistered User New Member
    Last time I visited Columbia was about 4 months ago. Although i saw very little of its installations, my cousins, and my father, who attended Columbia say its wonderful. However I do have to compliment its location, New York City is an extremely vibrant, exiting and exhilarating city. Its constant movement and activity make it very difficult for you to get board, and it prevents you from staying locked up in your dorm. However as a foreign student from a reclusive boarding school in Europe, New York’s vibrant synergy is both exiting and shocking. My question is: does New York’s exiting environment, make it difficult for you to concentrate in your studies?
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  • pgh36pgh36 48 replies17 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    I really loved the Columbia campus but I couldnt help by feel a little insecure no matter how good they claimed the security was. After leaving the campus, I walked about a block and i landed right in the middle of Harlem were a heated argument was blocking traffic
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