How much money do I need to bring with me to the United States?

Once you have secured a faculty sponsor, you must be able to prove sufficient funding for the length of your stay. The University requires a bank statement indicating the amount of funds available in your account. In addition, you must procure a letter from your university or company indicating your status and the amount of funds, if any, it will be contributing to your research. Please note that the total of all grants, savings and salary must be enough to cover the following:

$2,400 per month for the visiting scholar

$800 per month for a spouse

$400 per month for each child

For instance, you would need to show $3,600 per month if you were to come with your spouse and one child

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Once I arrive in New York, who should I see?

Make an appointment with a staff member at the Chazen Institute by email or by calling (212) 854-4750 to obtain a general overview of Columbia Business School along with necessary paperwork. After that, please visit the ISSO office.

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How do I get a Columbia University ID?

In order to access all Columbia University buildings, you must have a Columbia University ID card. When you visit the Chazen office, we will provide you with a letter to get the CUID card free of charge. After you have met with the Chazen officer, please proceed to 204 Kent Hall with your Chazen letter and official letter from the provost.

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How do I get a Columbia University e-mail account?

The Columbia University community is served by Columbia University Academic Information Systems (AcIs). In order to access and use the University’s computing network, you must have either a network ID or a CUNIX ID and password. The CUNIX ID provides you with 10MB of disk space on CUNIX (for e-mail, file storage and Web publishing), access to the computing lab in 102 Philosophy Hall and an allotted amount of connect time. The forms for both the network ID and CUNIX ID will be sent to you with your official acceptance letter from the provost.

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How can I configure my laptop for Columbia Business School's network?

The School does not have computer laboratories. All MBA students are required to purchase a laptop computer, so you should bring your own. The School’s Information Technology Group (ITG) will assist you in configuring your laptop. Upon your arrival at the School, a Chazen Institute staff member will explain the procedure for connecting your computer to the School’s network.

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How do I get library borrowing privileges?

All Columbia University libraries are accessible with a CUID card. To obtain library borrowing privileges, the Chazen Institute will give you a letter to present at the Library Information Office in 201 Butler Library.

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Can I attend classes?

Scholars may audit a limited number of classes with the permission of the instructor. Scholars are not permitted to audit oversold classes. To determine if a class is oversold, please contact the Chazen Institute first before asking permission from the business school instructor. Visiting scholars are here to work on their own independent research and as auditors are observers to the class. Since they are not full-time students, there is a limit to the number of classes visiting scholars are able to audit at one time.

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Which health care providers does the University suggest?

U.S. Department of State regulations require all J-1 visa holders and their dependents to have health insurance, with specified minimum coverage, while in the United States. We encourage you to review the University's information on this and much more:Essential Information for Scholars (PDF).

Additional insurers for supplemental insurance (medical evacuation and repatriation of remains) can be found by contacting the following:

International SOS

Additional insurers for whole policies can be found by contacting the following:


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What housing is available in New York City?

Housing in New York City is expensive and difficult to obtain, so be sure to allow ample time to arrange a place of residence. Unfortunately scholars are not eligible for university housing. Some useful links for your housing search follow:

International House
A residence specifically intended for international scholars and students.

Off-Campus Housing Assistance
Off-Campus Housing Assistance (OCHA) helps Columbia affiliates in their search for rental housing in non-Columbia-owned buildings in the area.

Craig’s List
This online community offers real estate and more.

An Internet market, this site lists sublets and roommates.

Related Links

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Are there any consulate fees when applying for the visa?

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has implemented a mandatory fee of $180, paid by the applicant when applying at a consulate for initial attendance under a J-1 visa. The Student and Exchange Visitor Information Systems (SEVIS) fee must be paid BEFORE applying for the visa and is nonrefundable. It can be paid online by completing form I-901, available at https://www.fmjfee.com/i901fee/. After you submit your payment with a credit card, be sure to print the confirmation receipt to use as proof of payment.

For additional information about the SEVIS fee and other payment options, please refer to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Website.

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