Architecture and Arts

Architecture at the Istanbul Center is based in Studio-X Istanbul, which is an urban laboratory that aims to identify the current and future issues facing the city and seeks to generate innovative forms of thinking for their solutions. It is part of a worldwide network of spaces operating in Amman, Johannesburg, Mumbai and Rio de Janeiro. As the Istanbul space of Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP) Studio-X’s priority is to express the knowledge of Columbia University, while also absorbing the information from local and regional partners hence blurring the boundary in-between as much as possible. It is a living space: it exists to generate ideas, discuss, and even make mistakes. Studio-X Istanbul strives to host the flourishing of good ideas around urban issues and the development of pioneer thinkers.

Art History and Archeology

Since 2013, Columbia University offers a joint summer program at Boğaziçi University for a select group of advanced undergraduate and graduate students to learn about the history, urban development, and historic monuments of the city of Byzantion-Constantinople- Istanbul. Directed by Professor Holger Klein, Department of  Art  History and Archaeology, the program consists of three courses and site visits designed to allow students to explore and understand Istanbul’s modern topography.

Arts and Cultural Expression

The Amman Center organizes and hosts a variety of conferences, talks, summits, and workshops that address the fields of arts and culture in Jordan and the region.

Business Empowerment

Africa has been referred to as the ‘sleeping giant’ – rich in potential but poor in skill development and enhancement.  Over the past decade, Africa economic growth has been on the rise. The Nairobi Global Center is at the heart of this rise being in the gateway to East Africa and the leading trade hub in the region.  The Nairobi Center provides opportunities for workshops and seminars, offered by Columbia University faculty to the local business community in collaboration with local experts and industry specialists.  Topics covered range from entrepreneurship, skill enhancement, managing growth, current trends and financial management.

Creative and Liberal Arts

Columbia Global Centers Nairobi is in a culturally rich region with diverse languages, arts and traditional practices. We value the heritage around us and pride in sharing these diverse forms of expressions with the world while at the same time providing a forum for harnessing these skills by advancing / impacting knowledge through training and cultural diversity programs.

Education and Knowledge

At our Center, we promote Education and Knowledge by providing a platform where ideas are shared among peers through a collaborative process between Columbia University and local institutions. This ultimately provides an enhanced understanding and a pathway to finding solutions for pressing global challenges.

One of our visions is to be at the heart of global conversations and to be part of a network that seeks solutions to the continually complex global challenges. In this regard, our Center creates and hosts forums to cover diverse topics that address current pressing issues and invites the participation of local experts, Columbia University faculty and industry experts. Recently, we have hosted forums on global issues such as the Refugee Crisis, Climate Change and War and Conflict. 

Entrepreneurship and Youth

At the Amman Center, there are various initiatives that aim to reach out to young people to help promote and advance youth leadership development in Jordan and the region.


Located in Amman, the Center has the advantage of drawing from the diverse array of socio-political structures from within Jordan as well as among its neighbors.

Health Initiatives

Our Center is at the forefront of initiating and supporting health projects. We work in the areas of food and nutrition, maternal health, child mortality, dental health, water and sanitation, communicable and non-communicable diseases, food production and community health worker training. We participates in, and have established, several health programs through a collaboration between Columbia University’s Medical College, the Earth Institute, the Institute of Human Nutrition and local academic institutions, government bodies, non-governmental Institutions and the private sector.

Historical Dialogue and Reconciliation

The Istanbul Center has been extending the programs of Columbia University’s Institute for the Study of Human Rights (ISHR) to Turkey and the wider region in order to support the cross-fertilization of knowledge and practices related to the struggle for peace and reconciliation.

Media and Journalism

As a priority area for Columbia University, journalism, press freedom and freedom of expression have been the focus of several programs at the Istanbul Center.

Public Health

Public health is a priority theme for Columbia Global Centers | Istanbul. In collaboration with the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University and Columbia University Medical Center, the Istanbul Center strives to promote new practices in the field of public health and advance existing resources in Turkey, working in collaboration with institutions and scholars in Turkey.

Sustainable Cities

Sustainable development has been a priority for the Istanbul Center, through a collaboration which began in 2013 with Professor Jeffrey D. Sachs, Director of The Earth Institute, Quetelet Professor of Sustainable Development, and Professor of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University. 

Women and Gender Studies

The Center has placed a special focus on gender issues through a collaboration with the Center for the Study of Social Difference on its flagship global initiative, Women Creating Change and the Women Mobilizing Memory working group at Columbia.