Activities & Events

"The challenging courses, beautiful campus, countless activities, trips, and afternoon lectures all made the experience more eye-opening and exciting!"

The Midday Break

If your course schedule allows, recreational and co-curricular activities are offered Monday-Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., these include:

College preparedness programs

  • A talk on applying to college presented by Columbia Undergraduate Admissions
  • Seminars on how to write college application essays
  • Campus tours of Columbia University and Barnard College
  • In Session 2 only, a college fair featuring representatives from over a hundred colleges and universities. Session 1 students who are in the area are welcome to attend
  • An informal college fair organized by students from top colleges across the country
  • Seminars on college life led by university students
  • Academic preparedness and study skills seminars

Special lectures

Program instructors deliver optional midday lectures on topics of interest. Topics from summer 2017 included:
  • Must Business Be Unethical? The Potential Virtues of Enterprise
  • The Science of Happiness
  • Air, Water, and Other Natural Resources: Use, Exploitation, and Theft
  • The Psychology of Studying
  • Texting is Ruining English Grammar (Right?)
  • Enlightened Capitalism: Socially Responsible Investing
  • Genetics and the Caveman Within You
  • False Eyewitness Testimony: The Limits of Memory
  • Fear and Loathing in America: History of American Immigration Policy
  • What Ironed Out the Wrinkles of the Universe? The Theory of Inflation and Rapid Cosmic Expansion
  • Less is More: Social Media, Materialism, and Psychology
  • Between Progress and Dystopia: Populism, Media, and the Politics of Identity in the 21st Century
  • What is Liberty? Freedom in Theory and Reality

Community Outreach & Awareness

Past projects have included:
  • Volunteering in local soup kitchens
  • Teaching computer skills to the elderly
  • Visits to local sustainability and urban gardening projects
  • On-campus food and clothing drives
  • Social awareness and community-support programming

Special Interest Clubs & Discussion Groups

Past examples include:
  • Urban dance classes
  • LGTQB Alliance
  • Pop culture lunch clubs
  • Social topics and ethics discussion groups

Other Midday Options

  • A first-day ice-breaking party and an end-of-program outdoor jazz concert with gourmet ice pops
  • Using Columbia's physical fitness center
  • Studying in the university's many libraries and computer labs
  • Sampling the neighborhood's cafés and restaurants
  • Relaxing, socializing, and enjoying the sunshine on Columbia's beautiful campus

Evening and Weekend Activities

All students are welcome to participate in early evening community outreach activities, special interest clubs and seminars, cultural activities, and a talent show.

Commuter students can also participate in weekend community outreach activities.

Residential Program Activities & Events

Recreational options for residential students are offered every evening and on weekends. Evenings in the dorm lounges are livened by board game nights, karaoke performances, film screenings, and an end-of-program dance party.

Residential students may also take part in staff-led opportunities to explore New York City and take part in the rich cultural life of the city. Typical excursions include:

  • Broadways shows
  • Performances at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts
  • Central Park
  • The Statue of Liberty
  • The Empire State Building
  • Rockefeller Center
  • The Brooklyn Bridge
  • Times Square
  • The Apollo Theater
  • Highline Park and Chelsea art galleries
  • Chinatown
  • Greenwich Village and New York University (NYU)
  • Coney Island
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • The Museum of Modern Art
  • The Museum of Natural History and Hayden Planetarium
  • The Guggenheim Museum
  • The Whitney Museum
  • Trips to the beach
  • Concerts
  • 4th of July Fireworks on the East River
  • Fine dining

Each session also features a few weekend day trips to the beach and to universities such as Princeton, Yale, and Harvard.

Participants are expected to cover expenses for trips.