FAQs

This section could help you navigate our website and answer some of our frequently asked questions. If you still don't find an answer, please contact us at geo@berkeley.edu.

FAQ Sections

International Agreements

Partners & International Visitors

Students & Alumni

Berkeley Staff & Faculty

International Agreements

I’m not sure what type of International Agreement I need, where should I start?

We recommend reaching out to GEO early-on in the development of your international agreement to ensure you are connected to the appropriate office. More information about navigating international agreements at UC Berkeley is available here.

What is a non-binding international MOU?

A diplomatic statement of mutual interest.

Non-binding international MOUs are typically undertaken with international universities or governmental organizations for diplomatic purposes and to promote mutual goodwill. A non-binding international MOU is a general statement of mutual interest to explore opportunities for collaboration, and does not include commitment of university funds, staff, space, facilities, or other university resources, nor promises of expected deliverables.

The Global Engagement Office has developed agreement templates to simplify the process. More information is available here.

Where can I find UC Berkeley’s MOU template?

Our agreement templates are available for download here.

How long does it take for an international MOU to be executed?

It depends.

For international non-binding MOUs, if participating parties do not pose substantial changes to our template, the MOU could be executed in 3-5 weeks, sometimes faster. However, for more complex arrangements or agreements with international governments, depending on the communications between concerning parties, the time frame could be up to multiple months.

We recommend reaching out to GEO as early as possible to help streamline the process.

I am a UC Berkeley faculty member, can I sign any agreements with my international partners?

No.

Each type of agreement has its own authorized signatory, please see here for more information. While a Berkeley faculty member can serve as a point of contact for, or sponsor the creation or renewal of, a non-binding MOU, they do not have the delegated authority to sign on the University’s behalf.

Situationally, the Dean of the sponsoring academic unit may serve as a secondary signatory but this is at the discretion of our office.

I am a faculty member at UC Berkeley, how can I develop an international partnership?

Consult us at geo@berkeley.edu.

As a central hub for international activity, our office can help with prospective partnerships at any stage. If you are in the exploratory stage, we recommend starting by looking at UC Berkeley’s Global Partnership Database to view active institutional relationships by country.

Additionally, we are founding members of several leading global networks and our office can help facilitate closer collaboration with their member Universities and respective faculty researchers. If you are already in contact with a faculty member, researcher, or government entity overseas, consider what you and the partner would ideally like the potential agreement to accomplish. The most effective international partnerships are developed out of mutual faculty interest.

At this stage, the best next step is to reach out to our office so we can help you determine which agreement type would yield the desired outcome, make sure your bases are covered in terms of federal compliance and risk mitigation, and streamline the administrative processes involved.

Partners & International Visitors

I want to visit UC Berkeley. Where do I start?

If you are visiting as an individual, the best first step is to explore the campus Visitor Services Office and our visitor resources page.

You can also set up a tour of UC Berkeley.

How can I set up a formal delegation visit to UC Berkeley?

Our office coordinates all delegation meetings and events with UC Berkeley’s senior administration, namely those involving representatives from our international partner institutions and government officials.

Formal visits are not guaranteed and require advance notice (minimum 6 weeks) through our office. Additional information, including our Delegation Visit Request form, is available here.

Students & Alumni

Prospective Students

I am a prospective international student and would like to study at UC Berkeley. How can I do this?

You have so many international programs, how do I know which one fits me the best?

UC Berkeley has a wide variety of international programs available to undergraduate and graduate students. We recommend speaking to your academic advisor at your home university to discuss each program’s alignment with your academic and career goals. If you have questions about specific programs, you should reach out to the program manager directly.

You are also welcome to consult the Global Engagement Office (geo@berkeley.edu) with questions, or refer to the opportunities for students. Ultimately, students are responsible for determining which program suits them best.

I am interested in the Science Po or Hong Kong University Dual Degree Program. Who can I contact?

Please contact Berkeley Dual Degree Programs Office directly: dualdegree@berkeley.edu.

Berkeley Students

I am currently a Berkeley student, what are the opportunities for me to study abroad?

  • Undergraduate Study Abroad programs are managed by Berkeley Study Abroad.
  • Graduate study abroad and research opportunities are often managed by the department. We recommend contacting your advisor to learn about options within your department.

Can I study/conduct research at any of our partnering institutions overseas?

Each partnering institution has its own requirements, and some may or may not have an agreement with UC Berkeley. If you are seeking to study at a specific university, please reach out to us with your questions and we will be happy to inform you about exchange opportunities we are aware of and point you in the right direction.

We also encourage students to contact the International & Area Studies Institutes which often have research exchange agreements with overseas universities.

What kind of support GEO can provide me?

The Global Engagement Office is happy to field your questions about international programs and direct you to the right office, program, or staff member. Please reach out to us geo@berkeley.edu.

I need help with a visa. Who can I contact?

Please contact the Berkeley International Office

Berkeley Staff & Faculty

What does GEO do?

The Global Engagement Office is the central international office at UC Berkeley. We facilitate and coordinate global engagement at UC Berkeley by:

  • Serving as a central hub for global activity and clearinghouse for international resources.
  • Supporting Senior Administration to advance Berkeley’s international operations and strategy.
  • Liaising with international partners to facilitate engagement with campus units.
  • Hosting and connecting international delegations to UC Berkeley faculty and staff.
  • Ensuring the success and sustainability of international partnerships by advising units on best practices and guidelines for international agreements and partnerships.
  • Bridging international conversations across campus through the International Activities Coordination Group (IACG), the Berkeley International Group (BIG), and serving on campus committees and task forces.

I’m planning on traveling overseas during COVID-19. Do I have to get my trip approved?

Yes.

Travel for all UC Berkeley faculty, staff or students on University business to countries designated by the U.S. Department of State as having a Level 4 travel advisory (i.e., Do Not Travel) or CDC Level 3 or 4 requires a two-step approval process first from their Dean and then from the Vice Provost for Academic Planning. 

Please feel free to reach out if you have questions about the travel protocol.

What is Berkeley International Group (BIG)?

The Berkeley International Group (BIG) is a recognized Staff Organization Community of Practice, and composed of UC Berkeley faculty and staff, who are invited to meet monthly to collaborate and participate in informal discussions related to the international work we do across UC Berkeley. As long as you are UC Berkeley faculty or staff, you are eligible to join.

If you would like to receive announcements of future BIG events, please add yourself to the bConnected list or email berkeleyinternationalgroup@berkeley.edu. Please note this group is for UC Berkeley faculty and staff only and is not open to the public.

There are many contracting offices on campus, how do I know which office to consult?

We recommend reaching out to GEO early on in the process so that we can direct you to the appropriate office. Since different agreements serve different purposes and the components are varied, identifying which type of agreement you have in the making would be the first step.

Please refer to this matrix to navigate and reach out to GEO if you have further questions.

Can I look up what collaborations Berkeley has with a specific institution?

Yes.

Since GEO manages international non-binding MOUs, we have a database where all the active international non-binding MOUs can be found.

I would like to bring a delegation (higher education or government officials) to UC Berkeley. Where should I start?

Contact GEO as soon as possible.

Our office coordinates all international delegations with UC Berkeley’s senior administration, namely those involving representatives from our international partner institutions and governmental officials. Formal visits should align with UC Berkeley’s strategic priorities and Principles of International Engagement.

Visits with senior administration are not guaranteed and require advance notice (minimum 6 weeks) through our office. Additional information, including our Delegation Visit Request form, is available here.