Student Life at Columbia University

Columbia University attracts a diverse national and international student body providing learning and experience of the highest level. The university boasts of a dynamic campus in a city that is the melting pot of culture and an economic powerhouse. Often termed the city that never sleeps, life in New York promises to be fast-paced and energetic, making it one of the most important cities in the world. Students enjoy a multifaceted life on the vibrant campus at Columbia University. The s opportunities are tremendous and transformative.

Athletics and Recreation:

Columbia University is one of the original members of the Ivy League. It has 31 NCAA Division 1 university teams and more than 40 club sports and intramurals. The journey of numerous Olympic medalists started here, and the university has celebrated over 120 Ivy League Championships. The culture of hard work goes a long way toward building team spirit and the drive to win. The level of competition is at a very high level, and participants receive tremendous support from the university community. Whether it is football or rowing, the teams have a long tradition of success. Other sports like soccer, lacrosse, baseball, track and field, and fencing also have strong programs.
Columbia’s commitment to recreational, wellness, and educational needs is met through the required physical education classes, group fitness, and personal training sessions. Columbia University Athletics – Official Athletics Website ( 

Columbia University Cheerleaders have been the epitome of the spirit of Columbia for several decades. Their participation helps in the preservation of Columbia’s rich tradition at campus events, football and basketball games besides participating in community service events throughout the year. Interested in joining the group? Tryouts take place every September. Columbia University Cheerleading – Columbia University Athletics (

The Dodge Fitness Center is the hub for physical education and recreational activities at Columbia. The compulsory physical education program offers a variety of activities in the areas of dance, cardio fitness, strength training, martial arts, individual and dual sports, team sports, and outdoor education. The fitness center offers world-class amenities and facilities like a running track, a multipurpose gym, squash courts, a tennis center, and a swimming pool, for sports enthusiasts. Schiller Court at Levien Gymnasium and Columbia Field Hockey Stadium are a few among the 26 facilities.  Facilities – Columbia University Athletics (

The Columbia Intramural provides a great opportunity to participate in competitive leagues and tournaments as well as in a variety of team and individual sports and activities. Volleyball, Outdoor and Indoor soccer, and Basketball, Badminton, Dodge Ball are some of the games that are part of the intramural activities. Intramurals | Physical Education and Recreation (

Arts and Culture:

Columbia exposes its students in all disciplines to the arts, which is reflected in a program of the Arts Initiative known as Passport to Museums. This gives all undergraduate and graduate students free access to more than 30 museums in the city. Columbia University’s Summer Session connects students, faculty, and New York City through on-campus activities and events, special lectures, and citywide excursions. In the past, the activities have centered around, faculty-led museum trips, panel discussions, movie screenings, Broadway shows, a live concert series, and more. The campus events are geared towards students connecting with their community, reducing stress, and creating spaces for conversation. 

Students can take advantage of the libraries in the university by attending workshops, scheduling a tailored session on library services and tools for small groups or classes led by a subject specialist, or taking advantage of access to expert-led online professional development courses and videos with LinkedIn Learning.

There are ample opportunities for students to take advantage of the being in New York.

Those interested in visiting Museums can visit the following globally renowned museums.

  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met):
  • The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA):
  • The Guggenheim Museum:
  • Whitney Museum of American Art

Theatre lovers can catch plays at

  • Broadway:
  • Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts:
  • The Public Theater

From Street Art to Cultural film festivals, New York epitomizes the cultural tapestry of history and diversity

Student Councils

As a student, if you are looking to get involved, you can join the  University Life Events Council, where a group of students from across Columbia’s 17 schools plan activities that connect students and foster a sense of community and belonging across Columbia. This translates into promoting inclusion, belonging, respect, and opportunities for students to connect beyond their schools. University Life Events Council | University Life (

University Life Ambassadors play a pivotal role in enhancing the student experience on campus. Ambassadors actively engage with other student leaders to foster a collaborative environment that helps understand diverse perspectives and effectively addresses the needs of the student body. University Life Ambassadors  | University Life (

Campus Conversations | University Life (   The university takes cognizance of the need to enable students to have structured dialogues about identity, differences, and shared experiences. The students learn critical listening skills, apart from understanding and empathizing with others. Students also learn strategies for handling challenging topics.

Universities like to see students take advantage of the college facilities that are being provided. As an applicant, it is also important to thoroughly research each college to identify what and how you may want to get involved. Writing about activities that you best identify with, enables you to showcase your passion to the admission officers.

We can help you with your college application process. Working with study abroad consultants, overseas education consultants, or, as more commonly known, college counselors, can help you plan and make those high school years count. Ivy Central offers exceptional focus to help you prepare for college admissions throughout the high school years. Start today!

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