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Reviews 884 total reviews with an average rating of 3.6

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1 College Freshman

Parking: It's New York City. You should leave the car at home, you absolutely will not need it. There is no parking provided by the university, so you're stuck to parking on the street.

2 people found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Campus Food: Honestly it depends on where you eat and the day you go. There are three dining halls so there can be variety, but most of the time the food is more or less the same quality wherever you go. If you go somewhere where the food is good on that particular day, you're fine -- but otherwise, when the food is terrible, it's *really* terrible. Odds are you can find something you like but don't bank on every meal being the best.

4 people found this useful Report
4 College Student

Transportation: The subway stops right outside the gates of campus and goes straight downtown. In general public transportation is pretty good in New York, why anyone drives around here is beyond me.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Senior

Overall Experience: Columbia is a place where you meet interesting people, learn interesting subjects, and make interesting things happen. It serves as an open door to the city and to the world, and opportunities for challenge and growth are endless.

In some respects, Columbia takes the wonderful craziness of the craziest city in the country and amplifies the crazy in direct proportion to the number of (brilliantly) crazy individuals who comprise its community. (It's remarkable how often the traits of genius and madness coincide.) No bones about it: if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere.

7 people found this useful Report
4 College Senior

Local Area: It's New York, and boredom is practically a non-issue. Columbia has the advantage of being relatively removed from the ever-present mayhem of downtown Manhattan, though, so it's not difficult to buckle down and study when necessary.

7 people found this useful Report
3 College Senior

Campus Quality: Columbia's much-bemoaned student center — though indeed a glassy, ramp-y monstrosity and a colossal waste of potential activity space — does serve its purpose as a hub for student organizations, advising, counseling, and other indispensable supports in undergraduate life (and, incidentally, it *does* look rather pretty at night). Classroom quality varies dramatically, but study space is readily available if one knows where to go (and where not to). True to New York form, negotiating and ensuring space availability will always present issues. Performing arts facilities could use an update; student music groups, for instance, are often forced to hold recitals in scattered lounges and lobbies around campus.

2 people found this useful Report
3 College Senior

Scholarships: Columbia has fairly generous policies on scholarships, stipends, and fellowships, and you can usually find whatever financial support you need. The only negative: administrative crosstalk between departments is exceedingly weak, and the myriad offices (Global Programs, Financial Aid, Advising, etc.) are prone to miscommunication.

6 people found this useful Report
3 College Senior

Drug Safety: EtOH and MJ are extremely common and available, but students certainly need not indulge in either to enjoy their free time.

4 College Senior

Diversity: With the exception of students' political views (overwhelmingly liberal) and family means (overwhelmingly wealthy or "upper middle-class"), Columbia has a clear commitment to recruiting intelligent individuals of all religious, ethnic, and sexual inclinations, and each class reflects this extremely well. In many cases, one can learn more from the interesting experiences and perspectives of one's peers than from the faculty.

2 people found this useful Report
2 College Senior

Greek Life: From what I've seen and heard, Greek life is what you make of it. Some dorms located in close proximity to fraternity/sorority brownstones suffer from obnoxiously high (usually party-related) noise levels on weekends; otherwise, the Greek presence is easy to find or ignore as desired.

3 College Senior

Campus Housing: Housing options range from minuscule singles and walk-through doubles to spacious studio apartments; as students progress through their years, more amenities generally become available. First-years also have the opportunity to pick into corridor-style singles rather than roughing things out with a roommate.

3 people found this useful Report
3 College Junior

Campus Quality: most classrooms can use an update

2 people found this useful Report
3 College Junior

Off-Campus Dining: There is variety, but there is a finite number of choices available for the neighborhood.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Junior

Campus Quality: Appreciate the historic campus, but also needs an overall update to modern buildings and technology

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Senior

Off-Campus Dining: New York is arguably the culinary capital of North America. Whatever the preferences of your palate (or the size of your wallet), you'll find something to satisfy any craving at any hour.

6 people found this useful Report
4 College Senior

Academics: Great faculty, motivated students, and spectacular opportunities for research in every field. Not for the faint-of-heart, Columbia will give you the challenge you seek in every aspect of your college experience, and the academic sector is where the growth begins.

3 people found this useful Report
4 College Senior

Technology: Labs can be crowded and printers are almost reliably unreliable when you need them most. That said, IT services is surprisingly responsive, and the wireless network is generally quite speedy.

5 people found this useful Report
4 College Senior

Academics: In over 90 percent of all cases, professors are brilliant and approachable folks who genuinely want to impart expertise to their students. In larger introductory classes, however — especially those with research-oriented lecturers — this eagerness to teach sometimes gives way to condescension and annoyance. As frustrating as it can be to learn intricate details of multivariable calculus or quantum chemistry, it becomes tenfold worse when an out-of-touch instructor repeatedly tells the class "C'mon, guys, this stuff is so easy!"

7 people found this useful Report
5 College Junior

Local Area: New York is my favorite city and I've been to many. Nearby Harlem is not the place to walk around swinging your open purse around, but just keep your wits about you. The city has so many cultural and enriching opportunities around every corner.

12 people found this useful Report
3 College Junior

Party Scene: Its New York, just hop on the 1 train and you can find any scene that you'd want to be a part of. I'm a graduate student so I'm not sure what the nightlife is like for an undergrad that wants to stay close but I do know that going out the city can be an incredible experience.

7 people found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Weather: There are months (beginning of Fall and end of Spring) when the weather is sunny, warm, and absolutely gorgeous, but during winter it can feel at times like the sun hasn't come out in months, which can be a bit depressing. The snow is pretty minimal and the university is good at clearing the paths of the snow itself, but we have a huge problem with campus drainage. Any time it rains or there's any kind of snow-melt, all the paths turn into wetlands and you can't get to class without your feet getting soaked if you don't wear rainboots.

4 people found this useful Report
5 College Junior

Off-Campus Dining: New York has endless choices for food at whatever price range you are looking for. Prices near Columbia are affordable and set for students. If you are willing to walk 10-15 and venture around the area, you can find exceptional food in any cuisine for any price.

3 people found this useful Report
5 College Junior

Off-Campus Dining: It's New York. You can get anything - fine dining, inexpensive, make your own.

2 people found this useful Report
5 College Junior

Diversity: Extremely diverse. There are students of all ages, sexual orientation, gender, ethnicity and religion in my classes.

5 people found this useful Report
5 College Senior

Academics: The secondary school program at Teachers College incredibly excellent. All of my professors have been middle and high school teachers for many years before going onto the college level. The majority of my professors have also written many textbooks, essays, and papers that pertain to my major and are the head of my field. Having had so much experience, most of my classes are based on hands-on learning. For example, we are required to develop our own lesson plans based on a single book provided by the professor or we experience the process of creating a character for a play by actively shadowing each other and observation. There are many opportunities to listen to guest speakers as well. The program is set up to have a guest speaker and a workshop every week of the semester. The topics have gone from using media for social justice in the classroom and the integration and application of LGBTQ literature in the classroom. There are also student-teaching opportunities all over the city. The program requires that each student works in both Middle and High school settings. The expectations and requirements of fulfilling the student-teaching assignments are very clear.A supplement class if required while student-teaching so that the student teachers may process and workshop what they have observed and learned in their classroom with other student teachers.

1 person found this useful Report
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Overall ExperienceWhat's this?

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Columbia has a unique culture and school spirit. The intense workload and level of academic rigor bring students together in a culture of cozy complaint. Columbians constantly whine about their amount of work, but they also find a way to come together and persevere, and friendships are formed in this shared struggle.

Columbia is not for the faint of heart or those who need their hand to be held every step of the way through their college career. If you need help and seek it out, you will find it. But no one is going to sit down and explain everything to you, and Columbia can be pretty intimidating for that reason. However, this means that students are given the opportunity from the get-go to be independent and to decide for themselves what their college experience will mean for them. Columbia provides amazing resources and can help you achieve just about anything, or will at the very least encourage you to pursue whatever it is you want. The academics are amazing, and the Core Curriculum gives students a shared knowledge of Western thought, which is hugely influential in the way students will approach academics, careers, and life in general. The Columbia experience is an incredible one, and any student lucky enough to get in should definitely take advantage of such a wonderful, rare opportunity!

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