Coronavirus (COVID-19): The safety and well-being of our students is our top priority. Please see current information and updates related to study abroad programs.

Berkeley Study Abroad is currently offering virtual services. Please see our Virtual Advising Guide for more information.


Berkeley Summer Abroad Policies

Eligibility Payment
Application Financial Aid
Waitlist Dismissal from Program
Admission and Confirmation Withdrawal, Cancellation and Refund
Electronic Signature Appeals
Program Dates and Components Program Cancellation
Registration Airline Tickets
Course Credits Travel Insurance
Program Preparation Health and Wellness
Academic and Other Accommodations Vaccinations
Housing Further Information




Summer Abroad is open to UC Berkeley students, students from other colleges and universities, international students, and adults with interest in studying abroad. To be eligible, you must have completed at least one year of college by the start of the program and have at least a 2.0 GPA. You may not be on academic probation or under censure for student misconduct at any point from application review to the end of your program. Please note, there may be additional requirements or prerequisites for the specific program you select; please check the location-specific page for details. You may only apply to one Global Internships or Summer Abroad program per summer.

International students are eligible to participate in any program as long as you can obtain the necessary visa for your program country.

Applications are reviewed by Berkeley Study Abroad to ensure compliance with University policies and individual program requirements. Berkeley Study Abroad reserves the right to void the admission of any student who is discovered not to meet the above requirements after being admitted.

Please note: High school students are not eligible to apply.



Step One: Meet with an adviser to discuss which program is an appropriate fit for you (recommended).

Step Two: Submit an online application.* The online Summer Abroad application requires:

1. A 250 - 500 word statement of interest that focuses on the following question: “Why did you choose your specific study abroad program? (e.g. What are your academic goals for this program? What do you hope to learn? Why is this program a good fit for you?)”

2. A 250 word response to the following question: “Studying abroad can be a challenging experience that pushes you outside of your comfort zone. What challenges do you foresee for yourself? How will you prepare for these challenges abroad?”

3. A 250 word response to the following question: “What does being a cultural ambassador mean to you? How do you plan to represent yourself and Berkeley in your time abroad?”

4. A copy of your most recent college transcript (unofficial or official). Transcripts must have your name, the name of your college, courses in progress, and current GPA.

5. A signed student agreement stating that you’ve read and agreed to the Summer Abroad policies.

6. A signed student waiver of liability.

7. A $400 deposit. If accepted to the program, the $400 deposit is non-refundable and will be applied towards your program fee. If you are waitlisted or denied admission to the program, your deposit will be refunded. If you request to withdraw your application prior to an admission decision being issued or cancel your participation after being accepted to the program, the deposit remains non-refundable. 

Please note that for continuing UC Berkeley students, the deposit will be charged to your CalCentral account at the time you apply. Financial aid eligible students can wait until their summer aid is disbursed to pay the deposit but remain responsible for the full deposit if they withdraw their application before an application decision is issued, or withdraw their participation from the program after acceptance. Any payments made to CalCentral will be applied towards outstanding fees prior to being applied to the deposit.

*Please note, there may be additional essay questions, requirements or prerequisites for the specific program you select; please check the location-specific web page for details.

Spring 2020 Graduating UC Berkeley Students: If you are a UC Berkeley student who is currently scheduled to graduate at the end of Spring 2020, you must apply as a visiting student. According to University policy, you will no longer be considered a UC Berkeley student for the Summer term once you have graduated. Please do not attempt to apply as a UC Berkeley student, as this will have negative implications on access to your UC Berkeley accounts. As a visiting student, you will be charged with visiting student tuition and be ineligible for any UC Berkeley Financial Aid.

IMPORTANT for Graduating Seniors: If you would like to be considered a UC Berkeley student for Summer 2020, please talk to your college advisor about switching your expected graduation date from Spring 2020 to Summer 2020 PRIOR to continuing with this application. If you are eligible for aid, please also speak to Financial Aid about the financial implications of this decision.

UC Berkeley students: The $400 deposit will be charged to your CalCentral account at the time you apply. Financial aid eligible students can wait until their summer aid is disbursed to pay the deposit but remain responsible for the full deposit if they withdraw their application before an application decision is issued, or withdraw their participation from the program after acceptance. Any payments made to CalCentral will be applied towards outstanding fees prior to being applied to the deposit.

Visiting Students Only (i.e. if you are a student at a University other than UC Berkeley): Within 24 hours of submitting your application, you will receive an email from UC Berkeley asking you to set up your university credentials; this email does NOT constitute admission to the program. Please follow the instructions in the email. Once you have completed the necessary steps, please go to CalCentral to pay your $400 deposit. If you fail to make the $400 deposit within 48 hours of application submission, your application will be canceled.




If a program becomes full, a waitlist of all eligible applicants will be created in the order in which applications are received. Berkeley Study Abroad reserves sole discretion to manage program waitlists. If placed on a waitlist, you will be notified via email sent a link to the Waitlist Action Form, accessible via the appliction status portal. In this form you must indicate your intention for one of the following:

• Remain on the waitlist – no further action required.
• Switch to another open program – It is your responsibility to assure that you meet all eligibility requirements for the program that you would like to switch into. If you decide to switch to an open program, you will forfeit your spot on the waitlist
• Withdraw your application from the waitlist – if you withdraw from the waitlist, you will receive a refund of your $400 deposit.

If an opening occurs on the program, the first student on the waitlist will be notified by email. If you receive an offer for a place in the program, you will have 24 hours to accept the offer. If you do not respond within 24 hours, you will be placed at the bottom of the waitlist, and the next student on the list will be offered a spot instead. By accepting this offer, you agree to abide by all program policies and deadlines, including those relating to the refund of fees. If you cancel after the cancellation deadline, you will not receive a refund of the program fee.



Admission and Confirmation

Admitted students will receive a welcome packet including detailed program information no later than March 20, 2020. The packet will contain important documents that need to be signed, scanned, and submitted online, including a medical information form,  proof of enrollment in health insurance, and other supplemental forms.

These forms must be signed and returned to program staff by 5 p.m. PST April 3, 2020. If you choose not to participate in the program, you must submit a Program Enrollment Change Form via your application portal by April 3, 2020. Please note that if you are accepted and then choose to withdraw, the $400 deposit is non-refundable, if you cancel after April 3, 2020, then you will also owe the remaining program fee.

Incomplete or missing confirmation forms do not qualify as an official cancellation from Summer Abroad.



Electronic Signatures

Summer Abroad programs will not accept electronic signatures on any document that requires a handwritten, wet-signature. Signatures must be hand-written with a blue or black pen. Please note that digital signatures and signatures made on a tablet or touch-screen will not be accepted.

Any questions regarding electronic signatures and document submission should be directed to program staff.



Program Dates and Components

All program dates are set in advance. Students are expected to participate in all program components for the entire length of the program. Requests for late arrival or early departure will only be considered under extenuating circumstances and must be approved by the Berkeley Study Abroad office in advance.

Failure to fully partake in ALL aspects of the program, including orientation, coursework, and other program activities, may result in dismissal from the program.

Please note: Berkeley Summer Abroad courses are rigorous academic experiences. As such, we strongly recommend against simultaneously taking online courses, or working remotely during your program. 




Program staff will enroll you in your Summer Abroad course(s) when admitted into your program. You will not be able to enroll yourself in or make any changes to program courses, though you may check the status of your enrollment via CalCentral. If you would like to make changes to any courses, you must submit a Program Enrollment Change Form via your online application portal. Informing Berkeley Study Abroad staff is not sufficient by itself to effect a change to your program course(s). You are responsible for making any changes to non-program related courses through CalCentral.

Summer Abroad courses can be taken for a Passed/Not Passed grade instead of a Letter grade, but you will be enrolled on a Letter grade basis by default. If you wish to select the Passed/Not Passed option, you may make this change online through CalCentral by the deadline that corresponds to your program. Please check this deadline with program staff, as deadlines are different for each program. It is strongly advised that you consult with your academic adviser if you are unsure how the Passed/Not Passed option will impact major/minor or graduation requirements.

Please note: any retroactive grade change requests will require college, department, and/or instructor approval. Regular Berkeley Summer Sessions’ policies apply.



Course Credits

All program courses are taken for UC Berkeley credit and will automatically appear on Berkeley transcripts. You are advised to consult with your academic adviser prior to applying for any program to confirm whether the course credits earned through participation will fulfill any major/minor or graduation requirements. For non-UC Berkeley students wishing to transfer their course credits, it is important to speak with an adviser at your home institution prior to applying to ensure that credit transfer is possible.



Program Preparation

You are required to attend the program orientation and may be asked to attend other preparatory workshops conducted by program staff. If you are unable to attend for any reason, it is your responsibility to notify the program staff to ensure that the information and materials covered during the orientation and workshops are received.

A valid passport is required to travel to all program destinations. When traveling overseas, your passport must be valid for the duration of the program and for at least six months beyond your travel dates; otherwise, your passport should be renewed before the program starts. Passport renewal can be a lengthy process, so it is important to start the process as early as possible. UC Berkeley students may apply for a passport at the Recreational Sports Facility or downtown Berkeley post office.

An entry visa may be required for travel to the program location, depending on your citizenship and length of stay. Visa requirements can be obtained from the embassy or the consulate of that country. There may be different requirements for U.S. citizens and non-U.S. citizens. It is important to obtain information pertinent to your citizenship status and to begin this process as soon as possible to avoid delays. It is your responsibility to prepare any travel documents (i.e., passport, visa, etc.), pay any related fees, and complete the steps that are necessary to enter your program location(s). Berkeley Study Abroad is not responsible for ensuring that you have the appropriate visa or documentation. Inability to obtain the appropriate travel documentation to participate in the program may not be considered as a basis for a refund of program-related fees.

Please note: You must abide by all regulations outlined by the terms of your travel documentation or risk deportation and/or other legal ramifications from your program destination(s). Also, you may also face dismissal from the program.

All program participants will also be required to have a functioning local phone number where you can be reached 24 hours a day, seven days a week while on your program. This expense will be factored into the financial aid budget for students that qualify for aid. For those that do not, please keep this cost in mind when planning your budget.



Academic and Other Accommodations

You are encouraged to disclose any accommodations (physical, academic, etc.) you may need while abroad as early as possible. Berkeley Study Abroad will work with you through the interactive process to provide reasonable accommodations to the extent possible given the realities of the country to which you will be traveling and the time at which the accommodation request is made. It is recommended that you reach out to the program staff and the Disabled Students Program as accommodations are determined by an individual assessment of each student.




You are required to use the program housing arranged by Berkeley Study Abroad for all locations outside of the U.S. You may not arrange your own housing or choose independent housing unless you have extenuating circumstances and have secured written approval in advance from Berkeley Study Abroad. If you have extenuating circumstances and want to request a special exception to the Housing Policy, please contact the program staff. Providing Berkeley Study Abroad with advanced notice of your need for alternative accommodations increases the likelihood that arrangements can be made but it is not guaranteed.

Housing arrangements are made for all programs during official program dates. This does not, however, include housing accommodations for the portion of some programs that take place on the UC Berkeley campus. Please see the website for location specific program information.

If you intend to arrive earlier or stay later than the program dates, you must make your own housing arrangements and be prepared to pay out-of-pocket for these additional nights. Neither Berkeley Study Abroad staff, nor the program director or local staff can make special arrangements regarding a student's early arrival or late departure. Berkeley Study Abroad does not provide any warranties or guarantees for arrangements made outside of official program dates.

For those programs with shared accommodations, program participants will be assigned rooms and roommates randomly. Due to the complexity of program logistics, including different types of accommodations and our work with partner organizations, we are generally unable to accommodate roommate requests. Overnight guests are not allowed in program housing.

You must follow all the housing rules and regulations. Failure to do so may result in dismissal from the program. Please note, every set of program housing will have its unique set of rules that will need to be followed. Please check with your program coordinator for details. In addition, you will be responsible for paying for any damages, repairs, or replacements, if necessary, that occur in your unit.

Students with Dependents: If you are a student with dependents, you may submit a petition to waive out of program housing. All petitions are subject to review and decisions are final. We strongly suggest working with Berkeley Study Abroad staff as soon as possible.

Please note that we are committed to working with Gender Non-Conforming and Trans students to create housing spaces and arrangements that are as safe and welcoming as possible while studying abroad. If you are a GNC or Trans student and have questions or concerns about housing arrangements, please reach out to Berkeley Summer Abroad program staff as soon as possible. While some countries and locations may have limited options, BSA staff will work with you to find the best arrangement within the parameters of each location or to find a program location that will fit your needs.




Non-enrolled family members and others accompanying participants, faculty, or staff of Summer Abroad programs cannot be accommodated in program lodging, courses, or activities held in conjunction with the program. Program classes, excursions, guest lectures, dinners, receptions, program-provided transportation, and all other program-related activities and events are open only to those officially enrolled in the program. Berkeley Study Abroad will not provide support services or assume any responsibility for those not enrolled in the program.




For Summer Abroad programs, charges applied to your CalCentral account are as follows:

  1. Tuition: Tuition is based on a per unit cost. Each program has a specific number of units attached to the courses included. Per unit cost is different based on your status: UC undergraduate student rate, UC graduate student rate, or Visiting student rate for all non-UC participants.
  2. Program Fee: The program fee is specific to each program and can be found on the individual program pages.
  3. Other campus fees may be applied based on your student status.

The program fee varies from program to program. However, the following items are included in the program fees:

• Student housing
• On-site orientation program
• Excursions
• 24/7 program support
• International travel and health insurance

Please note that for Summer Abroad programs with on-campus components at UC Berkeley students are required to find their own housing arrangements. The fee for some programs may also include program-related meals, group transportation, guest lectures, etc.

In addition to the fees (program fee and tuition) applied to your CalCentral account, you will be responsible for additional expenses such as airline tickets and other out-of-pocket personal costs not covered by the program. The following items are universally excluded from the program fee for all Summer Abroad programs:

• International airfare
• Local transportation
• Personal expenses (souvenirs, individual daily transportation, emergency expenses, medical expenses, toiletries, etc.)
• Course materials (textbooks and readers)
• Additional meals outside of the provided meals (if applicable)

For more information about what expenses are included in a specific program, contact program staff.




Once you are registered in your program courses, the corresponding charges will appear on your CalCentral account. Visiting students will be assigned a SID (student identification number) to access their account. Payments may be submitted in several different ways, including:

• E-check
• Credit card - please note, a 2.75% non-refundable convenience fee applies to credit card payments
• Check - please be sure to indicate your Berkeley student identification number and the name of the program you are participating on in the notes section of the check

For more information, please go to



Financial Aid

For UC Berkeley students only:
To determine your financial aid eligibility for a Summer Abroad program, review the financial aid information for Summer Abroad and consult with the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office. When the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office calculates the amount of aid offered for participation in a program, they consider not only the tuition and program fee charges but also any out-of-pocket expenses they anticipate students may incur during the program. The charges posted directly to the CalCentral account for the tuition and the program fee are different from the total expenses that may be incurred while abroad.

If you require financial aid to cover program costs, it is your responsibility to confirm your aid package in advance of any program deadlines. Inability to pay the program fee or tuition is not a valid reason to receive a refund of the fees associated with your program.

Please note: Dedicated Study Abroad Financial Aid drop-in advising is available during Fall and Spring semester from 1-3 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday at 160 Stephens Hall.

Financial aid eligibility during the summer is partially based on full-time course enrollment. Canceling from, or being dismissed from, a Summer Abroad program may have implications for your financial aid awards. Please check with Financial Aid Counselors to see how this may impact you.

For non-UC Berkeley students:
Visiting students should contact the financial aid office at their home institution for more information.



Dismissal from Program

Failure to uphold requirements set by the UC Berkeley Code of Conduct, Summer Abroad Student Agreement, program policies, and program staff may result in immediate dismissal from the program. If a student is dismissed, he/she will be removed from program courses and will be responsible for all program-related expenses as well as travel home. Program accommodations will need to be vacated within 24 hours of dismissal.

Please note: any violation of the Berkeley Code of Conduct occurring while participating in a Summer Abroad program may result in your dismissal from the program, and you will also be reported to the UC Berkeley Center for Student Conduct which may lead to further sanctions as deemed appropriate by the University.



Withdrawal, Cancellation & Refund

To withdraw from any Summer Abroad program 1) speak to your program advisor and 2) complete and submit a Program Enrollment Change Form via your online applicant status portal. Please note that only writing an email or talking to program staff without submitting this form is not considered an official request. Additionally, incomplete or missing confirmation forms do not qualify as an official cancellation from Summer Abroad.

The refund policy is as follows:

Deposit The $400 deposit is nonrefundable once you are accepted in the program. Please note that If you request to withdraw your application prior to an admission decision being issued, or cancel your participation after being accepted to the program, the deposit remains non-refundable. The $400 will only be refunded to you in the case that:

• You are denied admission because the selection criteria were not met 
• The program you applied to is canceled and you choose not to switch to another open program
• The program is full, and you choose to withdraw from the waitlist instead of switching to another open program.

A refund of the program fee, minus the deposit, will be issued if you cancel by 5 p.m. PST  April 3, 2020, by submitting the Program Enrollment Change Form via your online application status portal. If the request is received after 5 p.m. on the deadline, you will not be eligible for a refund of the program fee. If payment has not yet been made, you will owe the program fee.

For information about tuition refund policies and deadlines specific to each program, visit the cost tab on each program’s specific information page.

Please note: if you have any outstanding debts to the University (including Fall or Spring fees, printing fees, Course Material Fees, library fines, emergency loans, etc.), any program-related refunds will be applied first to overdue fees. Any remaining amount will be refunded.




We understand that situations occur that may prevent you from attending or completing your Summer Abroad program or Summer Sessions courses. If you need to drop or withdraw from your program after April 3, 2020, request a refund, or have another request, there are procedures in place for requesting an appeal.

Please note: Summer Abroad 2020 appeals will not be accepted after September 25th, 2020.

To appeal, send an email to with the subject line: “Summer 2020 Refund Appeal: [Student Name & Student SID]” You must attach to the email:

  • Signed letter of explanation: Attach a signed letter of explanation stating, as concisely and clearly as possible, the reason for your appeal. The appeal letter is limited to one page, and it must be written and signed by the student.
  • Supporting Documentation: Attach any supporting documentation that verifies the reason for your appeal.
    • For an appeal due to medical withdrawal: please have your medical provider email directly with a signed letter including the same subject line as above. Your medical provider must verify that your withdrawal was medically necessary, but need not go into details on the condition itself. Medical letters must be typed on official letterhead, and be received directly from the physician or another personal healthcare provider. Verification of Illness forms from the Tang Center at UC Berkeley qualify as well.
    • For an appeal due to a death in the family: We require a copy of death certificate (or verification of death from the hospital or attending physician), and the deceased's relation to the student.

NOTE: Please anticipate 4-6 weeks for the appeal review process. Once an appeal decision has been made, the decision is final. It is essential to disclose all information, reasons for the appeal, and all supporting documentation regarding your case in the initial appeal letter. Subsequent appeal letters providing new information, different reasons for the appeal, or new supporting documentation are not eligible for review. 



Program Cancelation

Berkeley Study Abroad reserves the right to cancel a program for any reason. In the unlikely event that the program is canceled, you will be notified and have the option of switching to another open program. If you decide not to participate in another program, a full refund of all unit fee(s) and program fee, including the $400 deposit, will be issued upon confirmation of your withdrawal.

Berkeley Study Abroad is not responsible for any costs incurred regarding air travel, housing or personal expenses.



Airline Tickets

It is your responsibility to make reservations and pay for all airline tickets if needed. It is strongly advised that you do not purchase airfare until your participation in the program is confirmed. It is also advised that you purchase trip cancellation insurance.



Health Insurance

When traveling out-of-state or to a foreign country to participate in off-campus activities sponsored and supervised by the University, registered students will be covered worldwide, 24 hours a day, for a wide variety of accidents and illnesses. This coverage is provided at no cost to students; however, you must register for the insurance to be covered. Program participants will receive registration instructions in your confirmation packet. This coverage includes:

• Emergency Medical Evacuation
• Security Extraction
• Accident/Sickness/Medical
• Other Travel Assistance Services (when student traveler is 100+ miles from campus)


To view the complete Travel Benefits Summary please visit


Health and Wellness

Staying healthy while abroad enables you to make the most of your time there. Berkeley Study Abroad strongly encourages all students to speak with their primary care physician and mental health care providers about traveling to determine what you need to assure your physical and mental well-being while abroad. Many providers will agree to skype sessions while you are in-country. This is an arrangement we recommend to all students when possible.




Some countries may require certain vaccination or health clearances for visa or entry purposes. Participation in the program is contingent upon your obtaining the required visa. Failure to obtain a visa based on a failure to obtain necessary vaccinations is not a basis for a refund of program-related fees. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention detail vaccination requirements and other traveler's health information. The Tang Center also offers an International Travel Clinic that includes a personal travel consultation and immunizations.



Further Information

Program and country information may not be immediately provided by Berkeley Study Abroad. It is important that you actively research and ask appropriate questions to get the answers that you need. Essential information can be obtained from the following sources:

• Pre-departure packet
• Welcome orientation
• Welcome packet
• Pre-departure packet
• Berkeley Study Abroad staff
• Program Director
• Books on your destination country (recommended: the Culture Shock! series)
• U.S. Department of State, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Embassy websites