The Transition

Students in the Dual BA 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 BA Program between Trinity College Dublin and Columbia University will have a robust support network available to help them prepare for their arrivals in Ireland and New York.

From the very beginning of the Program, each student is assigned an advisor at both Trinity and Columbia. They will guide students through their academic and student life, providing support as they 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 Trinity College Dublin welcome pack by mail prior to arriving at Trinity. Specific Orientation for Dual BA students usually takes place in advance of the university-wide Freshers’ Week (Orientation) the following week. The Academic Calendar for Trinity can be found here.

All registered undergraduate students are assigned a Tutor when starting in Trinity. A Tutor is a member of academic staff who is appointed to look after the general welfare and developments of all students in their care. Students can contact their tutor about anything and they will either offer advice or refer to a more appropriate colleague in college.

Student 2 Student (S2S)  is a student-led initiative designed to ensure any student in Trinity can get information and support from another student, find a friendly face to have a chat, talk things through or just ask a few questions when you're not sure who to approach. S2S offers Mentors to every incoming undergraduate honors degree student and visiting student in the College in groups who continue to support them throughout the year.

As students begin their final semester at Trinity College Dublin, 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 Trinity 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 Trinity transcripts for transfer credit, reviewing all eligible ECTS (European Credit Transfer & Accumulation) credits. Columbia also evaluates exams, including Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, Baccalauréat, A-Levels, and Abitur.

For Dual BA 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.