New Resident FAQs

Thank you for your interest in living at International House!  We realize that choosing a place to live is an important decision and that you will have lots of questions as you make your final decision and as you prepare to make the transition to living at I-House.  Below you will find the answers to some of our most Frequently Asked Questions as well as a collection of links to other important resources that will help you understand more about residing here.

Please note that the answers below apply to our standard Academic Year.  Procedures and policies for summer housing vary due to the multiple sessions, distinct student population, and shorter periods of occupancy. 

General Questions:

What's the population of residents like?

We usually house 586 residents for the Academic Year. Of these, about 75 percent are international students from all over the world, including visiting scholars, researchers, and Education Abroad Reciprocity students. Most years, we have about 55 percent graduate students, postdocs, and visiting scholars and 45 percent undergraduates. Visiting scholars constitute around 10 percent of our resident population.

Do you accommodate special diets? Vegetarian?

Dining Services provides a variety of meal options, including vegetarian selections. Although not guaranteed, special diets can usually be accommodated within our facility. Residents can arrange a meeting with our dining staff to discuss any special dietary concerns or food allergies by emailing

Is International House accessible for those with physical disabilities?

The facilities at I-House are wheelchair accessible, including resident rooms, special restrooms on each floor, hallways, elevators, the Dining Commons, and the main entrance. Requests for disability accommodations should be directed to as far in advance as possible, as review/ implementation of many types of accommodation takes several weeks. Such requests must be supported by medical documentation demonstrating the need for the accommodation requested. 

Can I transfer from I-House to a campus dorm or vice versa?

I-House is separate from the UC Berkeley dormitories, so you cannot transfer your residency to the campus dormitories. Each housing option requires a separate application and has separate policies.

When can I expect to receive a response once I submit my application?

After you have registered and completed 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 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: or contact them directly at

Getting Ready:

How do I check-in?

For the standard Academic Year, check-in begins at 3 p.m. Newly arriving undergraduate students who are participating in the Golden Bear Orientation program will have an early arrival time as communicated in the Admissions Bulletin. This check-in time is available only for those participating in this mandatory campus program. Full details regarding check-in will be emailed to incoming residents a couple of weeks prior to their arrival. Anyone arriving after the standard move-in date can check in when they arrive in Berkeley. Those who are moving in after the semester has begun may check in after 5:00 p.m. on their scheduled move-in date, unless otherwise stated in your contract.

I-House Front Desk staff and Resident Assistants are available to assist you when you arrive and answer your questions. You can reach them by dialing (510) 642-9490 between 8:00 a.m. and 12:00 a.m. every day. After midnight, we kindly request that you use that phone number for emergencies only. Please bring a photo ID with you when you check in.

Can I arrive early?

We have a very limited number of spaces reserved for early arrivals before the Academic Year move-in date. Because I-House is generally at maximum capacity for each contract period, we require the few days before the term starts to prepare the house and rooms for incoming residents. As a result, we cannot approve any early arrivals, with the exception of those arriving for the Golden Bear Orientation program. Please contact as early as possible to request an early arrival or if you are uncertain regarding your participation in the Golden Bear Orientation program.

For the Spring term, we are generally able to accommodate requests to arrive before our scheduled move-in date. 

Can I arrive late?

Yes. If you plan to arrive after the scheduled move-in date, please notify us in advance so we can ensure that we have your check-in package ready for you at the Front Desk on the day of your arrival.

Can I store my luggage at I-House?

We do have a very limited amount of storage space that may be available for a day or so prior to move-in. This is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

What should I bring for my room?

Very little. Your room is furnished with a regular twin-size bed, a dresser, a desk, a desk chair, and a desk lamp, as well as ceiling light. Each room is also equipped with a radiator, allowing you to control heating within your room. Linens and pillows are available for purchase at the Resident Store adjacent to the Ground Floor Laundry Room. In addition, you may rent or borrow other items such as an iron, mini-refrigerator, a microwave, or cleaning supplies from the Resident Store rather than bringing your own. Please see our What to Bring (PDF) for more information and a list of prohibited items.

Can I have mail or packages sent to me before I arrive?

No. Due to the sheer number of residents moving in during our primary check-ins, we are unable to accept packages until after residents have checked in.

What is my mailing address?

Your mailing address is:
Your Name
International House
2299 Piedmont Avenue
Your Room #
Berkeley, CA 94720-2320 USA

After you arrive, you will be able to login to your StarRez account and access the combination to open your mailbox. You may pick up bulk packages by visiting the Resident Store during the hours posted and showing them the package slip that you will have received in your mailbox.

How do I get from SFO/Oakland airport to I-House?

BART goes directly from both Oakland and SFO to Downtown Berkeley, where you can take a taxi to International House—about a five-minute drive. You may also use a shuttle service, rideshare, or a cab. Please visit the SFO or Oakland Airport websites for comprehensive airport transportation information. Our Location Page has more information.

Living at I-House:

How do I pay my Room and Board fees? When are they due?

There is a variety of ways you can pay your fees. The preferred way is via wire transfer or direct deposit. You can pay your fees via check or credit card (Visa or MasterCard) at our Cashier’s Window, or online for credit card payments. The fees for each semester are broken down into three equal installments, which are due at regular intervals throughout the semester. We will provide a detailed payment schedule upon your arrival. The first payment is not due until after our scheduled check-in. If you have specific questions about payment options (i.e., setting up direct deposit or wire transfer), please contact our Resident Account Manager, Queenie Santos, at or (510) 643-8316.

Are the resident rooms and floors coed?

Shared rooms are not coed. Each floor is coed with the exception of the female-only 8th floor.

Are bathrooms and showers shared? How many are there?

Bathrooms and showers are shared, but are separated by gender. There are two bathrooms and two shower facilities for each gender on each floor, with the exception of the 8th floor, which is our Women’s Hall. This floor has a female bathroom only and one shower facility. 

Can I change my room or my roommate?

At this time, we are no longer granting any requests to change rooms or roommates. Two weeks after move-in, once we have confirmed who is here and what spaces we have available, we will have a room-swap period. During this time, you can request to change rooms or roommates. As we generally begin the school year with few or no vacancies, we are not always able to accommodate every request for a room change.

What's the neighborhood like? Is there much noise?

I-House is a traditional residence hall setting, located in a busy residential area on the edge of the UC Berkeley campus that is home to various student co-ops, fraternities, and sororities. It is also adjacent to two popular campus event venues: California Memorial Stadium and the Greek Theater. At times, there is a high level of activity in the neighborhood, which can cause some level of outside noise and disruption. In addition, there are some sources of building-related noise from facility equipment inside and outside the building that create both regular and intermittent noise. International House strives to be a safe, respectful, and quiet living environment that supports the academic success and well-being of its residents. Community members at International House are expected to follow all the rules necessary to maintain a quiet environment as outlined in our Quiet Hours policy in the Resident Handbook

What parking lots/spaces are available?

Parking on the UC Berkeley campus is very difficult. Street parking at meters is free after 6 p.m. In nonmetered areas, parking is free for two hours and unregulated after 7 p.m. A limited number of permits are available through the City of Berkeley for an annual fee, which exempts you from the two-hour limit. Please see the City of Berkeley parking website for more information. Meters are free with a California disabled placard.

How do I report an issue in my room, computer/printer issues, or request maintenance?

Submit a work order and the Physical Operations team will process requests.

To Create a Work Order:
1) Login to the StarRez Portal using the same username and password created for your I-House application

2) Click on the "Maintenance" tab

3) Click on "New Job" and follow the prompts to complete your work order.

Who do I go to if I have other questions or concerns while living at I-House?

Do not hesitate to talk to International House staff at the Front Desk. They are available to help you 24 hours a day, daily. You can also reach them by calling (510) 642-9490. Concerns of a sensitive nature will remain confidential.

I-House Resources

Where do I find I-House policies and procedures?

Please read our Resident Handbook.  The handbook has a wealth of information pertaining to anything you need to know about I-House. Take the time to familiarize yourself with the handbook.

Is there a kitchen I can use?

During non-pandemic times, we do have a small kitchen that is available for use by residents. The kitchen includes pots, pans, dishes, utensils, and appliances. Residents can reserve the kitchen in advance or inquire with the Front Desk staff to see if it is available. It is expected that residents will leave the kitchen in proper condition (clean with no items missing). In the event that it is not, residents may be charged for cleaning or replacement of items and prohibited from future use of the kitchen. There is also a microwave conveniently located near the elevators in the laundry room, available for resident use at anytime.

Do you have a library or quiet place to study?

Our library is open 24 hours a day and features international newspapers and a variety of periodicals. It offers a congenial, yet quiet, study atmosphere.  Access is restricted to residents only.

Where can I print documents?

After you arrive at I-House, you can add funds to your debit account for printing that will allow you to use your access card or Cal ID to use the printer in the third-floor computer lounge. There is also a scanner available in the computer lounge, free of charge for uploading documents.

Do you have wireless Internet?

I-House has its own wireless network, which is accessible by residents throughout the house. Information for access to the network is available at check-in. The public and common areas on the ground and second floor, including the Café with its patios, are served by the campus-wide wireless AirBears network. It is maintained by the university. More information on AirBears.

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

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

I-House Policies:

What are Quiet Hours?

Creating noise that unreasonably disrupts residents or neighboring community members at any time is unacceptable. In addition, residents are asked to be especially considerate during the Quiet Hours from 10 p.m.– 9 a.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 1 a.m.– 9 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. For both the Academic Year semesters and for the Summer Sessions, around-the-clock quiet hours begin on the last day of instruction and continue until the end of the term. There are several resident lounges available for larger/noisier gatherings; please ask our Front Desk for more information.

Is smoking allowed at I-House?

Smoking is strictly prohibited inside I-House.  The entire UC Berkeley campus is now tobacco-free. In order to smoke, residents must leave the building and grounds of I-House.

Can I have a guest stay with me?

Due to the pandemic and until further notice, overnight guests are prohibited at I-House. Traditionally, each resident is allowed to have an overnight guest for a maximum of three nights per semester. Guests are not permitted for more than three consecutive nights without a special exception. An appeal for an exception can be submitted to the Director of Admissions. For those residents with a roommate, you must have her/his permission prior to hosting any overnight guests. In addition, you will need to notify the Front Desk that you have a guest. Female guests will be issued a temporary key to the women's bathroom and showers.

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