Frequently Asked Questions
What does NSOP stand for?
New Student Orientation Program. It is pronounced "N-SOP"
How can I contact NSOP?
You can contact the NSOP staff by emailing us.
When does Orientation officially begin?
First-Year students: Monday, August 26th, 2013 from 7am until 1pm
(Note: Students who live at least ten hours away from Columbia will be receiving an invite from Columbia Housing to move in on Sunday, August 26th. If you would like to confirm that you can move in on that day, please email the Housing Office.)
TVC students: Tuesday, August 27th, 2013 from 9am until noon
(Note: If you are a Visiting student and not living on campus, NSOP starts for you on this day, so you should still plan on arriving to campus to start orientation on this day.)
When will the NSOP Schedule be released?
The NSOP Schedule will be released on Friday, August 24th, which we will post on the website. However, you will receive a hard copy of the schedule on Move-In Day, so there is no need to print it out.
When can I arrive on campus?
Unless you are participating in one of our pre-orientation programs, you can arrive on the dates listed above.
What should I do if I must arrive before my designated move-in date?
If you must arrive before your designated move-in date and are not participating in a special program, please review the information by our Admissions Office.
How long does Orientation last?
Orientation begins on Monday, August 26th, 2013 and ends on Monday, September 2nd, 2013.
How do I change my address?
Once you set-up your UNI, you will be able to do this online via Student Services Online.
What about setting up a bank account?
Columbia University has a special banking relationship with Citibank, and you'll find Citibank ATMs on campus. Other banks can be found in walking distance of the campus.
What should I do if I'm coming from far away and can't pack everything?
There are many places right around campus where you can purchase toiletries and other supplies for your room. However, we also offer a free shuttle bus to and from Bed, Bath, and Beyond! You can ship packages to your school address starting two weeks before Orientation.
If I shipped items to campus, where do I pick up my packages on Move-In Day?
Only students with photo IDs can pick up their packages from the Mail Room. The Mail Room does not deliver packages to the residence halls.
How do I get to campus and where do I park when I arrive on campus?
Public safety will greet you on move-in day with maps to local parking garages.
I have a disability. How will my needs be accomodated during NSOP?
We have an incredible Office of Disability Services here at Columbia Barnard. Students are strongly encouraged to self-identify any disabilities to Disability Services prior to NSOP so they are aware of any needs they may have for the week and academic year. In order to best accommodate students' needs, please email them by Friday, July 26th.
What events will be happening during Orientation Week?
This summer, the NSOP Committee is planning a week of activities for Orientation. You will receive an orientation Schedule Book upon arrival. For periodic updates, please refer to the Orientation website.
Will there be an orientation program for families and parents?
Family Programs take place on their students' specific Move-In Day. For example, if your student is a first-year student, your Family Programs will take place on Monday, August 26th. Transfer, visiting, and combined plan student families will have a program for them on Tuesday, August 27th.
My parents plan on staying in the city past Move-In Day. Will I have time to hang out with them?
It is common to have family members stay in NYC for an extended amount of time to sightsee and/or visit family/friends. However, please know that the week of orientation is very packed with mandatory and social programs and this is a time to learn the Columbia ropes, make connections and build friendships with your new undergraduate community. Since family members are unable to attend programs after Family Farewells, please plan accordingly.
Does NSOP have a Facebook page?
Yes! “Like” us so you can receive updates about the week! http://www.facebook.com/pages/NSOP/200156153345750
Do I need any money during Orientation?
Your orientation fee covers the cost of the program, but there are events for which you may want additional spending money. This money will cover any special events, subway charges, and possible off-campus dining.
I have special dietary needs. Will I be able to eat during Orientation?
Of course! All types of food will be available throughout Orientation and on the meal plan. Kosher, vegetarian and vegan dining options will always be available. Have allergies? Let our dining staff know if you need additional accomodations and they will certainly find you something else to eat.
I am a transfer, visiting, or combined (TVC) plan student. Are there going to be activities for me during Orientation?
TVC students have a number of TVC-specific academic and social programs during orientation, including panels, advising sessions and joint outings in the city with Barnard and Columbia TVC students. Your orientation group of 10-12 students will consist only of TVC students . In addition, most social events during orientation are open to transfers, as well as first-year students.
Will there be anyone to answer my questions during Orientation Week?
The Orientation Leaders (OL) are a great place to start. They are always available to help you. Your Resident Assistant (RA) will be another invaluable resource for you throughout Orientation and the rest of the year. In addition, the NSOP office will be running a telephone hotline during the week of Orientation for you to call in with any questions. You will also have a chance to meet with your adviser during Orientation week.
Will I have time to relax during NSOP?
You have probably heard that orientation can be a bit overwhelming. While most days are packed with required programs we have made a sincere effort to add more breaks to the week. We recommend highlighting required programs, events that seem of particular interest to you, and all of the breaks. It will make the week seem less hectic. Time to relax and just hang out with your new friends is very important to NSOP, therefore, look for the down time in the Schedule Book so you can plan accordingly.
I heard that I’ll be meeting a lot of new people. How will I remember everyone’s names?
Don’t fret! Everyone will be wearing durable name badges throughout the entire week. They are required for all NSOP events which means people’s names will always be accessible.
I’ve never been on public transportation. Will we learn how to navigate the mass transit system during NSOP?
One of the best parts of living in New York City is the ability to explore everything the city has to offer simply by having a MetroCard and understanding how the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) works. Our OLs can teach you how to use a MetroCard machine, which is a simple touch screen method. They can also help you understand how the buses and subway operate in terms of lines and directions by looking at a map. We have plenty of programs during NSOP throughout the city which will help you practice getting around. You’ll soon become a pro in navigating the city! Also, a quick tip is to visit HopStop . It’s a useful website to help you get from point A to point B.
What if I’m having a hard time adjusting during NSOP? Who can I talk to?
Our NSOP staff and volunteers have all been in your shoes at one point. Being anxious or nervous is completely normal and we’re here to help you in any way we can. We recommend speaking to your OL or RA about your concerns but if you would like guidance from a full-time administrator, we’re very easy to find and talk to. Simply email NSOP and only a small handful of individuals will receive your inquiry and someone will follow-up with you. We’re here to support you!
How do I set up my Columbia E-Mail?
As a Columbia student, you have an email address at Columbia. You will receive an email from Admissions which details how to set-up your UNI.
I'm worried about my classes. What should I be doing?
Throughout Orientation you will be introduced to academic life through a variety of programs. Orientation is a week to become familiar with academics while having fun. You will have time to meet with your advising dean to discuss your classes. It's best to be prepared for that meeting by having a list of classes you are interested in and questions because the Center for Student Advising will be advising many students that week. No matter what, don't stress and enjoy the week!
Contact the Orientation Program
505 Alfred Lerner Hall
New York, NY 10027
Call: (212) 854-4909
For program-specific inquiries:
International Student Orientation: firstname.lastname@example.org
COÖP Pre-orientation: email@example.com
CUE Pre-orientation: firstname.lastname@example.org
Monday - Friday: 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.