The Transition

Students in the Dual Degree Program come from all over the world, sharing a truly international experience. Between campuses and between continents, students benefit from the advantages of a global education in the classroom while immersing themselves in local cultures.   

Students who are offered admission to the Dual Degree Program between Tel Aviv University and Columbia University will have a robust support network available to help them prepare for their arrivals in Tel Aviv and New York.

From the very beginning of the Program, each student is assigned an advisor at both TAU and Columbia. They will guide students through their academic and student life, providing support as students pursue their goals in two stimulating academic settings.

Detailed information is included in the acceptance packet for incoming first-year students, as well as the third-year transition packets that students receive in the spring term of the second year in the Program.

Students will receive a Tel Aviv University handbook and a welcome kit in the mail prior to arriving in Tel Aviv. The handbook will contain information about TAU, preparing them for arrival, housing, campus and student life and some basics about living in Tel Aviv and Israeli life.

New students will participate in an orientation day the day after their arrival. The orientation day will include a campus tour and Student Life presentations on health and safety, dorm rules, and regulations, as well as planned activities throughout the year.

The Student Life Team (Madrichim) is available 24/7 and supports our students in all (non-academic) aspects of life in Israel and for any type of emergency.

As students begin their final semester at Tel Aviv University, they will receive a Third-Year Transition Packet. This packet will contain information on what to expect when they arrive on the Columbia campus, instructions on how to apply for University Apartment Housing, student visas, English-language proficiency testing, and updates to their financial aid awards, if applicable.

In addition to TAU student services, each student has a Columbia academic advisor. These advisors are available for curricular planning throughout the four-year program. Columbia will also evaluate TAU transcripts at the end of each semester for transfer credit. Columbia also evaluates exams, including Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, Baccalauréat, A-Levels, and Abitur.

For Dual Degree students who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents, the Guide for International Students has been created to assist international students in navigating Columbia University. The guide will answer many common questions posed by international students while also providing information about the purpose and scope of a wide range of on-campus resources.

While students are studying at Columbia in years three and four, they must obtain coverage with an American health insurance provider, either through the Columbia Student Medical Insurance Plan or, for some U.S. citizens and permanent residents, through their parents’ health insurance plan. Columbia University does not recognize international insurance plans for health insurance coverage while students are enrolled in Columbia classes.


Students who do not hold U.S. citizenship or permanent residence must apply for an F-1 student visa for the duration of their studies at Columbia University.

ALP Essay Exam

In the spring of their second year, students who are not native English speakers will also sit for the American Language Program’s Essay Exam, which will be administered virtually. The purpose of the ALP Essay Exam is to certify students' English proficiency before they begin classes on campus in New York.

Students will take part in a virtual exam which involves writing an essay in response to a short reading prompt. Every effort is made to offer passages that are easily understood and can be answered by any person from any field of study. There are new prompts for each administration of the ALP Essay Exam, and students will be given 120 minutes to complete the online test.