New Resident FAQs

Residents at the fountain

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 populations, and shorter periods of occupancy. 

General Questions:

What is the population of residents like?

We usually house 580-600 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 offers a variety of meals daily, including vegetarian options. While we are not able to guarantee special dietary requests, you are encouraged to reach out to our dining team at as early as possible to discuss.

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 accommodations should be directed to our Resident Support Services team at as early as possible as the review and implementation can take 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?

The Admissions team will reach out to you only if your application is not completed properly, if we need more information from you in order to process your application, if you do not qualify to live at I-House or if you are receiving an offer. Because we have a rolling admissions process and there is no specific date we stop making offers, we do not send out notices that you are not receiving an offer unless you do not qualify.

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?

Full details regarding check-in will be emailed to incoming residents a couple of weeks prior to their arrival. 

I-House Staff and RAs are available to assist you when you arrive and will be happy to answer any questions you may have. Please be sure to bring your ID with you to check in.

If you arrive after-hours and there is no one at the Front Desk to assist, you may call the RA on-duty phone number: +1-510-282-0092. While you are a resident, we kindly ask that you only utilize this phone number for emergencies.

Can I arrive early?

We have a very limited number of spaces reserved for early arrivals. Because I-House is generally at maximum capacity for each contract period, we require a few days before the term starts to prepare the house and rooms for incoming residents.

Please contact if you have extenuating circumstances and would like to request an early arrival.

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. Please note, you will be financially responsible from the agreed move-in date onward.

Can I store my luggage at I-House?

Unfortunately, we are unable to store any of your personal items before you have checked in. Once you have checked in, we do have a limited amount of storage lockers available for rent. For more information, please visit the Mail Room once you have arrived.

What should I bring for my room?

Very little. Your room is furnished with a 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 the heat within your room. Please bring your own linens (size: Twin XL) and pillows or plan to purchase these once you arrive from Amazon, Target, etc. You may rent or borrow other items such as an iron, ironing board, clothes drying rack, mini-refrigerator, or cleaning supplies from the Mail Room 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 are a variety of ways you can pay your room and board fees. Full payment at the beginning of the semester is highly appreciated. The preferred way is via wire transfer or direct deposit. You can also pay your fees via ACH, check or credit card (Visa, MasterCard, Discover or American Express) online. Please note that payments made by credit card will incur additional fees. The room and board 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 and payment instructions 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 the Accounting Office during window hours or at:

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?

Two weeks after move-in, we will have a room-swap period. During this time, you may submit a request to change rooms or roommates. An email will be sent with more information before the room-swap period opens. While we will do our best, we are not always able to accommodate room change requests.

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 would I request proof of residency or residential verification?

We are happy to provide a residential verification for any current or past residents. Please submit your request in writing to While we will do our best to get this to you as quickly as possible, please allow up to 3 business days for processing.

How do I report a maintenance issue in my room?

Submit a work order online through your portal and the Physical Operations team will process your request.

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 the Resident Support Services (RSS) staff at the Front Desk. They are available to help you 24 hours a day, daily. You can also reach them by emailing  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?

This kitchen is currently under construction. Soon, we will have a newly renovated kitchen that is available for use by residents as soon as it is completed (date TBD). The kitchen will include pots, pans, dishes, utensils, and appliances.  There is also a microwave available for resident use at any time conveniently located in the laundry room.

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 which 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 to access the network will be available to you through the resident portal once you have checked-in. If you have questions or are having trouble with our WiFi, please reach out to

The public and common areas on the ground and second floors are served by the campus-wide wireless AirBears network. This is maintained by the university; more information can be found on AirBears.

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

You may contact the Admissions team via email at

We are not able to assist with forgotten login or password credentials. When utilizing the “Forgot Password” option, it may take up to 48 hours for a link to be sent to your email. Be sure to check your junk folder as well. 

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?

All guests must be approved in advance by the Admissions department. Please submit your request in writing at least 3 days in advance.

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 Admissions office. 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