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What to expect: the first three days on campus

Arriving in the United States may seem both exciting and stressful. You may feel overwhelmed from your travels and arriving in an unfamiliar place. We hope to make this transition as smooth as possible. We are excited to have you on our campus and welcome you to Columbia College!

Checking in to the Residence Halls

The first thing you will do when you arrive to campus is check in to your residence hall. Each room in the residence hall is furnished with:

  • Welcome basket:
    • Laundry Basket
    • Towel set
    • Linens
    • Blanket
    • Pillow
    • Snacks
    • Disposable water bottle
    • Small basic hygiene products
    • 10 coat hangers
    • Kleenex
    • Travel-size laundry soap
  • Room furniture including:
    • Regular twin bed
      • 38 inches x 75 inches (96.52 cm x 190.5 cm)
    • Mattress
    • Desk and chair
    • Closet
  • Wireless internet access
  • Free basic cable services

When planning your travels, it can be tempting to try to bring or send as much as possible before you arrive. The Resident Advisors encourage all students to meet their roommate and move in before making any large purchases. Because you will be sharing your space, your roommate may bring some things that you do not need to purchase. Some recommended items to bring or plan to purchase shortly after arrival, with minimum estimated costs, include:

Linens for a regular twin bed: $20
Towels/washcloths: $15
Personal toiletries: $20
Pillow: $6
Alarm clock: $10
Desk lamp: $15
Television: $150
Personal computer/Laptop: $350
Decorative items: varies
Cups/plates/utensils: $20
Laundry soap: $5
Trashcan: $5

During international student orientation, the International Center will arrange a shopping trip for you. You may purchase any items listed or not listed during this trip. Incoming international students will receive a welcome basket containing a variety of things to help welcome you to Campus!

Computers are available at several locations on campus including in Stafford Library and Atkins-Holman Student CommonsComputer labs are located in Buchanan Hall. Students attending Columbia College are only required to have access to a computer; you are not required to purchase a computer.

Reporting to Columbia College: mandatory immigration check-ins during orientation

You must check-in with the International Center within ten days of your arrival in the U.S. so that your immigration documents may be reviewed and your record can be activated. You must bring your passport, visa (located in passport), and I-20 to the check-in session during orientation. You can also print off and bring your electronic I-94 card once you are in the U.S.

Prior to the start of the fall and spring semester, the college will arrange transportation for new students from Lambert International Airport in St. Louis, Missouri and Columbia Regional Airport in Columbia, Missouri. Transportation will be provided on designated dates and times. Information regarding airport transportation is provided to new students prior to each semester by the International Center.

International student orientation

International student orientation is held each semester during the week prior to the start of term. Orientation is mandatory for all new students and will help you become acquainted with the College and living in the United States. Orientation topics include:

  • Important Immigration regulations that impact your status
  • Health Services (Note: Please be sure to get proper immunizations before you leave, if possible. Contact Health Services if you have any inquiries about this).
  • Campus Tours
  • Advising and Class Registration
  • Banking in the U.S.
  • Exploring Columbia, Missouri

Purchasing books and supplies

Books can be purchased at the Columbia College bookstore, or from any other vendor you like. Textbooks must, however, be the books your instructor has listed in the course syllabus. You may also buy books online or at the many used bookstores in Columbia.

The Columbia College bookstore also offers a wide range of classroom and dorm supplies. Additional supplies may be purchased at local department stores easily accessible from campus by public transportation.


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