Berkeley Global
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Berkeley Global: Shape your future in one semester or year

Jingyue Li is a software engineering major from China whose journey through the Berkeley Global Access (BGA) programme has been nothing short of inspiring. She arrived in California seeking to join a graduate degree programme in human-centred design. But the transition felt daunting. It was within the halls of the University of California at Berkeley (UC Berkeley) that she discovered the power of unwavering support and guidance from dedicated professors and mentors. Their infectious energy and commitment to student success were the cornerstone of Li’s transformation.

Sally Clapper, an instructor for the Career Development and Coaching course, was a key figure in Li’s journey. She guided Li on how to craft a CV, get recommendation letters and master the ins and outs of putting her best foot forward. Soon, Li’s application began to shine. “With her help, I’m now much more confident in my application,” she says.

It’s all thanks to the BGA programme — a short stint that makes a big impact on the lives of students.

This is precisely why UC Berkeley, the #1 public school in the US, created the BGA programme — to extend its world-class offerings to undergraduates across the globe looking to advance their skills and broaden their global perspectives.

For a single semester or an entire academic year, BGA students get to chart their path by picking from thousands of Berkeley programmes. Each leads to earned credits, contributing to their progression in the degrees they started back home.

While some choose based on what aligns with their academic interests and aspirations best, others focus on taking the interdisciplinary route, deep diving into disciplines that complement their respective focus areas. Subjects popular among visiting students include computer science, engineering, mathematics, the social sciences, business and biology.

All classes are taught by UC Berkeley’s distinguished faculty, who are experts in their respective academic and research domains. Visiting students even learn alongside full-time students — something Cesar Salcedo from Lima, Peru, appreciated most about his BGA experience.

A highlight was a machine learning workshop he participated in that was conducted in the state-of-the-art Berkeley Artificial Intelligence Research lab. Through each session, Salcedo not only gained insights into cutting-edge research but also connected with PhD students and a professor whose work resonated deeply with his.

“This has truly been one of the most eye-opening experiences I’ve had in my life,” he says. “if you are striving to do something great, you’ll find many people around you who are also very passionate about what they’re working on. You’ll learn a lot from their experience.”

The Focus on Your Future: Career Development and Coaching Course is an excellent avenue for professional preparation, too. This programme equips students with the tools to pinpoint their strengths, enhance emotional intelligence, and cultivate practical skills for career success. It unlocks workshops, guest interactions, and one-to-one coaching sessions to nurture strong communication skills, cross-cultural competencies, job application, and personal branding skills.

Life outside the classroom is equally fulfilling, considering the BGA programme includes the complete UC Berkeley student experience. Beyond academics, visiting students can join some of over 1,200 student clubs and organisations or 34 intramural sports teams, adding an extra layer of enrichment to their Berkeley experience, which doesn’t end at the campus gates. It extends into the vibrant cityscape of San Francisco and reaches into the very heart of technological innovation — Silicon Valley — where students can explore some of the world’s most cutting-edge industries and ideas.

Sound like an opportunity that can shape your future? To learn more about applying, click here. To explore the possibilities of a BGA scholarship worth up to US$2,000, click here instead.

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