Photo of Downtown Columbia at Sunset

Living in the United States

Columbia, Missouri, is a culturally diverse community with a population of approximately 120,000.

More than 30,000 college students attend three institutions here, earning Columbia the nickname "College Town, USA." This atmosphere of culture and higher education creates a stimulating environment for all students.

Academic life

Classroom experiences can vary widely. In some cases, professors will take a discussion-based approach while others will lecture. In all cases, your professors are happy to meet with you and answer any questions. Creativity, individualism and open mindedness are encouraged in all classes.

Campus life

Students live in residence halls, creating a vibrant campus community. We have a number of student organizations and activities that will help you meet new friends, discover your interests and take on leadership roles.

You'll have access to a variety of foods, including vegetarian and vegan options, at Dulany Dining Hall on campus. Additionally, Columbia offers a wide variety of restaurants, including Indian, Chinese, Thai, Korean, Middle Eastern and traditional American fare. There are ethnic markets within walking distance to Columbia College. Various grocery stores are also nearby.

Group of participants posing at International Extravaganza.

International Extravaganza

This annual event has become a can't-miss fixture on the main campus, showcasing other cultures with food, music, clothing and performances from our international student community.

Health & wellness

All Columbia College international students are required to participate in the mandatory health insurance program. Students will be responsible for the cost of this service.

In addition to insurance, Columbia College offers health services on campus, available at no charge to you. We also provide short-term counseling services.


To ensure a safe and secure environment, Columbia College provides security services. Campus safety assists with: after-dark escorts, parking and traffic control, opening and securing buildings and rooms, and safety inspections. In the case of an emergency, contact emergency services by dialing 911 from any telephone. This number will connect you to the fire department, police department or an ambulance.


Many international students utilize on-campus employment to gain professional experience while attending college.

Money & banking

Most banks in Columbia offer the opportunity for students to open a bank account. To open a bank account, you will need your passport, your Columbia College identification card, as well as a deposit. In the event you do not yet have your Columbia College ID, some banks require a second piece of photo identification. A checking account allows you to deposit money into the account and then use debit cards or write checks to make purchases.Savings accounts allow deposits to accumulate interest. 

During International Student Orientation, students will have an opportunity to visit a bank and open an account.

Weather & climate

Students attending Columbia College will have the opportunity to experience all four seasons each year. Our annual temperature External link averages include very warm, humid summers, 31-32 degrees Celsius (90 degrees Fahrenheit); and cold winters, 0-2 degrees Celsius (32 degrees Fahrenheit).


Take the next step

Submit your application to start the admissions process. Applying is easy.

Apply to Columbia College today
Apply with the Common Application