UC Berkeley Extension's international programs hold courses in downtown Berkeley and downtown San Francisco. Your location depends on specific program chosen.
Housing selection depends on your interests, preferences, and budget. Choose from the bustling atmosphere of a dormitory, the independence of a private or shared apartment, or the personal attention of a homestay. Learn more.
Berkeley, San Francisco and the Bay Area offer a selection of public transportation options:
Aside from the money you arrive with for lodging, registration fees and basic needs, here are options for managing your money for the duration of your stay.
Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs): Cash is available immediately with a bank-issued debit card or check card. If you don't have a U.S. bank account, you will have the most success with ATMs if your home bank belongs to the Maestro, Cirrus or PLUS interbank network. ATM exchange rates are good, though you may be charged an additional international service fee, and daily withdrawal limits may apply.
International credit cards: A Visa or a MasterCard is best if it's available, because not all international credit cards are accepted everywhere. You can make immediate purchases, and exchange rates are good; again, you may be charged additional fees for international purchases.
Traveler's checks: Replaceable if lost or stolen, these checks are redeemable for cash instantly if they are in U.S. dollars. Note that checks for large sums may be difficult to cash, and checks not in U.S. dollars are subject to exchange fees.
Wire transfers: You need a U.S. bank account to receive a transfer, but the service is safe, and the money is instantly available. Fees may apply.
Checking and savings accounts: You may want to open a U.S. bank account. Checking accounts are for regular payments, such as monthly bills (rent, utilities) and basic shopping needs. Savings accounts are best for larger sums of money that you do not need immediately. If you open a checking and savings account at the same bank, you can transfer money between the accounts. Note that you will receive a debit or check card (aka ATM card) when you open either account, and you can use the card to withdrawal money or make purchases; the amounts will automatically deduct from your account. Before opening any account, be sure to research fees and services to find the right bank for your needs.
California boasts some of the most beautiful, temperate weather in North America, with plenty of mild days with low humidity. Berkeley summer months (May–October) are typically warm and dry, and winter months (November–April) are cool and sometimes rainy. San Francisco's weather is generally mild, with spring (March–May) and fall (September–November) the best months for warmer weather.
Dressing for Bay Area weather means being prepared. A sunny, warm day in Berkeley may be a foggy cool day in San Francisco due to the area's many microclimates. Follow these clothing strategies for Bay Area weather.
From high-fashion finds to groceries, many shopping locations are within reach by foot, public transportation or car.
No matter what you like to do, Berkeley and the surrounding areas are sure to have the activities and resources to keep you entertained.