Testimonials

I went to Berkeley in the late 60's and early 70's when the Vietnam war was the focus of the United States. International House was the best antidote I had found to the insanity that represented.
Jay Paxton (IH 1974), Board Member

International House has been a powerful influence on tens of thousands of alumni and friends worldwide. Please share your own testimonial about how I-House has affected your life by emailing ihalumni@berkeley.edu.

"I-House significantly enhanced my experience at Berkeley. Because of I-House, I learnt the joy of meeting new people, and today, I can proudly say that I have friends all over the world! Thank you, I-House, for this wonderful experience that I shall cherish forever."
- Sakina Babwani, IH Summer Session 2014


"I met my spouse and lifelong friends."
- Evelyn P. Kaplan (IH 1948-51)

"I have connections with other cultures and lifelong friends.
A couple of years back, I wrote about my experiences at I-House for an insert in the newsletter (‘The Best of Times’) and how it connected me with so many other cultures, gave me lifelong friends, and convinced me how important the setting and goals of I-House are."
- Pam Routh

"To me, I-House was not a dormitory; it was a community of scholars and gifted people who profoundly changed my life, so much so that I ended up living there for 10.5 years and earning five degrees in the process."
- Dr. Kamran M. Nemati

"I have been inspired to take myself further—in life, in studies, in space. From undergrad at Cal to Masters at LSE in London . . . students and friends at I-House are awesome and inspirational."
- Syd Wayman

"I have met so many beautiful people here, and I will always cherish them in my life."
- Monique Porsandeh

"Because of I-House, I’ve been given a unique opportunity to enjoy the wonders of the vast cultural diversity the world has to offer!"
- Lars Foleide

"Living at I-House showed me how young people connect easily and sincerely across nations and ethnicity. It lasted as I matured, and I feel I’m a citizen of the world."
- Isaiah Zimmerman

"I enjoy continuing education every time I am with one of I-House's cutting-edge residents. As they describe their work, I learn about game theory, quasars, the materials for the future, the past speaking to us in history and archeology; you name it, the residents of I-House can tell you about it!"
- Giovanna Brennan

"Because of I-House, I can be the change I want to see in the world."
- Martin Brennan


"I-House was so special for me. I had come from three years in a women’s dorm, and it was so refreshing to meet people from all over the world. I think it opened so many doors for me. After graduation, I spent nine months in Europe. I got to meet up with a friend from I-House."
- Zoanne Harris

"I’ll be able to close my eyes and remember the best years of my life."
- William Casper-Ortiz

"Because of I-House, I feel I am indeed a citizen of the world!"
- Bruno Abreu Calfa (IH 2007-08)

"My eyes were opened to the wonderful diversity of the world, and I met my husband of 56 years (Wally), with whom I raised two great kids, traveled, and lived overseas (Pakistan and Sri Lanka)."
- Bobbie Hyde Crafford (IH 1950-52)

"I-House instilled in me a deep understanding of humanity and inspired me to contribute my knowledge about disability and human rights with the rest of the world."
- Victor Santiago Pineda, Ph.D. (IH 1999-2000) Social development scholar and disability rights advocate

"Instead of feeling like one of the thousands of students at the university, I felt part of an important small group called I-House. It was good to meet students from all over the world. It was a great experience!"
- Noorudin A. Billawala (IH 1940s)

"I-House & Berkeley (inseparably) changed my life in terms of intellectual pursuits, becoming cosmopolitan, having pure fun, and entering a (now) 42-year-old-marriage. How could it be better?"
- Slobodan Mitric (IH 1967-68)

"Because of I-House, my grandparents met. They both lived at I-House New York in the ’30s and married! The I-House ‘bug’ skipped my parents' generation, but I was bitten."
- Beth Muller (IH 1984-86)

"I-House was my home away from home country, and it still is in my heart. I feel so as I still gravitate toward returning here every once in a while. The openness, hospitality, and friendship shown by I-House community, then and now, quietly tell me why I cherish I-House as the central piece of my experience at Berkeley."
- Jeen Kim (IH 1999-2000)

"My years at I-House were pivotal. I met my wife, Eleanor ‘Bunny’ Dodson, of 57 years. I made friendships that have lasted all my life. I chose a legal career dedicated to international relations and peaceful settlement of disputes. The exposure to people of different ethnic, racial, religious, and social orientations imbued me with a deep respect for others and a desire to understand how we can accommodate our differences."
- Irving G. Tragen (IH 1942-45 & 1947)

"Because of I-House, I met my husband, Mauricio, we got married, and 60 friends from all over the world came. I traveled to a wedding in India; I chose to do a Ph.D. in Econ at Stanford. I owe most of the things that are important in my life to that year!"
-Juliana Salomao

"I formed many lifelong friendships, including that with my future wife. I had a head start entering the global interconnected world. I am better equipped to be a global citizen."
- Chenming Hu

"Because of I-House, I met my wife and have been married for the last 40 years—happily."
- Bruce Redwine

"I met my wonderful wife at I-House."
- K.V. Ravi

"I-House allowed me to experience foreign cultures by meeting and becoming friends with people from all over the world. Discussions in the dining room over meals were particularly educational and rewarding.
I-House supplemented and enhanced my education. It was enjoyable. It helped me become the internationalist I am today. "
- David Seaborg (IH 1973-74)

"I experienced two of the best years of my life, full of wonderful memories. I still visit!"
- Tejash Unadkat (IH 1998)

“Because of I-House, I know an Asian that hates math and studies German, a German that is allergic to beer but drinks French wine; I know French people that love America, and Americans that love soccer. I learned I could be crushed in a game of Scrabble by multiple non-native English-speakers. I-House was a much more humbling and eye-opening experience than I ever expected.”
- Bret Strogen (IH 2004)

"Because of I-House, I can travel the world for ten months straight, visiting many friends in many countries . . . accompanied by an amazing wife who I met in the Great Hall! Thank you I-House!"
- Giovanni Gonzalez (IH 2003)

“Because of International House, I was catapulted in my career from being a history teacher into becoming an administrator, a personnel director, a landlord, a headmaster, a university dean, a legal expert, a non-profit corporation officer, a world traveler, a fundraiser, an alumni secretary, an interior decorator, a man with a mission, an aide to seven campus chancellors, a cultural exchange leader, a host to international dignitaries, a cross-cultural listener and learner, an academic advisor, a psychologist, a non-directive counselor, a happy warrior, a mentor, a disciplinarian, a mediator, a smoker of peace pipes, a student advocate, a Sunday supper host, a master of ceremonies, a program planner, a part-time stage performer, a ballroom dancer, a folk dancer, a lover of gourmet foods, a coffee drinker, a holder of a beer-and-wine license, an auctioneer, an intramural enthusiast, a volleyball player, a sturdy golden bear, a Cal sports rooter. All in all, I became all-in-all. 
And I enjoyed almost every minute of it.”
- Sheridan Warrick, Executive Director Emeritus

"Donna and I had the great pleasure and privilege of welcoming thousands of students from around the world who came to call I-House ‘home’—a place where countless residents told us they never felt like foreigners, and where we saw stereotype after stereotype and prejudice upon prejudice crumble because of simple acts of human kindness. Thus, Donna and I became students ourselves once more . . . challenged again and again by notions of what is normal, confronted by the limitations of the familiar, reminded over and over that we do not know what we do not know, and that discovery is often about two people looking at the same thing and seeing something different.

At I-House, as one alumna observed, ethnocentric perspectives are dismantled and residents come together, not as images on travel posters but face-to-face—and in the process are bent, hurt, delighted, enlightened, and in the end, changed. Our years at I-House remind us that someone once said, ‘The world is a book, and those who don't travel read only a page.’ Because of our I-House journey, the readings were many; they were rich, and their messages of discovery and friendship remain with us wherever we go."
- Joe Lurie, Executive Director Emeritus

“Because of I-House, I am growing into my potential not only as an aspiring public health professional, but as a part of a global network of international friends, all of whom are developing at I-House the leadership skills our globalized world needs today, and which will help shape a better tomorrow.”
- Zhu Li, Gateway Fellow (Chevron-Xenel for Public Health Award)

"Because of I-House, my hope for the future of intercultural understanding is sustained."
- Joan Kask

"Because of I-House, I am more outgoing when introduced to someone new. I have a far-flung circle of friends from all over the world. I have a bit more confidence in my fellow global citizens and future leaders—in their intelligence and sensitivity, and their commitment to a more-just global community."
- Shenaya Tarapore


"Because of I-House, I have learned how much my life is ‘like’ influenced by California culture by actively learning about and participating in the culture of others."
- Amaury de Closset

"Because of I-House, I’ve learned how beer brings cultures together."
- Juan Cuberta

"Because of I-House, I’ve learned that friendship has no boundaries."
- Julia Pozuelo

"Because of I-house, I’ve learned to put my keys in a visible place just in case I need to go to the restroom at 2 a.m."
- Marta Garcia de Oteyza Kindelan

"Not a ‘Because of I-House’ quote—but . . . Thank you for a wonderful event! And thank you, Yoshi, for a fabulous venue!"
- Jane Lamph

"Because of I-House, I did not feel homesick as I was with a network of supportive staff and friends. That allowed me to excel in academics and get my master’s and Ph.D. at Cal. I made lifelong friends and (gained) a broad perspective of cross-cultural experience that I will forever cherish."
- Zahwa Amad (resident, librarian, receptionist, mail person, RA, Dining Commons staff)

"I-House opened up the world to me. As a 19-year-old undergraduate, I was a protected, young girl, and after three years as a resident, I left I-House as a self-assured, young woman. The opportunity to interact with international graduate students gave me the interactive skills I use today in our small business (English Studies Institute)."
- Bonu Ghosh

"In I-House, I see a world that is so big yet so small. People from all over the world can bond together in one house. That’s awesome!"
- Xunxun Liao

"I-House was my first night in Berkeley! I had just flown in from NYC. It was to be my introduction to campus life and East Bay culture—instant friends, civil discourse around opposing viewpoints, and memorable parties. I-House and I survived the turbulent 1970s!"
- Steven Horowitz (IH 1974-75)

"I-House opened up the world to this somewhat sheltered 20 year old from Cincinnati. I will always remember my year at I-House."
- Linda Jay Geldens

"I-House changed my life because I met my wife, Linda, who attended in 1959–1960. She has introduced me to this wonderful organization!"
- Ed Geldens

"I met someone from Mongolia; what are the chances for someone originally from Madagascar!"
- Liliane Koziol

1940s news reel video about International House

I-House Berkeley: 1940s News Reel

International House Berkeley

International House Berkeley officially opened on August 18, 1930. Consider making a donation to celebrate our remarkable history!

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I experienced here an intensity of discussion beyond anything I have known since, in 60 years of public life.
John Kenneth Galbraith