Berkeley International Study Program (BISP)


Program Description

The Berkeley International Study Program (BISP) provides a unique opportunity for visiting international students to take high-quality courses alongside UC Berkeley degree students in a short-term study abroad program for one or two semesters. BISP provides sponsorship and the necessary letter of invitation to obtain a student visa for qualified students, who enroll in courses on a fee-paying basis. We also offer a robust program of activities and support to students who get the much sought-after “Berkeley Experience.”

Each semester, BISP sponsors between 450-550 visiting international students from all over the world, who enjoy the experience of taking classes at the world-famous UC Berkeley. They tend to do quite well here and have a fantastic experience both in and outside the classroom. BISP students often transfer these courses back to their home universities for their degree requirements.

BISP students come from a wide variety of academic backgrounds. BISP has its roots in an academic department and continues to maintain a very close relationship with campus departments in order to provide a rich schedule of courses for all students, particularly those students in the social sciences, arts, humanities, biological and physical sciences. We have many students from other fields such as business, media, health, and politics who find relevant courses in these study areas. It is common in the U.S. for students to take courses in subjects outside of their major. UC Berkeley faculty and students greatly appreciate the participation of students from many cultures in the classrooms, making it an exciting and vibrant multicultural learning environment.

BISP provides a well-rounded, enriching experience with dedicated staff to support them. Students also participate in activities planned by our Cultural Peer Mentors, who are UC Berkeley students who assist them with their adjustment to the Berkeley campus and surrounding area and provide opportunities to get to know other students and the culture of Berkeley and the U.S.

The BISP Advantage

• Gain a new perspective pursuing your interests in the U.S.

• Prepare for your future in an ever-increasingly global world

• Engage in a vibrant and multicultural study abroad experience

• Benefit from comprehensive academic and social support from start to finish

Tuition and Fees

Unlike exchange programs involving a partnership between a university and the University of California’s Education Abroad Program, UCEAP, students in our program pay fees to cover tuition and program costs. This makes it possible for us to invite qualified international students to study at UC Berkeley through BISP, and offer outstanding activities and support for all.

All visiting students on an F-1 Student Visa to study in the United States must take a minimum of 12-semester units or credits. Your university may require additional credits or units taken here while you study abroad. For example, students from European universities usually take the equivalent of 30 ECTS points, which would be 15-semester units at UC Berkeley.

The tuition (called course fees at UC Berkeley) you will pay depends on the number of units you take. Each unit costs $750 USD in the academic year 2020-21. For example, if a student enrolls in 12 units, their tuition would be $9,000 USD; 13 units would be $9,750, and so on.

Last updated Feb 2020

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About the School

The Berkeley International Study Program (BISP) provides the opportunity for short-term study abroad at the world-class and culturally-rich University of California, Berkeley.

The Berkeley International Study Program (BISP) provides the opportunity for short-term study abroad at the world-class and culturally-rich University of California, Berkeley. Read less