Student Life

Residential Experience


Columbia University’s High School Summer Immersion Program is not just about what you learn inside of the classroom, it’s also about what you learn outside of the classroom and the connections you make with peers, faculty, and staff. We encourage students to make the most of their experience at Columbia by getting involved in activities that integrate them into the program community.

Programming Model

We want students who attend Columbia University’s High School Summer Immersion Program to gain important skills and insights as a result of their time with us. We have designed an intentional set of co-curricular activities to support each student’s development.

  • Students will be able to articulate personal values that they will use to inform decision making in the college application process.
  • Students will develop strategies that attribute to their success in college.
  • Students will develop insight about their career options and professional pathways.
  • Students will develop skills relevant for leadership in a diverse world.
  • Students will recognize, respect, and value diverse experiences, ideas, backgrounds, and identities.

ven-diagram showing future benefits of the program

Preparing for College

Students are invited to attend college prep events in the form of seminars, workshops, and lectures to prepare for the academic rigors of university life. Whether you want to wow admissions officers with your personal statement or find the right college fit for your personality, our faculty and staff will prepare you to achieve it all.

Events include:

Finding the Right College for You

Academic departments and student activities; distance from home and financial aid; housing options and cafeteria menus; so many factors come together in your college experience! Learn how to navigate the college search process by understanding your needs and finding schools that fit your priorities.

Putting Your Best Foot Forward on a College Application

A college application is a jigsaw puzzle, where all the pieces should interlock to create a single, unique portrait of you. In this workshop, we will discuss the various components to your application and how to make the most of each one.

Insider Tips for the Common App

The goal of the Common App is to help reduce the barriers that students face when applying to college. In this session, we'll introduce you to the many useful tools that Common App provides, and we'll explore how to personalize each portion of the application for the schools to which you apply.

Leadership for a Diverse World

Presented by Columbia University's Student Support Office, students hear first-hand how to prepare for and what to expect from the undergraduate experience.

Events include:

Entrepreneurship 101- What It Takes To Turn Your Ideas Into A Business

In this interactive workshop participants will have the opportunity to see how they can use the basic tenets of the Design Thinking process to move from Inspiration to Ideation to Implementation with new business ideas. We will also cover practical steps for starting your business, protecting creative ideas, and finding collaborators and investors via networking.

Introduction to Emotional Intelligence & Why It Matters

This interactive session will explain the concept of Emotional Intelligence (EQ) and why it matters to all successful student leaders. Participants will learn how to measure their own emotional intelligence and how to implement simple, effective strategies to improve Personal and Social EQ skills.

Introduction to Advanced & Effective Communication Strategies for Leaders

This workshop will outline some of the top principles and skills used by successful student leaders to engage, inform and inspire the people and communities they serve. Participants will have the opportunity to apply these strategies while learning tips and tricks to write highly effective email copy for any/every audience.

Career Skills & Exploration

Find your path and get a leg up on the competition by attending seminars and events focused on career skills and exploration. The events will help you consider what career path may be a good fit and how to present yourself to make that path a reality.

Events offered include:

Myers-Briggs Personality Assessment

In this interactive workshop participants will learn about their MBTI® preferences and gain insight on how these preferences can guide them in the college and career process.

Campus Interviewing Skills

The college interview is an important part of the admission process. Showing your value and interest is key. This workshop will help participants understand and prepare for this process.

Personal & Professional Branding

It is important for you to effectively communicate who you are and what you stand for to different people. Being able to effectively engage virtually is key. In this workshop you gain insight on how to build and manage your brand "You".

Exploring NYC

Living in New York City is a unique feature of our program. Students will get to explore the Big Apple through a variety of excursions curated to give them a taste of the arts and culture of the city.

Neighborhood Tours

Every weekend we will take a tour through one of NYC’s notable neighborhoods to eat and explore.

Neighborhoods include:

  • SoHo
  • Lower East Side
  • Chelsea

Broadway Shows

No New York City experience is complete without seeing a show on Broadway. Students will be able to purchase tickets for a variety of Broadway shows through our Student Services Office.

Broadway show options include*:

*Please Note: Information about final show selection, ticket prices, and dates will not be available until just before the start of the program. The options listed are based on offerings from previous summers.

  • The Lion King
  • Wicked

Sightseeing & Special Excursions

There is so much to see in New York City. Let us show you around! We will provide a variety of optional excursions on the weekends that get students off campus and into the heart of the city.

Trips include:

  • Statue of Liberty
  • Empire State Building
  • Brooklyn Bridge
  • Mets Game
  • Times Square
  • Central Park
  • Governor’s Island

Cross-Cultural Community Building

Large events, community groups, and clubs focused on making connections across cultures and increasing students’ self understanding, empathy, and understanding of diverse perspectives and experiences.

Club Offerings

  • LGBTQIA Alliance
  • Multicultural Club
  • Film & Media Appreciation
  • Politics & Current Affairs
  • Activism and Civic Engagement
  • Self-Care and Wellness Club
  • Environmental Sustainability


  • Themed days in summer/ Spirit Week/ Halloween in July
  • Talent Show
  • Murder Mystery Dinner
  • Trivia Night
  • Hypnotise
  • Regularly scheduled extravagant movie nights
  • Masquerade Night
  • Cabaret Dinner

Special Opportunities

Faculty Lecture Series

The Immersion Program faculty will host a special lecture series covering a variety of academic topics based on faculty areas of expertise as well as lectures on academic skills to promote college success.

Sample Lectures Include:

  • Untold Stories: Diversity and Inclusion in Media
  • The Possibility of Extraterrestrial Life in Our Solar System
  • To Write is to Think: Developing Your Thoughts Through Writing
  • War Goes Viral: Global Information Warfare and the New Digital Battlefield
  • The Power of the Gaze: Famous Women in Art History
  • Thinking Like An Entrepreneur
    Professor Jack McGourty, Ph.D., adjunct professor at the Columbia Business School, and guest Stephanie Mehta, CEO and Chief Content Officer, Mansueto Ventures, parent of Inc. and Fast Company, engaged in a far-reaching conversation and Q&A with students about the many dimensions of entrepreneurship—and what drives entrepreneurial success. Event video link.

Columbia Writing Center

Columbia University Writing Center will provide several essay workshops throughout each session as well as provide some limited individual writing sessions for Summer Immersion students.

Health & Wellness

Student health and wellness are key components of our Summer Immersion Program. Students will have access to fitness classes, our on campus fitness center, and weekly wellness activities designed to equip students with key self-care skills. Our Student Wellness office will work closely with our program team to provide support to students who experience personal challenges during the program. Additionally, students will have access to our on campus health facilities should they require medical care.

Exploring Morningside

Living in New York City is a unique feature of our program. We are located on Columbia University’s Morningside campus, close to restaurants, shopping, and entertainment within walking distance. Students are allowed to explore the local neighborhood (within designated boundaries) during their free time. There will be staff supervised excursions to explore the greater city beyond the boundaries, but students are allowed to venture out locally with a peer.