Columbia’s International Student Organization helps to bridge that gap international students may face coming to Columbia from another country, but it’s also a great way for non-international students to make awesome friends, learn about other cultures and help with great events.
“The international student organization is the home away from home for many international students who take the big step of leaving their loved ones and basically everything they know to come to the United States as international students,” says ISO President Corina Ferrer, a junior majoring in journalism. Ferrer, who is an international student, has been involved with the organization since her first semester at Columbia through which she says she’s made many of her friends. “Any Columbia student is welcome. If you’re interested in meeting people from other countries this is the right place for you,” she says.
Throughout the year, ISO hosts several events including engaging discussions on international issues and activities to bring the organization closer together, such as pumpkin picking in the fall. ISO also hosted International Education Week this past month, and in the spring they’ll be hosting World Enigma, an annual art showcase.
The club is housed under the office of International Student Affairs within Multicultural Affairs. The office, in conjunction with the club, helps students with acclimating to life in America and at Columbia. They can also offer support for more technical issues, like paying for school, finding housing or getting employment as an international student.
“Being an international student is great because I have the opportunity to share my culture with other people,” Ferrer says. “I love meeting people from other countries and hearing their experiences, so this is the right place for me.”
ISO meets Fridays at 5:30pm in Multicultural Affairs | 618 S. Michigan Ave., 4th floor.