Campus Guidelines for International Activities & Agreements

An international activity is an activity involving teaching, research, creative activity, and/or public service conducted outside the boundaries of the United States or involving foreign institutions. International activities include, without limitation, the establishment and operation of projects and programs for educational, instructional, training, clinical care, artistic, fundraising, and public service purposes, as well as the establishment of International Operations and International Subsidiaries to enable or facilitate such activities.

The International Activities Coordination Group (IACG), which is charged with keeping senior administration informed of internationalization efforts across campus and coordinating high-level campus global initiatives, has developed these guidelines to help faculty and staff determine whether an international activity proposal should be reviewed by the IACG and approved by senior administrative leaders at UC Berkeley, in accordance with UCOP International Activities Policy.  

Complex International Activities

International activities that have a greater than usual degree of complexity, that do not fall under the definition of “routine international activity”, and meet at least two of the following criteria, should be reviewed by the International Activities Coordination Group (IACG) and approved by senior administrative leaders:

  • Significant commitment of faculty or staff time, or use of significant resources by the UC Berkeley unit
  • Occurring in a foreign location for a duration greater than 90 days or over multiple years
  • Located in a region with high risk factors (travel safety, health, security, reputational, etc.)
  • Potential for - or intention of - using the Berkeley brand or name
    • Example: Licensing the Berkeley name, naming or signage, web presence, press release, or media coverage
  • Legally binding agreement(s)

If you believe your proposed activity meets the complex criteria, please follow the Complex International Activity Review and Approval Process

Complex International Activities require review by multiple campus units, and may require Chancellor (or in some cases UCOP or Regents') approval before they can become active. The Chancellor may delegate authority to the Senior International Officer (SIO) or other senior administrative leaders.

Examples may include dual-degree programs, the establishment of a joint research center abroad, activities involving shared governance, UC Berkeley subsidiaries abroad, etc. 

Routine International Activities

Routine activities that are part of the course and scope of employment, education, and training of faculty, other academic appointees, students, and staff do not require formal approval by senior administrative leaders. Faculty, staff, and students should instead follow the relevant procedures and policies related to these activities, and consult the International Activity Compliance and Risk Unit contact list for the appropriate unit or point of contact. 

Examples of routine international activities include:

  • Collaborations between faculty and peers
  • Attendance at and participation in meetings and conferences
  • Cooperative study programs
  • Student exchanges and study abroad
  • Training development programs
  • Faculty research and fieldwork
  • Undergraduate and graduate research and fieldwork
  • Scholarly, artistic, and cultural exchanges
  • Concurrent enrollment
  • Summer sessions
  • Executive education
  • Online education
  • Revenue generating programs reviewed by New Academic Ventures - Berkeley (NAV-B)
  • International Memorandums of Understanding reviewed by GEO

Important notes

  • Any activity that involves minors (under age of 18) must be reviewed by the Office of Ethics, Risk and Compliance regardless of it being a routine or complex activity.
  • Any activity that involves licensing of the UC Berkeley name internationally must be reviewed by Business Contracts and Brand Protection (BCBP) regardless of it being a routine or complex activity. BCBP will look at many factors including the territory and its intellectual property laws, valuation of the mark, and risk of reputational harm. 
  • All agreements, whether binding or non-binding, must be signed by an authorized representative of the university. 

Questions & Support

The Global Engagement Office (GEO, is available to determine whether an international activity is considered routine vs. complex, facilitate connections to appropriate domain experts on campus, and answer questions related to the International Activity Proposal Review and Approval Process.