International Engagement at UC Berkeley

Berkeley's International Ecosystem

Berkeley has long been at the forefront of international engagement, with a myriad of activities administered by numerous offices. Berkeley's international services and operations are largely decentralized at UC Berkeley, supported by numerous central administrative offices as well as Berkeley's colleges, schools, and organized research centers and institutes. This page provides a broad overview of UC Berkeley's international operations.

International Services & Administration

The following administrative units provide core support for UC Berkeley's international operations across the UC Berkeley campus.

Global Engagement Office (GEO) 

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.  

GEO is part of the Division of Academic Planning & supports the Senior International Officer.

Berkeley International Office (BIO) 

Berkeley International Office's mission is to enhance the academic experiences of international students and scholars by providing the highest levels of knowledge and expertise in advising, immigration services, advocacy, and programming to the UC Berkeley campus community.

Services include:

  • Advising for nonimmigrant students, scholars, staff, and faculty
  • Visa document production for nonimmigrant students and scholars
  • Programs and workshops for students and scholars
  • Training and support for campus administrators and faculty
  • U.S. permanent resident petitions for international faculty

BIO is part of the Division of Academic Planning.

Berkeley Study Abroad  

Berkeley Study Abroad supports the academic and public mission of the University of California to prepare our students to be productive and engaged citizens at home and abroad. Berkeley Study Abroad offers study abroad opportunities and advising for matriculated undergraduate students. 

Berkeley Study Abroad reports to the Dean of Extended Education.

Summer Sessions 

Berkeley Summer Sessions offers more than 600 courses, including Summer-only certificates, English As a Second Language, and online options. Summer visiting international students get the opportunity to enroll in Berkeley courses for credit alongside UC Berkeley degree-seeking students as well as domestic visitors. 

Summer Sessions reports to the Dean of Extended Education.

UC Berkeley Extension / Berkeley Global 

UC Berkeley Extension offers short-term programs for current high school students, undergraduate and graduate students, and working professionals. Students have the opportunity to enroll in UC Berkeley campus courses in the fall and spring on a space-available basis without formal admission to the University through Berkeley Global Study abroad Programs or Concurrent Enrollment. 

UC Berkeley Extension reports to the Dean of Extended Education.

Visiting Scholars & Postdoc Affairs (VSPA) 

Berkeley is host to more than 2,500 visitors from other universities, colleges, research laboratories, and government agencies who conduct research using University facilities. The Visiting Researcher Scholar and Postdoc Affairs (VSPA) Program was established to accommodate scholars with a Ph.D. or equivalent degree to pursue their research and professional interests on the Berkeley campus. 

The Global Engagement Office also maintains a list of Visiting Scholars Programs within the College and Schools.

VSPA is part of the Vice Chancellor for Research Office.

International Programs & Centers

International Programs at UC Berkeley Colleges & Schools

UC Berkeley Colleges and Schools offer a wide variety of international programs, including study abroad programs for international students, entrepreneurship programs, Executive Education, certificate programs, and more.

International Research Institutes & Centers

International Research Institutes and Centers, sometimes referred to as Organized Research Units (ORUs), are organized around broad substantive research topics (e.g. international affairs, information technology, the environment). As such, they draw into their research programs faculty and students from multiple departments and disciplines. Berkeley has more than 100 such research units.

Visiting Scholars Programs within Colleges, Schools, and Institutes

Colleges, Schools, and Research Institutes offer a variety of departmental visiting scholar programs on campus. 

Executive Education Programs

UC Berkeley offers a number of customized programs for executive training and professional development in such fields as Entrepreneurship, Law, Business, Higher Education, & Public Policy.

Undergraduate Dual Degree Programs

UC Berkeley's undergraduate dual degree programs provide students the opportunity to pursue degrees from a choice of two different universities: UC Berkeley, and either Sciences Po in France or The University of Hong Kong. Each dual degree program awards two degrees, one from each university, in four years. 

Other International Services

International House

International House (I-House) is a multicultural residential “living and learning” center of nearly 600 students and scholars from 70+ countries, including the U.S., who attend the University of California Berkeley. Our mission is to foster intercultural respect and understanding, lifelong friendships, and leadership skills for a more peaceful world.

Robertson Center for Intercultural Leadership

The Robertson Center for Intercultural Leadership (CIL) at International House Berkeley is a center of excellence for training to advance leadership, understanding, and collaboration across cultures. CIL consultants have decades of experience providing customized training across all sectors: education, business, government, and non-profit.

Berkeley Language Center 

The Berkeley Language Center (BLC) is a unit in the Division of Arts and Humanities of the College of Letters and Science. The BLC’s mission is to support the learning and teaching of heritage and foreign languages on the Berkeley campus and, where appropriate, in the University of California system.