New Full-Degree International Students
Congratulations on your acceptance to Barnard College!
We are delighted for you to join your fellow students from more than 50 countries as part of the international student population here at Barnard and the even broader community at Columbia University in New York City.
Your successful transition is a priority for Barnard College. The U.S. government and the college have several requirements for international students. Our office is here to help you navigate the process and put you on the right path toward a fulfilling and productive academic experience at Barnard College.
Please review the tabs below this text to prepare for the journey ahead!
Obtaining Your F-1 Student Visa
Students must obtain an F-1 Visa to enter the United States for the purpose of study at Barnard as a full-time student in a degree program. To apply for an F-1 student visa, you must schedule an interview at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the country where you live. They will ask for your SEVIS number, which is located on the top right-hand corner of the Form I-20. You will receive instructions on how to obtain the Form I-20 upon gaining admission to the college.
Do not use a tourist visa to enter the United States to study at Barnard.
On the day of your visa interview, you will be asked to present several documents. A complete list of documents is available on the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs website under U.S. Visas. Please be sure to review the U.S. Visas page in its entirety. Also, please follow all instructions provided by your local embassy or consulate on how to apply for a visa.
The Form I-20 is the"Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1) Student Status – For Academic and Language Students." This form will be required by your local embassy or consulate as part of your student visa application. Barnard will issue your Form I-20 upon admission to the college.
To request your Form I-20, please submit the items listed below to firstname.lastname@example.org as one (1) file in PDF format.
- I-20 Request Form, including supporting documentation
- Copy of Passport, photo page
- Affidavit of Support - Include an affidavit only if someone is supporting you financially. You may have more than one sponsor. Each sponsor must submit a separate form.
- F-1 Transfer Verification Form - Include this form only if you attended another U. S. secondary school or U. S. college within the last six (6) months.
All I-20 forms for the entering class, including early admitted students, will be issued in late June, provided our office has received all necessary paperwork.
Special note: Please make sure that your Form I-20 is returned to you by the embassy or consulate. Otherwise, you may not be allowed to enter the United States.
The arrival record is the Form I-94 in either paper or electronic formats issued by a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officer to foreign visitors entering the United States. You will not receive a copy of your I-94 unless you are traveling by car. As soon as possible upon arrival, please print a copy of your Form I-94.
If you have any trouble obtaining a student visa, please contact email@example.com.
Preparing for your Arrival
All new international students on F-1 or J-1 visas must attend iPOP! - International Pre-Orientation Program. This includes all new international First Year and Transfer students. Please note that this is one of two mandatory orientation programs intended to aid in your transition to Barnard, New York City, and the United States.
The second required program is the college-wide New Student Orientation Program (NSOP). It is during this program that new international students meet their domestic peers. You do not need to plan differently to participate in NSOP as you will already be on campus and iPOP will lead right into NSOP.
INTERNATIONAL STUDENT CHECK-IN AND MOVE-IN:
Friday, August 24
10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Barnard Hall Lobby
IPOP WELCOME DINNER:
Friday, August 24
Location: Millicent Carey McIntosh Student Dining Room
Barnard College is located in Morningside Heights on the West side of Manhattan. Barnard students' safety around the neighborhood and beyond is an essential element to positive student life. Simple safety tips:
1. Keep electronics in your bag or concealed in public.
2. Yellow Call Boxes: scattered on campus for use in case of emergency.
3. Never take an unmarked cab - only take yellow or green taxis with meters.
4. Columbia Evening Shuttle provides safe transit in the Morningside Heights neighborhood: 212-854-SAFE.
If you or your parents need temporary lodging near Barnard before arrival or for a visit, there are many hotel options in the neighborhood.
Banking: To set up an American bank account as an international student, you must physically go to a branch with an approved ID and an American address. View a list of banks near Barnard College and detailed instructions on setting up an account.
Budgeting: The Bursar's Office at Columbia College has compiled a list of basic fees for housing, meal plans and tuition for average Barnard students. New York City itself can be expensive, but with careful budgeting and familiarity with the options, the cost of living in a global city can be affordable.
Metro Card: One Metro ticket is $2.75 and is valid for one trip on the New York City subway system. MTA also provides options for week-long or month-long Metro passes. There are no special fares for college students. These tickets can be purchased on the entrance to the subway at kiosks or automated machines in the subway.
Learn more about the climate in New York City and what to pack so you will be prepared to stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Don't bring things prohibited by ResLife (like pets); DO bring things from your home country to share with new friends! Don’t worry, during NSOP we’ll also take you to a store where you can get everything you couldn’t pack or forgot to bring.
Customs: Before you get on the plane to New York City, be sure that you have all of the necessary documents as defined by the US Department of Homeland Security.
New York Taxi Cabs are yellow or green and always have a meter that determines the fare. At New York airports, you will be directed to a line where you can get in a cab. Do NOT agree to take a ride from anyone offering taxi services inside baggage claim. You will need to provide the driver with the neighborhood and address to which you are going. For example, if you are going to Barnard College from the airport, you would request to be taken to "Morningside Heights - Barnard College - at Broadway and 117th." Alternatively, you could simply tell the cab driver, "Morningside Heights - 3009 Broadway." Broadway and 117th are the cross-streets where Barnard College is located.
Residence halls remain open over some school breaks, such as Fall Break (early November), Thanksgiving Break (late November) and Spring Break (mid-March). Students are welcome to stay in their residence halls at these times. During Winter and Summer Break, students must apply to remain in campus housing; housing is not guaranteed. Please review Residential Life policies on Winter Break Housing and Summer Housing.
When planning return flights home, keep in mind Barnard policy: students must move out within 24 hours of their final exam or by the time the residence halls close for the semester. Important residence hall dates can be found here. Many students wait to buy a return ticket until the exam schedule is final.