Student Resources

UC Berkeley and the BBSA program offer many resources to assist you during your semester(s) at Berkeley:

UC Berkeley will hold an orientation for all visiting students in the weeks before your semester begins. The BBSA program will hold another orientation for visiting students in this program; both are mandatory to attend. Details including date and time will be sent to students in the months before they arrive at Berkeley. 

The Department will contact you before the start of the semester with a list of potential courses so you may seek advance permission from your home university.  It is not possible for visiting students to reserve seats in class in advance for courses, so we recommend that you seek approval for more courses than you need to take.

You will have an opportunity to apply for the courses of your preference in the weeks before the semester starts, and you may be approved for these courses up until the start of the term. Some courses may have impacted enrollment and we cannot guarantee admission into a particular course, though we will do our best to accommodate students whenever possible.  Per UC Berkeley policy, visiting students are enrolled after matriculated Berkeley students are enrolled and many classes have space for visiting students.  If you have questions about the enrollment policy or procedure, please contact  

Most visiting students live near to campus in apartments, home stays, or campus housing.  The UC Berkeley housing office has a list of rentals available only to Berkeley community members, including visiting students. The website may also be used to gauge the Berkeley rental market or to find housing, though we recommend that students take care when dealing with housing posts from the general public, as not all are reputable. We advise against sending any money in advance from overseas to avoid the possibility of fraudulent posts.

When possible, students may be offered housing at the UC Berkeley campus or International House at Berkeley. Applications for the International House can be found on their website

Housing in Berkeley can be expensive, but living in a shared apartment or house is more affordable. Bedrooms can be private or shared, with shared living space including kitchen, bathroom, and living room. Living situations of this kind allow students to develop new friendships with other Berkeley and International students and practice conversational English at home.

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All visiting students will enroll in a 1 unit course that meets once a week and focuses on academic, cultural, and social aspects of your first semester at UC Berkeley.  The course will be team taught by UC Berkeley faculty, staff, undergraduate and graduate students, and guest speakers.  The course also includes field trips to Berkeley sporting events and museums.  The course meets once per week for 1 hour and is graded on a Pass/No Pass basis.