Columbia Urban Experience

Columbia Urban Experience (CUE) is a week-long, service-focused, pre-orientation program held August 17- 24, 2014, that introduces incoming first-year Barnard College, Columbia College, General Studies/Jewish Theological Seminary Joint Program and The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science students to community service opportunities throughout New York City, coupled with a critical exploration of service.

Connect with your community.
VOLUNTEER during the week at one of ten sites, such as the Planned Parenthood of NYC, We Act for Environmental Justice and New York City Coalition Against Hunger. Each site is chosen to familiarize and expose CUE-ers with the diverse social needs of New York City and its inhabitants. CUE-ers volunteer alongside three to five other first-years and one leader each day. CUE also emphasizes "service learning" through nightly dinner discussions facilitated by CUE leaders.

ENGAGE in discussions on contemporary issues such as gentrification, the NYC education system, poverty and privilege. By critically examining these issues on an academic and direct-service level, students can achieve a more nuanced appreciation for the work they do throughout the week and beyond.

Connect with your city.
EXPLORE New York City. Connect with the New York City community on several levels, both through service and by exploring all that NYC has to offer! Working and serving diverse communities through our CUE sites, students connect with the city on a personal level. Additionally, every night CUE-ers select one of four amazing social programs and travel throughout the city during free night activities. CUE-ers see New York’s best attractions, including excursions to Bryant Park, the Upright Citizen's Brigade Theater, the Nuyorican Poets Café, Yankee Stadium, and the Brooklyn Bridge. CUE-ers end the week with our infamous scavenger hunt, which introduces participants to activities in all five boroughs of the city.

Connect with your campus.
MEET other first-year students who share common interests and develop bonds that will last far beyond the duration of the week. CUE provides an intimate setting in which new students form friendships that last a lifetime. Morover, CUE fosters a strong sense of mentorship among first-year students and upperclassmen leaders who become friends, confidants and a strong support network.

Important Deadlines for the 2014 Program

  • May 1: Program Applications Available
  • June 4: Program Applications Due 
  • Notifications will be sent in late June

Have a question? Email us or call at (212) 854-9675 on Tuesdays 9-1pm or Thursdays 9-5pm.

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