International Student Community at Barnard

International Student Community at Barnard

Question: I am an international student and my biggest dream is to become a part of Barnard College next year. I would like to ask some of you, how international the community really is? Are people inclusive when it comes to students from all around the world? Is living in NYC as an international person harder than when you are a domestic student?

Answer: Hi! I'm a junior here at Barnard and I am an international student from Singapore. I went to an international high school, so I have always been used to very diverse/inclusive environments. I feel like I get those things here at Barnard, too! Forming relationships and connections with people - no matter where they come from or what identities they hold - is an integral part of life at Barnard.

Many of my friends are international students, but there isn't a divide or palpable difference between the international and domestic students. Having a substantial international community is wonderful, especially because it's nice to have friends who can relate to the specific experiences of being far from home. There are also many different student groups and organizations at Barnard for international students, or groups that are centered around cultural identity. Those can be great resource for finding international community at Barnard/Columbia. There is also a special pre-orientation program for international students, where I met one of my very close friends (before the first semester even began!).

I would also say that NYC is one of the best places to be as an international student. There are so many different neighborhoods, restaurants, communities, and artistic and cultural societies around the city that make it feel connected to the larger world as opposed to being isolated. Being able to go to a restaurant that serves food from my home goes a long way!

- Aydan Shahd ‘20

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