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86 Years of International House

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I-House viewed from stadium. Photo by Virginia Yeh.


Celebrate this historic building and community!

When the idea of International House was first proposed to the Berkeley community in the 1920s, there was considerable resistance. There was resistance to men and women living under one roof; there was hostility to foreigners; and the notion that people of color would live with "whites" in an integrated setting was, to many, simply incredible.

When Harry Edmonds came to Berkeley to establish a site, he chose Piedmont Avenue, in part, because it was the home of fraternities and sororities which then excluded foreigners and people of color. By proposing this site, Edmonds sought to strike bigotry and exclusiveness "right hard in the nose."
Learn more about our remarkable history.


Share a birthday wish!

Email ihalumni@berkeley.edu, or post on Facebook @BerkeleyIhouse.




What makes the I-House experience unique?

I-House has been a powerful influence on tens of thousands alumni and friends worldwide.


Daniel Mouen-Makoua

"Because of I-House, I gained a better understanding of the world and to the connections needed for a life of active contribution."

Daniel Mouen-Makoua (IH 1984) 2012 Alumnus of the Year and Founder of Bwamanga, a public-private partnership and related investment fund that promotes sustainable agriculture to address food security and youth unemployment in Northern Nigeria.


"Living in International House was like living in the United Nations without the bureaucracy. Every single day led to new friendships with engaging students and scholars from all over the world."
Jan Egeland
(IH 1983) 2005 IH Alumnus of the Year
U.N. Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs

Firoozeh Jazayeri Dumas

"My experience at I-House confirmed what I already knew: our commonalities far outweigh our differences. It is in places such as International House that we learn to see beyond nationalities, borders, and religions and see instead our shared humanity. It is the only recipe for world peace."

Firoozeh Jazayeri Dumas (IH 1986-87) Author of Funny in Farsi: A Memoir of Growing up Iranian in America and Laughing Without an Accent & 2009 IH Alumnus of the Year


Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

"Living at I-House made me sensitive to the challenges people face when living in a different country and how it changes people, makes them grow. These are major themes in my work."

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni (IH 1978-79)
2008 IH Alumna of the Year and author of several books including The Mistress of Spices and Sister of My Heart.


Julianne Cartwright Traylor

“ I-House meant a lot to me. It was my community, a multi-cultural one par excellence.The world needs the type of environment that I-House fosters.”

Julianne Cartwright Traylor (IH 1968-69)
First African-American woman to serve as Chair of Amnesty International

View more Because of I-House Statements and add your own by emailing ihalumni@berkeley.edu.