embARC Summer Design Academy

International Students

CED welcomes and encourages non-U.S. citizens to participate in the embARC Summer Design Academy.

Visa Information

embARC is a full-time academic program. To attend, international applicants must be issued an F-1 or J-1 visa. The Berkeley International Office (BIO), in partnership with Summer Sessions, assists international applicants in acquiring the I-20 needed for the student visa.

Students who are studying in the U.S. on an F-1 visa in spring 2022 and plan to return to their studies in the fall of 2022 can transfer the I-20 to UC Berkeley and enroll in embARC as a domestic student. 

Visit the BIO website to determine whether you need an I-20.

In order to obtain the I-20, applicants must:

  • apply to embARC through Slideroom before the international application deadline.
  • receive a letter of acceptance from the College of Environmental Design's Summer Programs Office.
  • follow the registration instructions included in the acceptance email. 
  • pay tuition in full within 7 days of registration.
  • upload the required documents before the deadline.


English Proficiency Requirement

embARC requires a passing score on any of the following tests taken within the last three years:

Acceptable Test Minimum Score
CET-4 (China) 493
CET-6 450
Computer-based TOEFL 213
GEPT High intermediate
GRE (verbal score) 140 - for tests taken after August 1, 2011
iTEP Level 5

Paper-based TOEFL

Internet-based TOEFL 80
TEM 70

If you are sitting for a language exam and will not receive the results before the international application deadline, please take a Duolingo test and upload your score to slideroom to complete your application.

You are exempt from the English Proficiency Requirement if:


Health Insurance Requirement

Medical care in the U.S. can be very expensive. Hospital costs can average $4,000-5,000 per day. Health insurance coverage is required to meet these unexpected expenses. You should purchase a health insurance policy before you arrive in Berkeley. This policy should cover all medical and hospital costs, or provide you with a minimum of $50,000 (USD) for each accident or illness, have a deductible of $500 or less, and cover at least 75% of hospital and physician costs from the time you leave your current residence to the day you plan to return. If insurance cannot be purchased before leaving home, information about health insurance enrollment can be obtained from the University Health Services website.


International Student Application/Refund Deadlines

December 15, 2021 Online application opens
May 22, 2022 VSIS submission deadline/I-20 document upload deadline
June 1, 2022 Contact the CED Summer Programs Office to cancel your enrollment by this date and you will receive a full refund of the $3,400 program fee and all Summer Sessions fees, minus a  cancellation fee. (For international students, the $330 I-20 Processing Fee is non-refundable.)
July 7, 2022 Contact embarc@berkeley.edu to drop your courses by this date and receive a refund of summer sessions fees, minus the $3300 CED Program Fee and a $735 withdrawal fee


Please go to the Cost + Deadlines page to view any additional deadlines.


International Student Tuition and Fees*

( *Prices are subject to change.)

$2850 Unit Fee ($570 per unit)
$450 Registration Fee
$63 Document Management Fee
$400 International Service Fee
$3400 CED Program Fee
$4400 On-campus Housing Fee
$11,563 USD Total

In addition, a $50 application fee must accompany each application.


International Student Checklist

Before You Apply

  • Read the above section on CED Summer Programs Fees, Refunds, and Deadlines policies.
  • Read the above section regarding the English Proficiency Requirement.
  • Read the above section on Visa Information.
  • Research potential supplemental sources of funding from your government or educational institution.
  • Sign up for the embARC mailing list.
  • Visit the How to Apply page for more information.  
  • Contact embarc@berkeley.edu with any questions.
  • Submit an application online beginning mid-December 2021.

After You Apply

  • You will receive an admissions decision by email within one to two weeks of your application submission. You will be contacted by the CED Summer Programs Office if your application is missing any information. 

If You Are Admitted

  • You will receive an email from the CED Summer Programs office with further instructions on how to register for the program.
  • Sesame/Polychrome will contact you with further information about on-campus housing. Please do not make any travel arrangements before you receive travel arrangement information from Sesame/Polychrome. 
  • Once you register, you will receive an email with instructions on how to activate your CalNet ID and you will be enrolled in embARC.
  • Log in to CalCentral and pay the full fee with a credit card within 7 days of registration.
  • Log in to CalCentral and submit the VSIS form (I-20 request).
  • In CalCentral follow instructions to upload your photo in order to be issued a Cal 1 Card. Your Cal 1 Card is your official campus photo identification.
  • Log in to your Cal 1 Card account and review/accept the agreement for the Clipper Card. The Clipper Card allows you to access the Class Pass for unlimited ridership privileges on AC Transit bus lines.
  • Receive your Certificate of Eligibility (I-20 or DS-2019) document.
  • Pay your SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System) Fee on the SEVIS fee processing website.
  • Make an appointment with a US Embassy or Consulate in your area to apply for a F-1 or J-1 visa stamp. 

Please note that changing your class schedule after your I-20 has been issued may invalidate your I-20. You will not be able to enter the US if the start-date on your I-20 does not match your Summer Session start-date. Contact the Summer Programs office before making any changes to your schedule.

Before You Arrive at UC Berkeley

  • Complete and sign all mandatory waivers and send them to embarc@berkeley.edu (you will not be allowed to participate in the program until all waivers have been received).
  • Pay the housing fee to Sesame/Polychrome before the deadline.
  • Join the CED Summer Facebook group and connect with your fellow participants.
  • Check your email frequently and complete any pre-program readings and/or assignments as directed by the CED Summer Programs Office.
  • Obtain proof of health insurance.
  • Send your flight information to Sesame/Polychrome.
  • Make sure you have your I-20/DS-2020 passport in your carry-on luggage. Do not pack these documents in your checked luggage!

After You Arrive at UC Berkeley

  • Check into your summer housing and obtain the complete address of your local residence.
  • Go to the Cal 1 Card Office to obtain your photo ID.
  • Attend the embARC Welcome Day Orientation on date to be determined.

Before You Leave UC Berkeley

  • Clean up your studio space and complete your program evaluation according to your instructor's instructions.
  • Log in to CalCentral and confirm any outstanding balance or available refund.
  • Visit the Berkeley International Office and speak to an adviser if you plan to travel after your program at UC Berkeley is finished or transfer to attend another U.S. institution. 
  • Transcripts can be requested here, if desired.


Visit the Summer Sessions International Student Services website for more support and resources available to international students.