The UC Berkeley International Student Experience

California dreaming at the University of California, Berkeley

Who dreams about the opportunity to study at a world-class and culturally-rich institution in California; one that values diversity and excellence, while encouraging divergent viewpoints? The Berkeley International Study Program at the University of California, Berkeley, located in Northern California’s sunny San Francisco Bay Area, embodies such the place. International students searching for a semester or two of short-term study will find a vibrant and multicultural study abroad experience in the Berkeley International Study Program (BISP).

Why study abroad at one of the best universities in the world?

Studying abroad gives students the opportunity to learn a new language and make friends from around the world. It also offers students the advantage to build their network while expanding their horizons in a new location. Participants of BISP gain fluency in brand-new cultures and expand their worldview. BISP students also take courses, especially within the Arts & Humanities and Social Sciences, as a way to deepen their academic experience, simultaneously gaining crucial life and professional expertise that prepares them for the ever-expanding global world. Participating students continue to develop foundations in critical thinking, research and writing, while experiencing further collaborations within a multicultural setting focused on valuing diversity and original thought.

So how can you get this amazing “Berkeley Experience?”

BISP is a program that sponsors a limited, but growing, number of qualified students to come to UC Berkeley as visiting students taking UC Berkeley courses on the basis of availability. There are hundreds of courses with space in over 50 academic departments, and the university’s professors and students value having international applicants join the class. You will pay fees to our UC Berkeley Extension office, who also provide the necessary student visa documents and infrastructure needed to earn credit in UC Berkeley courses that can transfer back to your home university.

BISP is a unique type of study abroad program that got its start in 2005 in the Department of Sociology, with students primarily coming from Norway and Denmark from many different fields of study. In 2012, BISP expanded to include visiting students from East Asia and a few years later, Latin America.

The BISP program now includes over 250 students per semester from Brazil, China, Denmark, Japan, Mexico, Norway, Peru, South Korea, Taiwan and a few other countries in Europe, while applications are now open to students from new countries as well.

University of California, Berkeley: Brilliance in action

UC Berkeley prides itself on its academic brilliance and research excellence. No less than seven of the university’s current faculty hold the Nobel Prize, demonstrating the level of expertise offered at this premier university. Each year, the UC Berkeley campus receives almost one billion dollars in research and other support from external sources, attracting some of the best undergraduate and graduate students in the world. This year, the university celebrates its 150-year anniversary, acknowledging a long and proud legacy of educators, thought-leaders and ground-breakers that have led innovative projects and spurred the creation of revolutionary companies and even new industries.

As a result of the university’s continued research and academic excellence, UC Berkeley remains at the top of multiple world rankings. Recently, the institution was named one of the world’s Elite Six global university brands, according to the Times Higher Education. Additionally, UC Berkeley has been named the number one public university in the United States in the 2018 US News and World Report rankings of national public universities, once again claiming the top spot.

In our increasingly globalized world, UC Berkeley continues to promote free speech and thoughtful debate as the world of work and social networking becomes increasingly diversified. BISP supports and draws from the institution’s focus to bring these real-life opportunities to the program’s international participants. One of the main objectives of the Berkeley International Study Program is the continued goal for domestic and international students to develop cultural awareness and sensitivity, while also refining their intercultural competence through cross-cultural interaction and co-operation.

A vibrant campus in the world-famous San Francisco Bay Area:

So much to do, so much to see!

The Berkeley International Study Program offers a Cultural Peer Mentor Program, in which current UC students from a variety of disciplines guide, support and connect BISP students towards important campus and community resources. Mentors are committed to ensuring that international students make successful cultural and academic transitions to UC Berkeley, also encouraging BISP students to explore the cultural and environmental richness of Berkeley and San Francisco Bay.

The Berkeley Campus is buzzing with life, with more than 35,000 students from California and around the world blending to create a dynamic and interconnected community. Daily activities, performances and events are commonplace on-campus, open to both the student population and the general public. Students often travel to San Francisco, Napa Valley, Las Vegas, Yosemite, Los Angeles/Hollywood, with easy access to the famed California beaches on the Pacific Coast.

Above all else, BISP deepens and broadens student lives in unexpected and valuable ways.

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

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For more information on BISP and how to apply for a semester or year abroad in Berkeley, please inquire here.

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