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UC Berkeley Pre-Arrival Instructions

Contact Information
UCEAP Reciprocity Information:

Berkeley Study Abroad
160 Stephens Hall
University of California
Berkeley CA 94720-2302
Phone: (510) 642-5820
Contact: Scott McElhinney
UCEAP Reciprocity Students at Berkeley Follow UCEAP on Facebook
(you must have a UCB student e-mail address to join)

Visa & Immigration Information:

Berkeley International Office
International House
2299 Piedmont Ave.
Berkeley CA 94720-2321
Phone: (510) 642-2818
New Student Welcome Information
Information for UCEAP Students
Living in Berkeley

The Berkeley International Office has an e-mail listserv that will automatically send you messages regarding immigration procedures, and other items of interest to international students at UC Berkeley.

Getting Started!

This page has a wide range of resources and a video for new international students arriving at UCB. 

Finding Housing (BIO)
Notes: If you have been admitted as an undergraduate student, you will be considered "transfer-level" not "freshman-level" for housing application.

Housing is not guaranteed. Be aware that the standard rental agreement for some housing options is nine months (or until the end of the academic year for students arriving in spring). Students leaving their housing before the end of the agreement may be subject to a cancellation fee.


International House (UC Affiliated)

Graduate/Undergraduate Students

Location: 2299 Piedmont Ave, Berkeley 
Phone: (510) 642-9470

IMPORTANT: When registering for I-House, at the "University role" box, select "EAP-Graduate" or "EAP-Undergraduate".

When asked to provide a letter of acceptance, submit a copy of your "RECIPROCAL EXCHANGES APPLICATION STATUS CONFIRMATION" (you will receive this from your home university international office).

International House is independent and is not a part of UC Housing.  Do not sign a contract for both I-House and UC Housing.

Application Period:  application is open; You are encouraged to apply as early as possible since spaces fill quickly.

Method of Payment Options: Wire transfer and credit card payment preferred (Visa or Master Card accepted). International money orders and travelers’ checks are also accepted. Contact if you wish to arrange direct payment rather than via the online application using a credit card.

Housing Offers: Sent by e-mail. Applicants are responsible for monitoring their e-mail and notifying Admissions of any change in e-mail address.

Residence Halls and University Apartments (UC Housing)

Undergraduate Students:
Residence Halls/Apartments (Unit 1, Unit 2, Unit 3, Clark Kerr, Foothill, Stern and Martinez Commons, Channing-Bowditch, Wada)
Phone: (510) 642-4108

Notes: Students must have a CalNet ID and PassPhrase to apply. Your UCB student ID (SID) and PIN number information, needed to create your CalNet ID and PassPhrase, will be sent to you directly via e-mail as soon as it becomes available. Students may wish to consider giving priority to apartment living when ranking their choices.

Application Deadline:  Apply as soon as you create your CalNet ID.

Even if the deadline has passed, there still may be places available in campus housing. E-mail the assignments office if you are interested in applying for housing after the announced deadline. For the best chance of placement, include "any room type, any location" in your list of housing preferences.

Few singles are available. More mature students may wish to apply for continuing, upper-division, and transfer housing options.

I-House and the Berkeley Student Cooperative are independent from UC Housing. Do not sign a contract with more than one housing provider.

Notification of Housing Assignments: Sent by e-mail. On receipt of confirmation of assignment, student must accept online at the UC Berkeley Housing Portal. Complete your contract by providing your online signature and making the advance payment. Both the signature and advance payment are required to confirm your housing reservation. Students are responsible for monitoring their e-mail and informing the Cal Housing office of any change in their e-mail address.

University Apartments (UC Housing)

Graduate Students only

Jackson House and Manville Apartments
Phone: (510) 642-4108

Application Deadline: Students are advised to complete the application as early as possible.

Notification of Housing Assignments: Sent by e-mail. On receipt of confirmation of assignment, student must accept online at the  UC Berkeley Housing Portal. Complete your contract by providing your online signature and making a security deposit. Both the signature and security deposit are required to confirm your housing reservation. Students are responsible for monitoring their e-mail and informing the Cal Housing office of any change in their e-mail address. 

Student Housing Cooperatives (Non-UC Housing)

Graduate/Undergraduate Students

Berkeley Student Cooperative (BSC)
Address: 2424 Ridge Rd, Berkeley
Phone: (510) 848-1936
Application FAQs

Priority Status: UCEAP students are given priority on the placement wait list.

Application Deadline: No deadline but early application is encouraged. Students are added to the waiting list and placed as space becomes available. Housing is not guaranteed.

Notification of Housing Assignments: Sent by e-mail. Students are welcome to contact the office by e-mail to check the status of their application. 

The Berkeley Student Cooperative is independent and is not a part of UC Housing.   Do not sign a contract with both the BSC and UC Housing.

When completing the application form, students should identify themselves as Education Abroad Program students to benefit from priority status on the placement wait list.

Co-ops provide a living environment that may be very different from living in a campus residence hall.  Students may find smaller co-op houses quieter and cleaner while larger co-ops provide opportunities for meeting a greater variety of students.

Featured Housing option: Cloyne Court - substance-free academic theme house.

Community Housing (Non-UC Housing)

Graduate/Undergraduate Students

Cal Rentals
This office offers housing listings (ads) and practical advice for UC students seeking housing in the community.

Address: 2610 Channing Way #2272, University of California, Berkeley
Walk-in hours: 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Phone: (510) 642-3644 (phone hours: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.)

Instructions: Contact Cal Rentals for advising and a personalized listing of off-campus housing that will meet your needs. If you are not able to secure housing before you depart your home country, plan to arrive early in the 30 pre-program arrival period to search for housing.  (See program start date in Arrival Information and Orientation Section.)

Note:  If you have a CalNet ID, use your ID. If you do not yet have a CalNet ID, select the "Guest House Hunters" login to register.  In your confirmation email, identify yourself in an e-mail as an UCEAP student. UCEAP provides the names of applicants to Cal Rentals for identification purposes.


Other Housing Resources (Non-UC Housing)

Students should be aware that this housing is not UC sponsored or endorsed and that unless advised to do so by Cal Rentals staff, you should not rent prior to arrival when you can visit the rental in person. Beware of scams- Do not send money in advance to anyone you meet online.


Arrival Information & Orientation


When should I arrive?: No later than August 13, 2017 and no earlier than July 17, 2017

You may arrive no more than 30 days prior to the date printed on your visa certificate of eligibility (DS-2019). Students who do not have pre-arranged housing should arrive as early as possible.
Date on Certificate of Eligibility (DS-2019): August 16, 2017

Golden Bear Orientation (Mandatory)
(Undergraduates Only)

Date​: August 15- 22, 2017
Program information
Fee: $320
Register for Company Visit or Bay Area Excursion (Deadline: August 6, 2017)
Golden Bear Prep online orientation (Deadline: August 11, 2017) 

Berkeley International Office (BIO)

Orientation (Mandatory)
Date: August 14, 2017
Time: 1:00 p.m.- 5:00 p.m.
Location: Dwinelle Hall (campus map)

Required Document Check (Mandatory)
As soon as you arrive, follow instructions to update your physical address and to upload your I-94 arrival record.

iStart 101 for International Students
(Graduates only)
Deadline: August 23, 2017
Complete the online orientation course and short quizzes to prepare for your studies at Cal. Contact BIO if you do not receive an invitation by email. Completion of iStart is a required part of the document check.

BIO Informational and Social Events
Remember to take advantage of the tours (campus, library, best coffee, best ice cream, botanical gardens, shopping tips, and more). Get involved with physical activities through Cal Recreation, hike to the Big C and even take a workshop on one of Cal’s favorite sports “American Football 101”.

iSTART Cal Edition
Get the App!    

Move-In Dates

Residence Hall Move-In August 13, 2017
I-House Move-In August 13, 2017
Co-Op Move-In August 18, 2017

Temporary Accommodation (Non-UC Housing)

Ground Transport to Campus

Costs and times are subject to change.
Course Enrollment

Department Links
CalCentral Tutorials
Schedule of Classes 
- See also the Open and Suggested Courses
Course Catalog
Academic Calendar
Enrollment Calendar

New Student Phase IJuly 10 - August 13, 2017
See your appointment dates and times on CalCentral's "My Academics" dashboard.

After your appointment time begins, you may enroll in courses through the end of Phase I.
All times are California time. You must convert the listed times to your local time zone

Enrollment limit is 17.5 semester units in Phase I. 

Adjustment Period: August 14 - October 27, 2017
Enrollment limit to the college maximum (19.5/20.5) is allowed but not recommended.

Prerequisite Clearance Request Form 

De-Cal: Democratic Education at Cal The De-Cal program facilitates student initiated courses in cooperation with UC Berkeley faculty to broaden the education and university experience of all Cal students. Courses often address current or popular subjects of interest to international students. 1-2 units credit per class. Students are limited to 4 units of independent study per term, including De-Cal courses.

Undergraduate Students 

About ID Numbers at Cal 

Students must have a CalNet ID and PassPhrase to enroll. You will use the ID to create your CalNet ID and passphrase.

Student Identification number (ID) = 10-digit number that is assigned by UCB to every new student.  This ID is used by UC as your unique identifying number.

CalNet ID =   your online identity at UC Berkeley. It does not have to be a number and will be your campus email address when combined with 

PassPhrase = a secret phrase that you create that must be used together with your CalNet ID in order to access secure campus websites. You create your passphrase at the same time that you create your CalNet ID.

Graduate Students
Graduate students usually register after consultation with the department’s graduate advisor. Check with your host department for registration advising.
Financial Information

CalCentral: Log-in and tutorial

Fee Payment: View all financial information on your student account. You are responsible for checking your account regularly and paying any fees that apply. 

Golden Bear Orientation: $320 fee will automatically be added to your account and covers all activities in this comprehensive week-long orientation.

Document Management Fee: $56 one-time fee eliminates charges for individual documentary requests and provides students with unlimited transcripts, incomplete petitions, verifications of enrollment and more.

Health Insurance Fees: Fees will be billed to your account each semester. See Health Insurance & Services information below.

Billing Questions contact:
Cal Student Central, 120 Sproul Hall
Phone: (510) 664-9181

Academic Resources
Academic Support Services
Academic support for non-native English speakers is offered at the Student Learning Center.
De-Cal: Democratic Education at Cal
The De-Cal program facilitates student initiated courses in cooperation with UC Berkeley faculty to broaden the education and university experience of all Cal students. Courses often address current or popular subjects of interest to international students. 1-2 units credit per class. Students are limited to 4 units of independent study per term, including De-Cal courses.
Health Insurance & Services
2017-18 costs and information are listed below.
Requirement: Students are automatically enrolled in the University’s Student Health Insurance Plan, unless they complete a waiver form that provides proof of equivalent coverage, and it is approved.
Cost: $1,415 per semester (undergraduates); $2,231 per semester (graduates)
Billing: Each semester

Payment Deadline

Fall: August 18 or as soon as you arrive on campus 
Spring: January 13 or as soon as you arrive on campus
Effective Dates:
Fall Semester: August 1 - December 31, 2017
Spring Semester: January 1 - July 31, 2018
* If you are a registered student during spring quarter or semester, your spring SHIP fee provides coverage through the end of summer.
Health Requirements and Recommendations
Immunizations and TB Screening (Mandatory)
Deadline: Fall: August 1, 2017; Spring: To be announced
Waiver Deadline:
Fall Semester: May 16 - July 15, 2017
Waiver application $75 late fee will apply July 16 - August 15, 2017 
(No applications will be accepted after August 15)

Spring Semester: December 1 - January 1, 2018  
Waiver application $75 late fee will apply December 31 - January 15. 2018
(No applications will be accepted after January 15)
Note: Recipients of a waiver in the fall do not need to re-apply​ for spring.
Coverage and waiver questions contact:
Berkeley Student Health Insurance Office
Phone: (510) 642-5700