Before you Arrive at UC Berkeley
UCEAP Reciprocity Information
Visa & Immigration Information
- Housing is not guaranteed.
- Rental agreement last through the end of the academic year (June). If you leave your housing before the end of the agreement, you may be subject to a cancellation fee. Check all terms and conditions.
- If you apply for more than one housing option, accept only one. You will be financially responsible for all agreements you accept.
Find Housing through the Berkeley International Office (BIO). Explore a wide range of resources for new international students arriving at UC Berkeley.
International House (UC Affiliated Housing)
Application notes: For "University role" select "EAP Undergraduate"; Print and submit a copy of your UCEAP letter from the dashboard in your account.
Residence Halls and University Apartments (UC Housing)
Consider giving priority to apartment living when ranking your choices. Improve your housing application success by choosing "any room type, any location" in your list of housing preferences. Few singles are available.
Student Housing Cooperatives (UC Affiliated Housing)
Featured Housing option: Cloyne Court - substance-free academic theme house.
Community Housing (Non-UC Housing)
California Housing Board
We strongly urge you to purchase airline tickets AFTER you have obtained your visa and confirmed travel conditions to the US from your home country. When you do purchase a ticket, purchase a refundable/changeable ticket.
When should I arrive?
No later than
- Fall: August 17, 2020 (not applicable)
- Spring: mid-January 2021 (not applicable)
No earlier than
- Fall: July 19, 2020 (not applicable)
- Spring: December 13, 2020 (not applicable)
Arrive no more than 30 days prior to the date printed on your visa certificate of eligibility (DS-2019).
Start Date on Certificate of Eligibility (DS-2019)
- Fall: August 19, 2020
- Spring: January 12, 2021
Golden Bear Prep online orientation
Fall: July 21- August 14, 2020
Spring: mid-December 2020- -mid-January 2021
Berkeley International Office (BIO)
Fall Orientation: August 18, 2020
Spring Orientation: To be announced
Follow instructions to update your address and to upload your I-94 arrival record.
Deadline: Prior to the first day of class
iStart 101 for International Students
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.
Deadline: Completion of iStart is a required part of the document check.
BIO Informational and Social Events
Take advantage of BIO events (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 for your phone!
Temporary Accommodation (Non-UC Housing)
- BIO temporary housing resources Page
- Cal Summer Transition Housing - Low cost two, three or four week options
- Cal Rentals
- UCB Visitor Services
Ground Transport to Campus
- Department links
- Schedule of Classes - See also the Open and suggested courses
- Course catalog
- CalCentral Schedule Planner tutorial
- Academic calendar
- Enrollment calendar
- Enrollment FAQ
- UCB DeCal - Need to add just 1 or 2 units? The DeCal program offers student-initiated courses in cooperation with faculty to broaden the education and university experience of all Cal students. Courses often address current popular subjects of interest to international students.
About ID Numbers at UC Berkeley
Students must have a CalNet ID and PassPhrase to enroll. You will use the ID to create your CalNet ID and passphrase.
- 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 @berkeley.edu.
- 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.
- 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.
Registering for Classes
Fall: Begins July 14, 2020
Spring: Begins November 10, 2020
- See your appointment dates and times on CalCentral's "My Academics" dashboard.
- Enrollment limit is 17.5 semester units. This includes waitlisted units.
Fall: Begins August 17, 2020
Spring: Begins January 11, 2021
- Enrollment in 19.5-20.5 units is allowed (see the limit for your college), but enrollment in more than 17-18 units is not recommended.
- Mode of instruction
- College advisor contact and enrollment by college
- College of Engineering enrollment information
- College of Letters and Science enrollment information
- College of Chemistry (including Chemical Engineering)
- Departmental advisors (Look under advising or people link)
Graduate students usually register after consultation with the department’s graduate advisor. Check with your host department for registration advising.
Check your account regularly to pay your fees and avoid late fees.
- Log-in to access your dashboard: CalCentral
- Golden Bear Orientation: $320 fee will be added to your account and covers all activities in this comprehensive week-long orientation.
- Document Management fee: $62 (subject to change) one-time fee eliminates charges for individual document requests and provides students with unlimited transcripts, 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
Phone: +1510 664 9181
2020-2021 insurance costs and information are listed below.
Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP)
You will automatically be enrolled in your host university health insurance plan. No action is required.
- Undergraduates: $1,768 each semester
- Graduates: $2,841 each semester
- Fall: August 21, 2020
- Spring: January 15, 2021
- Fall: August 1 - December 31, 2020
- Spring: January 1 - July 31, 2021
* If you are a registered student during spring quarter or semester, your spring SHIP fee provides coverage through the end of summer.
Immunizations and TB Screening
- Fall: July 31, 2020
- Spring: December 31, 2020 * - To be announced for Spring 2021
- A late fee of $50 will apply for submissions after the deadline.
*The customer Service Center will be closed during the end of year holiday break.
To waive SHIP, you must apply for waiver by submitting documentation of comparable health insurance. Waiver must be approved by your host UC.
- Waiver information
- Waiver decision tools
- Waiver criteria
- Waiver worksheet
- Glossary of insurance terms
Waiver for international students staying in their home country
- If you are denied a waiver, submit a waiver appeal explaining that you will remain in your home country and study remotely.
- See more information on waiver for internationals studying from outside the US.
- Fall: May 1 - July 31, 2020
- Waiver application $75 late fee will apply August 1 - August 15, 2020; No applications will be accepted after August 15.
- Spring: December 1, 2020 - January 1, 2021
- Waiver application $75 late fee will apply January 1 - January 15, 2021; No applications will be accepted after January 15.
NOTE: Recipients of a waiver in the fall do not need to re-apply for spring.
Contact UC Berkeley SHIP
Phone: +1510 642 5700