As a freshman, you have the most options available for study abroad during your undergraduate career.
Congratulations on your acceptance to Cal! By attending Berkeley, you are also gaining access to hundreds of study and intern programs abroad. Plan early and strategically in order to make the most of this opportunity. Explore programs early and connect with us through the resources and appointment sign ups in our Advising Guide.
Matriculated Berkeley students study abroad as early as the summer after your freshman year at Berkeley. Some programs restrict participation to students with junior or senior standing, but this information is easily accessible through our Explore tool. You can study abroad up to and including your last term at Berkeley with the permission of your college and department.
Note: If you are a current high school student admitted to Berkeley, we invite you to register for Global Edge. Global Edge is the only Berkeley program for incoming freshmen to study abroad.
With summer, semester, and year-long options, you may be able to study abroad more than once during your academic career at Berkeley. The current record is held by a student who studied abroad on five unique programs! To study abroad more than once, you will need to plan early and often with your Berkeley college and department(s) to maintain an achievable academic plan.
As a freshman, you may feel in a rush to satisfy your college’s breadth requirements. Consider fulfilling your breadth requirements during your study abroad term! In some cases it may be academically appropriate to save one or more breadth requirements for your study abroad term.
International Studies: You can fulfill your International Studies breadth by full participation in a UCEAP, Berkeley Global Edge, Berkeley Summer Abroad, Berkeley Global Internships, or IARU Global Summer Program. All of the required courses for each program must be completed with a C-/P or better.
All Other Breadth: Study abroad course work can be pre-approved by your Berkeley college to satisfy breadth requirements. A basic guideline is that 50% or more of the course content must directly relate to the breadth category description.
As a freshman you have the most program choice because you have time to plan for program prerequisites. If you are interested in participating on a program that requires a language or course prerequisite, arrange your course schedule now in order to satisfy requirements by the time you study abroad.
GPA requirements for UCEAP programs will be based on your Berkeley GPA only; any coursework taken in high school or at another college or university will not be considered (unless from another UC campus). As a freshman, you may find a UCEAP program with an application deadline prior to your first term GPA being available - that’s okay! Go ahead and apply if you believe your GPA will meet the minimum required by the program option. We’ll hold your application until your first term GPA is posted.