Berkeley International Study Program (BISP) provides career-enhancing courses

Short-term study abroad opportunity in California

Short-term study abroad has always been a popular education option. It gives you a chance to travel and experience new cultures, while taking relevant courses to contribute to their degree back home. The Berkeley International Study Program (BISP) at UC Berkeley (UCB) promotes a path for visiting students to undertake exciting courses in the Social Sciences, Arts & Humanities. These programs are significant for many aspiring learners, especially those in professional disciplines such as business, health, media, education, and politics.

As Dean of Arts & Humanities, Anthony J. Cascardi, explains, “There is no better opportunity to experience what it means to live in a global world than to study abroad.  To study and live in a foreign country is the perfect complement to all the wonderful things that Berkeley offers on campus. As anyone who has returned will say, the BISP program will change you for the rest of your life!”

Studying at UC Berkeley promises a powerful, immersive and transformative experience.  BISP presents a unique opportunity to study at a top-ranked, innovative and diverse university in sun-kissed California. Equipped with an invitation letter from BISP that allows you to enroll at UC Berkeley, you’ll soon become immersed in a world of dedicated instructors, enthusiastic colleagues and contemporary learning styles.

“The value of BISP is infinite. To be able to come to Berkeley and experience the American culture and way of life was amazing! Plus, you get to meet people from all over the world. BISP did an excellent job in getting a foreign exchange student like myself to feel welcome and enjoy my Berkeley experience through several social activities.  I will never forget my time at UC Berkeley and shall cherish the memories forever,” says Daniel, BISP Business Administration student from Western Norway University of Applied Sciences.

“When I first went to Berkeley, I was just a sophomore. I had not planned my future and hadn’t decided on which subject I wanted to study for postgraduate studies. However, my Berkeley experience gave me a great chance to study at a top university and live in a foreign country. By experiencing a different culture, I was able to advance ahead and utilize what I had learned on my BISP adventure. I recommend this scheme to everyone who wants to study in the USA,” states Yidi, BISP Journalism and Communications student from Nanjing University.

Experience Brilliance: Fascinating Courses for many majors and careers

Even if you are not currently studying in the social sciences, arts, or humanities, BISP encourages you to consider the wide variety of topics offered in these fields. Powered by the BISP advantage, students leave prepared to enter a global marketplace. The BISP experience provides academic and personal growth opportunities that give students an edge in life situations. 

“In the Social Sciences, students get exposure to current thinking about the human condition, cultural diversity, and current day issues in society that affect trends in how people react to their environment…For example, students can take a sociology course on Innovation and Entrepreneurship or Social Media that examines the influence of societal trends on work and communications. History students may take a course on American Business History providing context and lessons from the past that are useful in the current business environment,” explains Carla Hesse, Executive Dean of UC Berkeley’s College of Letters and Science and Social Sciences.

To gain a stronger idea of the realm of opportunities and courses, check out the UCB Social Sciences and Arts and Humanities websites for a listing of departments.  Each respective website will include a listing of course offerings and faculty expertise, providing a wealth of information as students consider the vast array of academic explorations that can be considered through BISP. You may be interested in studying politics, anthropology, sociology, history, linguistics, ancient or contemporary cultures, philosophy, comparative literature, film and media, music, art history, regions of the world, and any one of 60 languages – including English. Education knows no bounds when it comes to UCB!

“My goal is to work in finance and as social responsibility is becoming increasingly important for organizations, I believe a better understanding of the social relations and the inequalities in society can…promote a more responsible culture within the industry,” states Håvard, BISP Business student from Alta University.

What is it like to Study Abroad at Berkeley?

If you find excitement in the idea of joining BISP and studying in the US for one or two semesters, then take a quick glance at what a few of the BISP Alumni had to say about their valuable Berkeley experience:

“The campus is huge, full of history and really beautiful…My favorite thing about Berkeley is the fact that it is a ‘small town’ where everything is built around the campus. Only 20 minutes away you have San Francisco, Dolores Park and Golden Gate Bridge,” explains Christina, BISP Marketing and Brand Management student from Kristiania University College.

“Apart from studying in Berkeley…my…favorite part is the family feeling.  I have a great mentor, Chun-man.  I don’t feel like I am half the earth away from China; here, it’s my second hometown,” says Jody, BISP Economics student from Nanjing University.

“Berkeley is a rare spot in the world that brings together people of great diversity…Cherish the opportunity you get. There is so much to learn and experience through this interpersonal exchange. Take advantage of the various student activities available at Berkeley, step out of your comfort zone and try out new things!” adds Ja Young, BISP German Language student from Korea University.

Since its conception, BISP has provided a well-rounded, positive opportunity for short-term international students. An ever-evolving global world calls for future leaders and ground-breakers to understand how multicultural environments impact business, medicine, policy, and more. Join BISP and you’ll grow in unimaginable ways.

Experience greatness. Experience brilliance at the University of California, Berkeley.

Find out more about the BISP student experience here.

For more information, please complete the inquiry form and visit

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