Columbia Launches Multiple Global Spaces to Support Students’ University Experience 

Editor's note:

This service is no longer available. Global Centers had offered it as a response to the pandemic lockdown and when students could not return to campus.

October 15, 2020

Columbia University announced today enhanced global support as part of a University-wide initiative for Columbia students who are located outside the United States. Students around the world will be able to access designated spaces to convene, study, collaborate, and benefit from tailored, diverse programming opportunities to support their remote learning and help integrate them into the boarder University community.

The University and the Columbia Global Centers are deeply committed to providing students with the support they need during these challenging times, as we eagerly anticipate welcoming them on campus as soon as that becomes possible. In addition to all of the virtual campus events and resources available to them, Columbia is now bringing the Columbia community to its international students, right there where they are.” 

Safwan M. Masri, Executive Vice President for Global Centers and Global Development

students in Paris

Seven Columbia Global Centers–in Paris, Beijing, Istanbul, Amman, Nairobi, Santiago, and Tunis–have expanded their capacities to become study centers for students in their regions, and the University has entered into an agreement with WeWork to provide high-end, Columbia-designated study spaces at another seven sites, in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Seoul, Hong Kong, Singapore, and London. The University has also arranged for designated space for its students in Israel, at Tel Aviv University, and in Athens, at the National Library. In addition to these 16 locations, students in another 50 cities will receive special WeWork all-access passes, which they may use to access any WeWork facility in their country, offering them a comfortable, safe, and enriching environment to study and connect.

The response by students to this initiative has been overwhelmingly positive. More than 2,500 students have already signed up to make use of these global spaces. 

"Due to the pandemic and visa issues, I could not go to the Columbia campus this fall semester, which broke my heart. But you managed to bring Columbia (or at least part of it) to me, to my home country, to my residential city! Thank you so much!"

Tianyu Sun, LLM Columbia Law School '21 Shanghai


As we welcomed a new cohort of talented scholars to Columbia this fall and welcomed back our continuing students, we were adamant that finding innovative and creative ways to connect students, both to the University and each other, would be a priority,” said Mary C. Boyce, Dean of Columbia Engineering. “I’m thrilled that dedicated spaces for learning and engagement will give students around the world a space to experience their shared identity as Columbia students and valued members of our dynamic community.

The Global Centers are currently working to meet the needs of students by providing them with helpful tools to make the most of this opportunity. In addition to designated spaces serving as library-like centers for study, new programs and events that enhance students’ academic experience and further their sense of connection, affinity, and integration with the local and broader Columbia community, including alumni, will be rolled out over the course of the fall term. For example, we are creating a conversation series with key University leadership, will implement technology training and innovation challenges, and will offer alumni networking opportunities, and school and degree-focused programming to connect students to their academic homes. These programs will offer targeted, non-credit learning opportunities and will connect students with one another–at home, across the world, and with students on campus and elsewhere in the US.

This new initiative of the Global Centers is invaluable to the many Columbia graduate students conducting scholarship outside New York City, as well as those unable to travel to campus. GSAS is deeply grateful for this support, which provides our students with space and programming that will help them to thrive both academically and personally while abroad. We encourage all students to avail themselves of these opportunities."

Carlos J. Alonso, Dean, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

students in shanghai