Columbia University was founded in 1754 as King's College by royal charter of King George II of England. It is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of New York and the fifth oldest in the United States. Columbia University is one of the world's most important centers of research and at the same time a distinctive and distinguished learning environment for undergraduates and graduate students in many scholarly and professional fields. The University recognizes the importance of its location in New York City and seeks to link its research and teaching to the vast resources of a great metropolis. It seeks to attract a diverse and international faculty and student body, to support research and teaching on global issues, and to create academic relationships with many countries and regions. It expects all areas of the university to advance knowledge and learning at the highest level and to convey the products of its efforts to the world. International or foreign students are defined as those students who are not green card holders or permanent residents. Permanent residents are generally treated the same as all U.S. citizens. As discussed earlier, most medical, veterinary and dental schools give some preference to residents of their state which automatically makes application more difficult for an international student without a green card. In addition, many schools that will consider students from outside their state will not consider international students. The Columbia University Visitors Center is on the second floor of Low Memorial Library (pictured here), located halfway down College Walk (116th Street between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue). Upon entering Low Library via the main entrance, the Visitors Center is the first door on the left.
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