Gaining invaluable knowledge and making enduring connections at one of the most renowned universities in the world have never been easier thanks to Berkeley Global — which welcomes every international student with a dream.
Yitong Zhang from China is one of them. The English major from Hainan University is currently spending a year at the University of California, Berkeley, through the Berkeley Global Access Programme (BGA), which entails a semester or a full academic year exploring a variety of undergraduate- or graduate-level courses. This route is especially ideal for students with more multidisciplinary aspirations in mind.
More specialised routes are available as well, meaning visiting students could explore entrepreneurship alongside the Haas School of Business faculty; or gain key insights from some of the US’s finest chemistry and physics faculties. That’s not all. While popular subjects include computer science, engineering, mathematics, the social sciences, and biology, Zhang chose to explore her underlying passion for theatre.
“I decided to take two courses offered by the Department of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies this semester and was lucky enough to pass them both,” she says. “In these two courses, I was exposed for the first time to theoretical knowledge about performance and how to adapt literary works into plays. I am very grateful for UC Berkeley’s course selection system, which allows me to gain new knowledge in fields I am interested in.”
Meanwhile, Nami Asaga, a Japanese sophomore student from Japan’s Aoyama Gakuin University, is taking two sociology courses and one environmental economics course. While she considers all her classes to be equally “fascinating,” she loves her “Social Movements and Political Action” the most.
“I recommended it to every learner interested in sociology,” she says. “UC Berkeley is famous for the origin of the Free Speech Movement. It’s a valuable discipline that we can experience only here.”
All customised programmes — drawn from the thousands of classes available at the university — have one common perk: access to the full UC Berkeley experience, which is top-ranked for various reasons. Think of classes taught by an expert faculty; access to a vibrant, diverse community of learners who represent over 119 countries; and the chance to enrich your daily schedule by joining some of the university’s 1,200 students clubs and organisations and/or 34 intramural sports teams — it can all be done in California, where UC Berkeley’s main campus is based.
“After just a month at Berkeley, I have already felt positively uplifted by being part of such an energetic environment empowered by diverse, wonderful students, passionate professors and the many opportunities that sunny California offers!” enthuses Sophie Bjertnaes from Norway.
The best part? Students like Zhang, Asaga and Bjertnaes will be able to transfer credits earned at Berkeley to their home universities. Alternatively, they could leverage lessons as a means to gear up for graduate or professional school.
The one-unit “Focus on Your Future: Career Development and Coaching” course ensures every visiting student is guided as they identify their strengths, build their emotional intelligence and apply them in a professional setting through tangible skill building. These valuable competencies are gained through coaching, workshops, career panels, and interaction with guest speakers.
So what are you waiting for? To enjoy a student experience of a lifetime, join the Berkeley Global Access Programme today and stand a chance to land a scholarship worth US$2,000.