American Language Program (ALP) students may choose from a number of housing options, depending on the time of year. Students must be enrolled in full-time ALP classes during every session for which you apply for ALP housing. Columbia University campus housing is limited and students are encouraged to apply at least two months in advance. Rooms are assigned on a first-come first-served basis.

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The ALP housing options are:

1. Year-Round University Housing

Although students must be at least 17 years or older to study at the ALP, students must be at least 18 years or older to live in campus residences.

ALP students interested in university housing can submit a housing application for Summer 2019 and Fall 2019 through Columbia Residential’s Housing Portal. Please know that to apply for housing, you will need to use the sign-up code: lion0203. You will also need your PID number (Cxxxxxxxxx) in order to access the portal, which if needed, can be obtained from the ALP office.

Housing approval and assignment information will be sent via email once a decision has made regarding your application.

For more information, please visit the Columbia Residential website.

2. Summer Dormitory Housing

Select Columbia University residence halls and apartment buildings are available for enrolled ALP students during the summer.

3. Off-Campus Non-Columbia Housing Options

Apartment rentals:

  • Off-Campus Housing Assistance: A registry of off-campus accommodations, which may include apartments for rent, as well as private rooms for subletting, some of which are close to the Columbia campus. Generally, you will need your University Network ID (UNI) and password to access this online listing. Phone: 212-854-2773; web:  http://facilities.columbia.edu/housing/intro-ocha-3
  • Bridge Street: Fully furnished apartments for rent in rental buildings, multiple locations. Phone: 800-278-7338; web: http://www.bridgestreet.com
  • Churchill Corporate Services: Furnished apartments, multiple locations. Phone: 212-686-0444; web: https://www.furnishedhousing.com
  • New York Habitat: Furnished and unfurnished apartments, multiple locations. Phone: 212-255-8018; web: http://www.nyhabitat.com
  • NYC-JC Guest Suites: Located in New Jersey, from studio to three bedroom apartments. Phone: 201-706-1017; web: http://www.nyc-jc.com
  • Wyman House: Studio and one-bedroom apartments, located at 36 Riverside Drive. Phone: 212-799-8281; web: http://www.wymanhouse.com
  • Apartment List: Free resource to find housing; grouped  by city, neighborhoods, etc. Phone: 330-321-5241; web: https://www.apartmentlist.com/ny/new-york Please be very careful to avoid potential scams or dishonest businesses. See the Craigslist Scam Warning page for helpful instructions. 

Dorm-style and Hostel accommodations: 

  • Manhattan Student Residence: A private student residence, with single and double rooms. Located at 95th Street & Broadway (Upper West Side neighborhood of Manhattan). Phone: 347-619-2884;
    web: http://www.nycdorms.com.
  • Educational Housing Services: A private organization / student residence. Single and double rooms available. Located on 97th Street & Third Avenue (Upper East Side neighborhood of Manhattan). Phone: 212-977-7622; web: http://www.studenthousing.org
  • Sara's Homestay Amsterdam Residence: A private organization / student residence. Single and double rooms available. Two locations: 1) Located on 99th Street & Broadway; 2) Located on 85th Street & Broadway (Upper West Side neighborhood of Manhattan). Phone: 212-564-5979; web: http://www.sarahomestay.com
  • AYH International Hostel: A private organization. Individual and family rooms available. Located on Amsterdam Avenue & 103rd Street. Phone: 212-932-2300; web: http://hinewyork.org
  • Broadway Hotel & Hostel: A private organization. Private, semi-private, and 2-bed dormitory style rooms. Located on 101st Street & Broadway. Phone: 212-865-7710; web: http://www.broadwayhotelnyc.com
  • Hotel 99: Studio rooms with shared or private baths. Phone: 212-222-3799; web: http://www.hotel99.com
  • Harlem YMCA: Private and double rooms. Phone: 212-912-2100; web: http://www.ymcanyc.org/association/guest-rooms/harlemrooms
  • Westside YMCA: A community service organization that is not affiliated with Columbia University. Single and double rooms available. Located at 63rd Street & Broadway. For more information: phone: 212-875-4100; web: http://www.ymcanyc.org/association/guest-rooms/westsiderooms
  • International Student Center: Both single sex and co-ed rooms, shared kitchen and baths. Phone: 212-787-7706; web: http://www.nystudentcenter.org
  • Jazz on the Park Youth Hostel: A private organization. Private and dorm rooms available. Located on 106th Street & Central Park West. Phone: 212-932-1600; web: http://www.jazzhostels.com
  • Literati Housing NYC: Co-living. Furnished roommate housing with flexible lease terms (1 month+). Utilities included in cost of rent. No fees or credit checks for Columbia Affiliates. Phone: 718-280-5111. Web: http://literati.nyc

Bed & Breakfasts: 

Not-for-Profit Organizations Accommodations:

Services for rooms in an apartment, or entire apartments, for rent. Most of these websites do not have oversight, so be cautious:


Dining Options

Student cafeterias are located in many places on campus. Students may purchase a meal plan, set up a debit account ("Dining Dollars"), or pay by cash. Many students prefer to eat in the many cafés and restaurants located in the area or simply to cook in the dormitories which feature shared kitchen areas.

Please see www.columbia.edu/cu/dining for further information.

Health Services and Health Insurance

The U.S. health care system is probably very different from the one in your own country. Students in the Fall and Spring intensive programs as well as those who enroll in both summer sessions A+B+C must pay the Health Services Fee and must have Medical Insurance.

All students must also follow Columbia University immunization requirements.

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Information about Health Services and Health Insurance

There is no national health care system here that the government pays for. Without health insurance, costs can be very, very expensive. The Health Services Fee allows students to see a nurse or doctor at the Health Services Office on campus for free. Medical Insurance helps pay for visits to specialists off campus (outside of Columbia Health), for hospital stays, and for prescription drugs.

If you need to see a doctor, you can go to Columbia Health Medical Services in John Jay Hall. You do not need to pay; the Health Services fee covers the cost. You can make an appointment or walk in. In the U.S., people only go to the hospital when they have an emergency. The Emergency Room is a very expensive way to see a doctor. So if it's not an emergency, go to Columbia Health Medical Services first. They will tell you if you need to see a specialist (a doctor who can help with particular problems) or get other help.

The Columbia University health insurance plan is managed by Aetna Student Health. For more information on benefits and claims, go to www.aetnastudenthealth.com/columbiadirect.html.

All ALP students studying for eight weeks or more are required to have Columbia Medical Insurance and pay the Columbia Health Fee. This includes: Fall and Spring Intensive; Summer A+B, B+C, A+C, A+B+C, Advanced Academic Preparation.

Students studying fewer than 8 weeks do not need to have Columbia Medical Insurance or pay the Columbia Health Fee. This includes: Winter Institute, Summer A only, B only, or C only, EPP courses.

It is not possible to waive (= not pay) the insurance charge and health fee.

For more information about the Columbia Insurance plan visit: http://health.columbia.edu/student-insurance/about-columbia-insurance-plan.

Charges for health services and insurance are automatically added to each student’s bill at registration. Students in the Spring intensive program will be charged for eight months of coverage.

Please note that insurance charges added at registration are considered due when they are added.

Information about immunization requirements:

Students in the ALP must follow the Health Services office’s rules for immunization (immunization = vaccinations against sickness and disease).

All students are required to complete the Health Services MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) form, located here. If you have already had these vaccinations at home or in the US, then bring medical records to show this. You will not need to be immunized again if you can show you had the vaccinations. If you have not, you can make an appointment at Columbia Health for vaccinations.

Please submit the MMR form to the Health Services office directly. The form shows you how to do this. You must be compliant (compliant = you have followed the rules) 30 days prior to the start of your ALP program. If you are not compliant, there could be a hold on your Columbia account. This means you will not be able to register in classes and begin your studies with us.

Please see this document for a helpful chart to help you understand your immunization responsibilities at the ALP.

Please see www.health.columbia.edu for further information.