Speak with a Global Learning Assistant to learn more!

GLAs are Columbia students who are open to sharing their global engagement experiences with prospective students!
Amine Bit taking a selfie with his family

"My life improved in every possible aspect: physical, emotional, spiritual–you name it. It shocked me out of my complacency and made me realize what I had to appreciate more, as well as what I could stand to improve on when I did return."

Amine Bit CC'25
Amara Onyeukwu standing in front of a pretty bunch of flowers and overlooking the sea in Italy

"Everything I learned about in my Blackness in French class was very eye-opening. I truly left that class changed for the better."

Amara Onyeukwu CC'25
Charlotte Andreano standing in the green courtyard of Reid Hall

"Every single excursion and reading has been truly important to me."

Charlotte Andreano CC'25
Student standing on stairs covered with old books in Venice, Italy

"After studying the language intensively for my first three years of college, I knew that Italy was where I was meant to study abroad."

Leah Profitt CC'24
Lily Selthofner performing in a film titled Venezia Scalzo

“Throughout all aspects of the program, I gained lots of valuable insight and experience towards my goals of moving to Europe to pursue further education and career opportunities as an artist after I graduate from Columbia.”

Lily Selthofner CC'24
Amy Xu with friends

"Living in Hong Kong made me re-evaluate my openness to relocate and work in different countries later in my life."

Amy Xu SEAS'25
Esther standing at a lookout point viewing the Cape Town skyline and water

"When I think back on my study abroad experience, I remember the genuine, unfettered happiness I felt, the friends I made, the food I ate, and the adventures I went on."

Esther Mafouta March CC'24
Views green and red roofs that make up the skyline of Copenhagen, Denmark

"The courses provided a critical lens through which to view various pedagogical structures, and the first-hand experiences were invaluable."

Charlotte Grandon CC’24
Harrison visiting the UN with the world flags behind them

"Though in some of my programs, I have been 'alone,' I never felt truly alone with the connections I made before and during my experiences..."

Harrison Gerson CC’25
Claire Schnatterbeck, a Columbia College student, looking off to the distance with a bright blue skyline of the stone/cobble buildings in London's countryside

"During my time abroad, I experienced an expansion in my independence, self-assurance, and personal development."

Claire Schnatterbeck CC’24
Briani and friends traveling while studying abroad.

"Studying abroad completely changed my life. I definitely grew as an individual because I was exposed to different cultures and experiences that caused me to internally reflect on my own."

Briani Netzahuatl CC'23
People looking at the sea

"The Collaboratory illustrated the enduring importance of cross-cultural collaboration in moments of economic and political destabilization."

Arina Karkhanis CC'21

"I now have a network of connections all over the globe, and many of these connections are lifelong."

Paisley Smith BC'21
Student Looking Out Toward Mountain

"Always be open minded to trying new things and meeting new people. You never know what the future holds or what can happen when you put yourself out there."

Charmane Gabriel SEAS'22
Two people hiking in the woods

"Little did I know, my upcoming semester in Japan would help uncover new interests and crystalize my future research goals."

Zak Armine-Klein CC'21
Students in Seoul

"A study abroad experience is blanketed in a sense of adventure, as you are in an unfamiliar place with few expectations and the complete freedom to try new things."

Willa Brenneis SEAS'21
Buckingham Palace

"Studying abroad not only allowed me to connect my past with my present, it also helped me find a path to my future."

Sabrina Delafield GS'21
Paris neighborhood

While I learned a lot of French in class, speaking to French locals solidified my knowledge of the language further.

Elina Arbo CC'22
Kenya group learning

It is difficult to describe my abroad experience without describing the extraordinary natural world which surrounded it.

Carolyn Friedman CC'21

I am incredibly humbled and grateful to have been a part of this extraordinary undertaking and program. It is invaluable to have opportunities for junior researchers to expand their knowledge and impact on the scientific world.

Tatianna Dugué CC'22
Berlin Consortium for German Studies (BCGS)

I often look back to my time of study abroad in Berlin, Germany with very dear memories – the friendships I made that I still cherish; the travels in Germany and Europe that richly expanded my cultural sensitivities, and above all, the advancements in my German skills and in my knowledge of German culture that would fundamentally benefit my future graduate studies in piano and musicology.

Kelvin Wu Notre Dame '19

Now, in hindsight, I see that the BCGS program’s impact went far beyond improving my German language ability; the program concretely shaped my career trajectory in ways that I had not anticipated at the time.

Ben Van Zee Swarthmore '11
View of Bupdaest from Aurnov Chattopadhyay SEAS 21

As we strive to engineer for humanity, we must remember that technologies we build don’t exist in vacuums. They have an outsized impact on users often out of sight and often out of mind. An empathy of people both from and beyond our lived experiences is a necessity in our increasingly interconnected world. Sometimes, all it takes is a new river to start seeing things with a new view.

Aurnov Chattopadhyay SEAS'21
Students walking on beach

"My primary motivation for embarking on a semester abroad was to experience something different, which is the same motivation that pushed me to attend college out of state."

Willa Brenneis SEAS'21

"...beyond the obvious benefits of historical learning and art and curatorial practice, the program allowed me to broaden my own worldview of both foreign and familiar spaces."

Lilly Cao CC'22
Neighborhood in Madrid

"Leaning over to pick up my café, I caught my eye in my reflection— like him, I had changed too."

Daniella Apodaca CC'20
Havana at Sunset

The readings and lessons stayed with me beyond the classrooms, as I saw my readings and lessons in action and alive.

Zach Kahn CC'20
Doshisha figure skating team

"In my experience, there are definitely ways to continue pursuing your passions and extracurricular activities while you are abroad-- and all of them are worth it."

Heather Heimbach CC'20
Local cuisine in Chile

"I was searching for ways to connect what I was studying in classrooms on campus with lived experiences and intersecting identities at the global scale."

Rowan Gossett CC'20
Tower Bridge, London, England

Alone in London for four months, I was able to enmesh myself in different cultures...

Monica Gu CC'20
Dingle, Ireland cityscape

"Education is about more than the classroom, it is about experiences."

Carolyn Mann CC'20
August Gweon at Cambridge

"Day by day, this social exploration broadened my understanding of modern life on a global scale, while simultaneously putting my prior conceptions of life in America into question."

August Gweon CC'20

In my mind, education is about more than ideas--it’s about becoming a citizen of the world and, in so doing, recognizing that your fate is deeply and beautifully entangled with the fate of others.

Odis Babski Vassar '19

My experience in Berlin has informed my future career plans after graduation; in particular, the inspiration and encouragement I found in vibrant community art scenes has led me to consider more seriously entering the field of art education alongside a professional career as a musician.

Ezra Babski Vassar '19
Group of friends around a table

It feels good, and gives me confidence in myself, to know that I can move to another city, country, and continent and make a life for myself there in just four months.

Lucy Zorzano Barnard '20
Student sitting next to the Seine in Paris

I want to try my hand at things I could be bad at. I want to take risks and to keep taking on an active role in my own life, in seeking out opportunities to let go of what I know in favor of what could be bigger or better or more well-suited for my talents and interests.

Ella Damstra, Johns Hopkins University '20
Looking down a street corner in Paris

It is clear to me that this program has changed the course of my personal and professional life, not to mention fulfilling the tall order of being the best summer I have ever had.

Ava Goldwyn CC'21
Bikes and students in a field with clouds

There are few things more satisfying and reassuring than grappling with the challenges of study abroad and emerging victorious.

Isa de la Torre CC'20
River photo

"It was a great way to get to know other students from different courses and years."

Amelia Sawyers CC'19
Padova Sant'Antonio Basilica

"Crucially, my time in Venice reaffirmed that art history was what I wanted to pursue as a major."

Alex Foo GS'21
Student on the beach

" I learned more about community engagement while gathering public input on streetscape projects in the pouring rain than I have in classrooms or offices."

Aaron Smithson CC'19
Students on rocks in Tasmania

"Going abroad helped me understand new environments, interact with local communities, and be comfortable stepping outside of my comfort zone it was my first step in setting my newfound path into motion."

Isabel Friesner CC'19
Student reading poetry in a cafe

To combat the general discomfort I felt, I created and surrounded myself in physical and mental environments that I wanted to be and thrive in. Immersing my mind in positive thinking and poetry helped to greatly enhance my time abroad.

Shanga Labossiere CC '19
Courtyard of the Louvre showing glass pyramid

It’s not just in America where the strongest ties that bind are formed by our values.

Jaxon Williams-Bellamy CC'21
Open window looking at a river

...we have to get sore before we get strong, and I came out of the experience much more conscious of my place, and responsibility, in the world as an American than before.

Emilie Biggs CC'21

"Coming from a minority perspective forced me to see things in a different light and take a critical look at my own assumptions, thought processes and fundamental beliefs."

Gloria Tso 'CC19
Student in front of the German Parliament

"Beyond the language component, the classes I took through BCGS exposed me to topics and intellectual discussions that fascinate and engage me to this day."

Christopher D. Clark, Vassar '18
Natalie Davis-Porada in front of buildings

"My day-to-day experience was vibrant. I would share each breakfast and dinner chatting with my host mom about politics, the city, and new art installations at museums—she was my biggest resource in terms of connecting to the culture."

Natalie Davis-Porada CC'19
Male student standing on a street in Paris

...all of my previous experiences in Paris could not prepare me for the one I had at Reid Hall – a place that opened a vast world of history, thought, and cultural life to which I was, until that point, little more than a doting outsider.

Justin Booz GS'20
Cannes shoreline from atop a belltower

Returning to Paris from Cannes, I was distinctly aware that I would never have another experience like this one. Truth be told, my entire time spent at Reid Hall was full of adventures as extraordinary as this one, full of people and places that changed me for the better.

Hampton Adams BC'18
Student walking on a typical Parisian street with trees

When I left Paris, beyond the joy I felt for the great memories I took with me, I also recognized that I had gained a set of tools I can now use to solve problems in the future.

Juan José Guzmán CC ’19
Window view from room

The type of housing you select may have a significant impact on your experience abroad, and each has its own benefits and drawbacks.

Kristen Wang, SEAS'18
Matthew Asada Berlin

My BCGS study abroad experience paved the way for my return the following summer to work as an EMGIP fellow in the German parliament and my graduate studies at the London School of Economics in European Politics.

Matthew Asada, University of Pennsylvania '02
Berlin sign

I am grateful to BCGS, as the year I spent in Berlin has academically and socially prepared my life after college.

Metin Turgut, Williams '16
sculpture in the city

It was BCGS that built my confidence to live and work in Germany permanently after graduation.

Rebecca Wei Yale '16
Kremlin building

"I think the most impactful experiences for me were those in which I didn’t just learn about a culture, a tradition, history, politics, or language, but actually encountered them and experienced them outside the classroom."

Seth Farkas CC'18
Building in Woodstock, UK

"Spending a year abroad at Oxford certainly taught me a lot not just about my major, but about myself and my identity."

Uju Enworom CC'18
Berlin East side gallery

BCGS was a challenge in all the best ways possible. We were pushed outside our comfort zones, but the triumph and sense of accomplishment we felt afterwards, was perhaps the most rewarding part of all.

Tiana Stute BC'15
Berlin Subway

If you want to make studying abroad a thought-provoking experience, I encourage you to keep track of every little culture shock as well!

Bingcong Zhu CC'16
Athens Dusk

Spending time in Athens, Nafplio, and the island of Syros, I was able to delve deeper into my academic passion of Art History, while also learning about other disciplines, and gaining new friendships and cultural understanding.

Owen Monroe CC'20
University of St. Andrews

"Only being there for a semester, I was prepared to do things I would have been too afraid of doing at Columbia."

Julia Zeh CC'18
wind turbines

Studying abroad allowed me to gain insights on issues that I wouldn’t have been able to otherwise – through seeing things I that otherwise wouldn’t have.

Anant Krishnan Majumdar CC'20
DaTong Night

Study abroad provided me with the mechanism to not only enrich my language learning experience, and my understanding of the world, but also to rediscover some of the hidden beauty in everyday life.

William Scott GS'20
Baboons at Dusk

What I study at Columbia is completely different than most of what I was studying in Kenya, but it didn’t matter.

Maia Berlow CC'18
Victoria Harbor in Hong Kong

My fears were replaced with pure excitement and anticipation of all that I would then see and do over the next six months.

Paulina Babiak SEAS'19

Global Learning Assistants

Speak with Columbia students who have returned from a summer, semester, or year abroad! GLAs are open to sharing their global engagement experiences with prospective students.