Apply To Live Here

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Board of Directors has suspended I-House operations for the fall and spring semesters.  Please review updated information on guidelines for health, safety, and services on the Temporary Closure & COVID-19 FAQ.

Application Process / FAQs

This page provides you with all the information you need to apply to live at I-House. Please read through the Frequently Asked Questions listed below to learn more about who is eligible to live at I-House and our application process. It is important to review this information thoroughly before beginning your online application.

Please note that the answers below apply to our standard Academic Year (AY) application process.  Procedures and policies for summer housing vary due to the multiple sessions, distinct student population, and shorter periods of occupancy.  Please see the Summer Housing page for more details.

Application Process Frequently Asked Questions

Is I-House just for international students?  Can American students apply?

I-House is not just for international students! Each year, approximately 75 percent of our residents are international students. The remaining 25 percent are residents from the U.S. who are interested in living in a community where international exchange and cultural sharing is part of the daily experience. This diversity of perspectives and experiences is an essential component of what makes I-House unique.

Who is eligible to live at I-House?

The following are eligible to live at International House during the Academic Year:

  • Graduate and postdoctoral students, visiting scholars and researchers, and Education Abroad Reciprocity students
  • Undergraduates who have attained junior or senior class standing prior to their period of occupancy. Anyone who has or will have completed 60 units prior to August is eligible for residency. Please note that undergraduate applicants are eligible only for Double Room accommodations.
  • International students who are attending UC Berkeley through University Extension
  • Registered UC Berkeley students as well as those who are affiliated with the Wright Institute, the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute, LBNL, and the Graduate Theological Union. If you are not affiliated with one of these institutions but are interested in living at International House, please contact our Admissions Office to discuss whether an exception can be made.
  • All residents must be at least 18 years of age for the entirety of their stay at I-House.

Please note that there is a limit of eight semesters of Academic Year residency at I-House. Given the high demand for housing at International House, this policy was reinstated to ensure that as many students as possible have an opportunity to live here and benefit from I-House’s unique offerings. Residents may reside at International House for a total of eight full Academic Year semesters. Summer Session residency is not counted toward this semester total. However, eligibility will end at the completion of the eighth Academic Year semester, except in cases where residents who are registered students can provide explicit documentation that they will be able complete an academic degree program by staying through the following summer. In such cases, a letter from the resident's academic department must be supplied that provides evidence of the resident's current academic standing and ability to complete a degree program in the summer term immediately following the eighth semester of residency at I-House.

When should I apply?

  • Academic Year:  Applications are available online in early March for the Academic Year.
  • Spring Semester: We begin accepting applications in mid-October for the Spring Semester.
  • Summer Sessions: Applications are available online in mid-February for all Summer Sessions. Reservations for summer groups can be arranged by contacting the Admissions Office at ihres@berkeley.edu.

Apply as early as possible—the earlier the application is submitted, the more likely you are to receive a room offer. We prioritize our applicants based on the application submission date. Late applicants may be placed on a wait-list if I-House is full.

How do you determine who will be offered housing at International House?

For Academic Year applicants, there are two primary phases of our Admissions process. First, completed applications are reviewed to determine that they meet the Eligibility Requirements outlined above. During our initial phase of application processing, approved applications are reviewed in the order that they were received. This phase continues until we have successfully booked 300 bed spaces for the Academic Year. 

Once we reach this number of reserved spaces, we enter a Selective Phase of consideration. This process is designed to increase the diversity of our resident population. During this phase, applications are ranked based on two criteria: Citizenship and Major/Area of Study. In some cases, the Statement of Intent may be used as an additional criterion. All completed and approved applications are evaluated and ranked in comparison to the “base population” of residents accepted prior to the start of the Selective Phase. Based on these rankings, those whose Citizenship and/or Major Area of Study are less represented in our resident population will be given priority for all remaining spaces. Those with lower rankings may be placed on a wait-list and considered again along with newly received applications. This process will continue until all available spaces have been filled.

How long does it usually take to hear from Admissions?

After registering and completing Phase 1 of the online application, it can take up to 14 days for Admissions to review and process your application. Applicants will be notified of their status within this timeframe and may receive additional communication if any portion of their application is missing, incomplete, or requires clarification during the review process.

I’m here for only one semester. Can I apply for just the Fall?

I-House offers a very limited number of Fall Semester-Only contracts. To qualify, you must provide documentation that you will be attending UC Berkeley or eligible to live at I-House for only the Fall semester. As there are a limited number of these contracts offered, applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as applications for the upcoming Academic Year are made available. Interested applicants should complete Phase 1 of the full-Academic Year application. Instructions for requesting a Fall-Only contract are provided under the application step called “Individual Considerations.” Once we have reached the Selective Phase of our Admissions process, we can no longer offer housing to those who will reside at I-House for the Fall only.    

My stay in Berkeley does not match your semester dates. Do you accommodate shorter or longer stays?

We realize that not all academic visits match our Academic Calendar. We do our best to accommodate requests for dates outside our regular semesters, whenever space is available. Please contact the Admissions Office at ihres@berkeley.edu to see whether we have space to house you during your visit.

Can you accommodate residents with disabilities?

I-House strives to be accessible and welcoming to all our residents. Upon request, International House provides reasonable accommodations to those with disabilities. Requests for disability accommodations should be directed to our Manager of Resident Support Services, Roxanne Heglar, at rheglar@berkeley.edu or phone (510) 642-9480. Such requests must be supported by medical documentation demonstrating the necessity for the requested accommodation. Each request is evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Please submit requests for accommodation as far in advance as possible, as review/implementation of many types of accommodation takes several weeks.

Do you accept paper applications?

No. We accept only applications submitted through our website.

How does the online application work? What do I need to apply?

Our application process is completely online. First, you will need to register with our online system. Once you have done so, you can select an application from those that are currently available. The application for each term is divided into two phases. During Phase 1 of the application, you will need to complete some general questionnaires, upload documents that verify your eligibility to live at I-House, and pay the $50 Application Fee. You will then receive an email that verifies you have completed Phase 1. If you do not receive this email, please return to your application to ensure all steps in Phase 1 are complete.

After your application has been reviewed and approved to receive a housing offer, you will be given a Tentative Reservation and sent an email with instructions on how to complete Phase 2 of the application and finalize your reservation. You will be given a deadline by which you need to complete Phase 2. During Phase 2, you will need to submit additional information regarding Emergency Contacts, upload a current photo, select a room and/or roommate, and accept the terms of the Housing Offer. The final step to completing your reservation is submitting a $1,500 deposit/prepayment.

Please note that the process for Summer Session applications is slightly different. Additional details can be found on the Summer Sessions page.

Do you require a deposit when booking a reservation?

For the academic year, a $1,500 deposit/prepayment is required to complete Phase 2 of the application. This $1,500 payment is applied to a final housing installment prior to move-out, assuming that there are no outstanding fees or charges on your resident account. The $1,500 can be paid online with a Visa or Mastercard. 

If you are unable to pay with a Visa or Mastercard, please email our Resident Account Manager at qcs@berkeley.edu to arrange other payment options. You may also pay by check, money order, bank or wire transfer, or debit card. You can make these payments in person at I-House or send them by mail.

How can I pay the application fee?

When beginning your I-House application, we require a nonrefundable application fee of $50 which can be paid online either with a Visa or Mastercard.

I have a question about my student visa / H-1 status; can I-House Admissions help with that?

The best resource for any questions regarding visas, H-1s, and work eligibility for international students is the Berkeley International Office (BIO). You can learn more about their services on their website: http://internationaloffice.berkeley.edu/. You can also contact them directly by email at InternationalOffice@berkeley.edu or by phone at (510) 642-2818.

Who do I contact if I am having technical problems or have other questions regarding my application?

You may contact Admissions via email at ihres@berkeley.edu or by phone at (510) 642-9470.

Just living here gives you a much more balanced view of other countries. Everything from lunch to laundry, is a cultural event.
A former I-House resident