University of California, Berkeley

Established in 1868, the University of California Berkeley is the oldest campus of the public University of California system. UC Berkeley is famous for its contribution to scientific advances in chemistry, atomic physics and computer science, and for the contributions of its alumni in academia, the arts, public life and business. 

UC Berkeley website

Who can go?

Postgraduate research students (at PhD level) in the following Schools:

  • School of Management
  • School of Modern Languages
  • School of History
  • Department of Social Anthropology
  • School of Classics
  • Department of Film Studies

You can study abroad for between one and three months. There are up to two placements available each year.



How to apply

If you are selected to participate in the exchange, St Andrews will nominate you to the Institute of European Studies, University of California Berkeley. You will be required to complete the University of California Berkeley’s application and admission process.

Please apply in a suitable time for your application to be considered and processed before the nomination deadline for UC Berkeley. You must apply and be selected at least six months before your planned stay at Berkeley.

Current students can contact study abroad coordinators to find out more. 

Your studies

Before arriving at the University of California Berkeley, you will discuss and get approval for your research plan from your supervisor and your School’s study abroad coordinator. You will be based in the Institute of European Studies.

Each academic year at UC Berkeley is divided into two semesters:

  • Semester 1: late August until the middle of December
  • Semester 2: middle of January until the middle of May

Visiting Student Researcher appointments include university library privileges, e-mail, and access to other campus facilities.

Passports and visas

You should ensure that your passport is valid for the duration of your trip, and for at least six months after you return to the UK. You should scan your passport and keep a copy for your records.

If you are an international student who has a visa to study in the UK, and you have any questions about the implications of studying or working abroad whilst matriculated at St Andrews, you should consult Student Services by emailing

Once accepted into the Visiting Student Researchers programme, non-US citizens will apply for a J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa, supported by UC Berkeley.

About the University

Established in 1868, the University of California Berkeley is the oldest campus of the public University of California system. Located in the city of Berkeley on the Eastern side of the San Francisco Bay Area, UC Berkeley has grown to become one of the world’s leading universities. UC Berkeley is famous for its contribution to scientific advances in chemistry, atomic physics and computer science, and for the contributions of its alumni in academia, the arts, public life and business. The beautiful Beaux-Arts buildings, gardens and nature reserves which make up the Berkeley campus provide a wonderful environment for students to enjoy academic, social and sporting pursuits. 

Founded in 1999, the Institute of European Studies (IES) at UC Berkeley is one of the leading centres for teaching and research on Europe in the USA. IES offers a community for students and faculty with a European focus to their work. The IES has centres and programmes which cover Western Europe, the Nordic countries and the European Union. The IES hosts a vibrant series of interdisciplinary public events and collaborates with other organisations to organise a variety of outreach programmes. The IES is located in Moses Hall, close to the Campanile Esplanade.


As an exchange student, you will not pay tuition fees to your host university, and will only be liable for your normal St Andrews tuition fees.

Research Council students should make sure that they have their funding body’s permission to study abroad, notifying them particularly for any mobility grants that they may be receiving.

As a Visiting Student Researcher, you will need to pay the following Visiting Student Researcher Fees: DS-2019 processing fee, VSPA University Service fee, Department of Homeland Security SEVIS fee and J-1 Exchange Visitor Fee. The IES has agreed to waive its $2,000 administration fee. You will also need to provide proof that you meet the minimum J-Scholar Financial Requirements.

Please be aware that there is a high cost of living in the Bay Area. Rent can be very high.

UC Berkeley do not usually provide waivers for international travel insurance policies. You may need to pay for the UC Berkeley health insurance plan, UC SHIP. Further information is available regarding the University of St Andrews’ travel insurance and UC SHIP. It may also be more economical to access non-emergency healthcare through the UC Berkeley health centre, rather than external providers.

No other position, including positions in other Berkeley departments, whether paid or unpaid, can be held at the same time, without approval by the Director of the Institute of European Studies. Additionally, if you are Visiting Student Researcher at IES, you must seek prior approval from the Director of the IES for any kind of lecture services at other institutions where payment of any kind is received.


Campus housing is not usually allocated to Visiting Student Researchers. The Cal Housing Office provides rental listings, information and advice to help you find private accommodation. The Berkeley International Office also provides further information. Please note that private accommodation is often expensive in the Bay Area.

The University of St Andrews is unable to guarantee housing at any partner institution.

Travel and transport

San Francisco International Airport and Oakland airports are the nearest airports to UC Berkeley, and several transportation options are available. The Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system is the easiest way to travel to UC Berkeley. Shuttle vans are also available.

Berkeley has a station on the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system, allowing you to travel around the Greater Bay Area. Unfortunately, Visting students are not eligible for the cannot get a Student EasyPass.

Student support

IES will provide further detail regarding its Orientation meetings. You should also attend the events hosted by the Berkeley International Office, and consider its pre-arrival resources. Please note that, due to the complexity of Visiting Student Researcher advising, the Berkeley International Office do not offer drop-in advice sessions. You should contact them to book an advice session.

The University of California Berkeley Disabled Students’ Program offers a wide range of services.

The UC Berkeley Tang Center offers a variety of services including counselling and psychological service; social services, optometry, pharmacy, telephone advice, primary care and same-day urgent care. For life-threatening emergencies, call 911.


Global Office
University of St Andrews
Bute Building
Westburn Lane
St Andrews
KY16 9TS

Phone: +44 (0)1334 46 2245