The Residential Experience

“It's really been three weeks of absolute bliss, rigorous academic challenges, and meeting different like-minded people from all across the world, all the while living in the bustling city of New York on one of the most beautiful campuses in the world.”
– Susan L. | Surrey, Canada


The residential option is only available to students in our 3-week program.

The program combines rigorous coursework, cultural and social engagement, a residential community, and the opportunity to live in New York City on Columbia University’s tranquil 36-acre enclosed campus.

Approximately 60% of program participants live on campus. The residential student community is over 60% international, with students hailing from 70 countries and 45 U.S. states.


Students choose one curricular option per session. Each curricular option comprises a variety of related components that provide an in-depth and interactive examination of a particular subject. Courses typically meet for approximately two hours each morning and two hours every afternoon, Monday through Friday. Some courses meet for more than four hours per day; see individual course pages.

Upon successful participation of the program, students receive a Columbia University Certification of Participation and evaluations written by their teachers; see academics for further details.

Courses are taught by members of the Columbia University community, scholars devoted to the highest standards of research and teaching. Combining their efforts with those of trained and experienced course assistants, the teachers create a rich academic experience drawing on the wealth of educational resources at Columbia University and in New York City. Instructor biographical information is available at the bottom of each course description page.

Student Life Activities

Programs and workshops are offered daily during the midday break and in the early evening. These include special lectures given by program instructors, workshops on preparing for college, opportunities to explore career fields, and activities designed to build leadership skills. There are also opportunities to have fun engaging with peers by joining a club or attending a community building event.

  • Faculty Lectures
  • Preparing for College
  • Careers Skills & Exploration
  • Leadership in a Diverse World
  • Cross-Cultural Community Building
  • Exploring NYC


Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are provided for residential students 7 days a week. The meal plan consists of a wide variety of food served cafeteria-style and includes vegetarian and vegan options. Kosher and halal meal plans are also available and can be requested upon enrollment in the program. We strongly discourage parents from utilizing Columbia Dining Flex Points, due to flex points being non-refundable in addition to not being able to be redeemed after the program. Please refrain from the use of Flex Points.

Food Allergies

Columbia Dining Services can accommodate virtually any allergy-based restrictions. The dining hall is set up so as to accommodate most common food allergies; Dining Services will arrange special menus for students with more uncommon or complicated restrictions. Students and parents with questions or concerns or who have special requirements are welcome to contact Dining Services to speak with a registered dietitian.

Hours of Operation (Monday through Friday)

  • Breakfast: 7:30—9:30 a.m.
  • Lunch: 11:00 a.m.—2:00 p.m.
  • Dinner: 5:00—7:00 p.m.

Hours of Operation (Saturday & Sunday)

  • Breakfast: 9:00—10:30 a.m.
  • Lunch: 12:00—2:00 p.m.
  • Dinner: 5:00—7:00 p.m.

Daily Schedule

Individual student schedules will depend upon their course of enrollment. Since students self-register for courses, they will choose a course that works best for their schedule. Most classes start at either 9:10 am or 11:10 am ET, although there are a few exceptions in which a course may start at a different time. See individual course pages.

Classes in Session

Classes take place on Columbia's Morningside Campus and meet twice daily, once in the morning and once in the afternoon, each with a ten minute break.

Lunch and Midday Break

During the midday break, which is approximately two hours, students can eat lunch, do homework, explore the neighborhood, relax with friends, and participate in a variety of organized activities and events.

Please be aware that meeting times for some curricular options overlap with the midday period.

Evenings & Weekends

Every evening, residential students will have the option of attending programming on campus, going on special outings in the city, or taking time to rest and study in the residence halls with peers.

Enlargeable graphic showing Residential Experiance Schedule A
Enlargeable graphic showing Residential Experiance Schedule B click images to enlarge

Community Guidelines & Student Safety

Students and parents are required to review all university and program policies and sign our community agreement prior to attending the High School Summer Immersion Program. Our community guidelines are designed to keep students safe while they are in our care. Our trained team of faculty and staff are committed to ensuring that our Summer Immersion program creates an engaging and safe learning environment for all students.

Parent & Guardian Engagement

Parents and guardians can expect to be copied on most emails the program sends to students. We make every effort to loop parents in on important program dates and deadlines, announcements, and next steps. Parents can always reach out to our Student Services office to get updates or ask questions while their student is enrolled in the program. Our Student Services office may also reach out to parents directly for issues related to attendance, student health, student conduct, or to get permission for a student to participate in a special activity.


The residential option is open to students in the 3-week program only. Students who will be 16 years of age or older by the start of the program qualify automatically for residential status.

The residential option is not available for students who will not yet be 16 by the beginning of the program. Younger students are welcome to apply for the commuter option or one of the online experiences.

Program Cost

Information regarding program costs and associated policies, can be found on the Program Costs page.