As students of Columbia, we received the Columbia ID, which comes with many privileges. Thanks to the student ID, we have access to the many facilities at Columbia University including the 22 libraries, the dining halls, the 3-floor sport centre, swimming pool etc.Because I am very attached to culture, I love to get to know the cities I visit. To better understand the history of a city and its inhabitants, one should visit its districts by walking, but also by visiting museums. In France, student ID’s come with advantages like reductions or free entrances to museums. I assumed it would be the same in New York, especially with a university like Columbia. When I arrived, I so directly got some information about the ID and its advantages.
You can find the list of all those museums on this website: http://artsinitiative.columbia.edu/city/museums/map
Moreover, as in France, you can put money on your card to pay for things like for printing. This money can also be used in shops around Columbia, which offer no tax fees. An advantage of the Columbia ID is that you get $2 of free printing every week (that means 20 pages!).
One of the most interesting things according to me, is the access to some Broadway shows and operas at a discouned price thanks to the Arts initiative. A friend and I bought tickets for two classical representations that will be on stage at the Metropolitan Opera: one for Don Giovanni (in November) and one other for Aida (in December).
The first piece has been amazing! I was afraid to be disappointed at the end because I remembered the piece of Moliere as Hell taking over Don Giovanni…. Well, I was not disappointed at all!
There are so many opportunities of being a student at Columbia, with and without the student ID. Indeed, you can also take part in extracurricular activities within the associations of school. Some examples of the activities we have attended include: a free visit to the UNO, a hiking trip with other students, and a gathering during the presidential debate. Some of these events were even with students from other campuses (NYU, St Jude, the Bronx etc.).
Thanks to these activities, I made American, Russian, Mexican, Chinese and Japanese friends with whom I visited, went to restaurants etc. That’s the best part of being an international student: building new relationships! It is hard to be bored because there are so many possibilities (especially in a city likeNY!). You will not see the time pass by……. What, already 5:30pm? Time to go out! Oh yes, because here, everything starts sooner! So be prepared to have dinner or cocktail receptions starting at 6:00!
By Sophie Zitvogel