College of Environmental Design Global Access Program (CEDGAP) Online Information Session


Hello! And welcome to the UC Berkeley College of
Environmental Design Global Access Program information session. I’m Emily Pacheco and during the next 30
minutes, I’m going to tell you all about the incredible academic and cultural experience
you can have with our College of Environmental Design Global Access Program. I’ll start by talking about UC Berkeley,
then talk about the courses you’ll take, then the activities you can take advantage
of outside of the classroom and then finally how you can apply to be a part of this short-term
study-abroad program. If you have any questions during this presentation,
go ahead and send them in; we’ll do our best to answer your questions as I go through
the presentation. So let’s get started! 3
UC Berkeley is located in California, which is on the West Coast of the United States. 4
In California, UC Berkeley is located a little north of the middle of the state, with San
Francisco being the closest city. We’re also very close to Silicon Valley,
which is the hub and epicenter for advances in technology and product development. 5
UC Berkeley was founded in 1868 and since then we’ve been guided by our motto FIat
Lux, which means that our duty is to bring new knowledge to light—for all students
across the globe. 6
For the past few years, UC Berkeley has been ranked the #1 public university by U.S. News
and World Report, by the Academic Ranking of World Universities by Shanghai Jiao Tong
University and by the World Reputation Rankings by Times Higher Education in the UK. We are also #4 on the Best Global University
Rankings. Our College of Environmental Design is ranked
#1 among all universities in the United States. In particular, our architecture program is
ranked #4 in the world by QS Ranking. We are proud of this achievement as our mission
is to provide a world-class education to an increasingly global community of learners. And this is no surprise as 24% or 10,000 of
our students come from countries outside of the United States! And these students are coming from 92 different
countries across the globe. 7
UC Berkeley has 14 colleges and schools—the one I’ll be talking about is our College
of Environmental Design, which hosts our Global Access Program. In this immersive and short-term program,
you’ll have access to renowned Berkeley faculty, courses and networks. In your courses, you’ll gain the knowledge,
skills and connections to excel as an innovator and a thought leader in the sustainable built
environment design. You’ll be learning alongside U.S. undergraduates
who are also interested in architecture, city planning and urban studies, and landscape
architecture. 8
Or as our dean, Jennifer Wolch, says, “The College of Environmental Design can help put
international students at the forefront of creating a sustainable future. Today’s students have inherited unprecedented
global and environmental challenges. These challenges require students to learn
in radically new ways to fashion buildings and neighborhoods, cities and regions, and
landscapes that will harbor our diverse ways of life. Our Global Access Program has shaped its curriculum
to help students tackle these challenges and think in new ways toward the future.” 9
This Global Access Program is a short-term academic program with two different start
dates each year. You can apply to start the program in the
fall term, which starts in August and ends in December. You could also apply for the spring term,
which starts in January and ends in May. Or, you could do both fall and spring semesters. The program is designed for top-qualifying
undergraduate international students studying subjects that pertain to the design of our
built environment. Let’s take a look at the courses that you’ll
be taking. 10
In this program, you will take a total of four courses at the College of Environmental
Design building on campus by the college’s faculty. The courses focus on architecture, city planning,
urban studies, landscape architecture and sustainable environmental systems. In total, you’ll take 12 to 15 units each
semester for a full-time program of study. One of the great aspects of the program is
that you will be taking your courses alongside U.S. students. So there’s lots of time to practice your
English-language skills, make new friends and really learn what it’s like to live
and study in the United States And you complete your studies with us, you’ll
receive a certificate celebrating your academic achievement. 11
Here is the list of the core courses you can take. Again, you’ll need to take a total of 4
courses, which you can mix and match between the Core Courses and the electives. In Fundamental Design Studio, you’ll work
through a series of projects that includes site research and location-specific needs. You’ll understand the fundamentals of space,
program, form and materiality in order to develop design concepts and approaches. In Sustainability Colloquium, you’ll hear
from leaders in the Bay Area professional community talk about various topics related
to green buildings as they relate to architecture, engineering, consulting, urbanism and research. In Sustainable Environmental Design Workshop,
you’ll review the various approaches for sustainability and propose interdisciplinary
ways to affect the environment. This workshop requires independent and collaborative
research, often with an external client organization. In Environmental Science for Sustainable Development,
you’ll study topics such as physical and ecological processes and systems, human impacts
on sustainability and opportunities to increase processes and practices that promote sustainability. The final core course offered in the fall
is City Building and Place Making. You’ll review historical approaches to urban
design and current movements in the field. 12
Here are the electives you can take. Again, you’ll need to take a total of 4
courses, which you can mix and match between the Core Courses and the electives. Special Topics in Architectural Design focuses
on the role of architecture and the current crisis around climate change. Another interesting elective is Special Topics
in Architectural History, which explores the definition of what a public space is, who
it is for, who is the public—whether this is a physical or virtual space. A Historical Survey of Architecture and Urbanism
explores the history of the built environment, including historical methods in the Mediterranean
basin, Asia, Africa and Meso-America. Special Topics in Structural Design explores
the understanding of design process toward architecture. You’ll do this through a series of physical
processes, critiquing and analyzing the results. 13
So we just went through the courses you’ll take, and I want to highlight who you’ll
be learning from. Our faculty are not only practicing and working
in the fields that they teach, but they also love to teach environmental studies. They are committed to your success and take
great joy in teaching students from across the globe. Here are just a couple of our faculty members
who you’ll be learning from. Instructor Tommy Haddock is our studio teacher. Not only has he lived in Tokyo, he has worked
at the world-renowned architecture firm Kazuyo Sejima + Ryue Nishizawa/SANAA studio for six
years and brings his worldly perspective to the classroom. He has studied at schools like University
of Michigan and Columbia University and also runs his own architecture practice in San
Francisco. Professor Matt Kondolf teaches courses in
Landscape Architecture and Sustainable Environmental Systems. His work is focused on topics like hydrology,
environmental impact assessments, and natural resource management. He is also on various prestigious advisory
committees like the board of the US Army Corps of Engineers. Renee Chow is another professor and the new
Chair of the Architecture Department who you will learn from during this program. She has a very impressive background and holds
degrees from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and manages her own design firm. 14
You’ll be spending a lot of time inside the classroom learning exciting new subjects
and outside of the classroom doing your homework and studying. But we want to make sure that your time with
us is enjoyable and that you get to experience life in Berkeley to its fullest. 15
You’ll receive career counseling from qualified staff and faculty to discuss topics such as
interview preparation, job search strategies, portfolio formatting for design majors, and
more. If you’re interested in pursuing graduate
studies, we can also provide strategies for you to be as competitive of an applicant as
possible. Overall, you will have the opportunity to
attend professional-development workshops that address career planning and UC Berkeley
and U.S. graduate school admissions tips and best practices. 16
Mingle with your fellow international students and College of Environmental Design students
through various organizations and groups. One great group to network with is the American
Institute of Architects student group, which is a national professional organization. Our students can belong to the group’s West
Quad Chapter, which offers different events and professional support. We also have a student chapter for the American
Society of Landscape Architects, a research group called the Berkeley African Network
for the Built Environment and so many other opportunities to connect with other students. 17
And you’ll have a chance to hear from professionals working in environmental design firms and
organizations from the San Francisco Bay Area and Silicon Valley. This is a great way to get a real-world feel
for the material that you’re studying. While you are here, you will go on site visits
to firms such as James Corner Field Operations, which is the company responsible for designing
and building the iconic High Line park in New York City. This program helps you connect with some of
the most innovative professionals in your fields of study. 18
At the beginning of the program, you’ll attend an orientation and welcome lunch—a
chance to get to know your fellow students, as well as the College of Environmental Design
faculty and staff. You’ll also connect with your fellow students
during cohort lunches throughout the program, some featuring guest speakers from Berkeley
leadership. 19
And we’ve made time for you to sight-see our beautiful city and state. The campus itself offers numerous trails and
walking tours. You’ll have a chance to participate in all
events like a domestic student. For example, if you study with us during the
fall semester, you can take part in all the many Homecoming activities. Take in a sports game. Exercise at our many student gyms. Peruse through stacks of books at our various
libraries There is a buzz when you’re on campus and there are so many exciting things
to do and see that you’ll feel like a Berkeley student in no time. 20
You can easily take public transportation to get to San Francisco where you can hop
on a streetcar, shop in Union Square, grab fresh seafood at Fisherman’s Wharf, take
in a baseball game or wander around our many culturally diverse neighborhoods. There are beautiful views to be had from any
location. You could ride a bike across the Golden Gate
Bridge, have a picnic with your fellow classmates on the beach. The city is known for its diversity and there
are so many multicultural areas that are great to visit, wander around and sample new foods. 21
We are also a short drive from excellent wineries, redwood forests, amazing beaches and incredible
mountains. In just a two-hour drive, you could be hiking
in the mountains or playing at the beach. If you’re interested in visiting Los Angeles,
that’s only an hour-long plane flight away. California has so much to do and enjoy! 22
Many of you may be wondering, “Where am I going to live?” And that’s an important question. We have a variety of housing options that
are very close to campus where you’ll be taking courses. One option is similar to a dorm, where meals,
activities, WiFI and such are included. Some students rent private or shared apartments. Some students prefer homestays. We have staff members who can help you determine
and select the right housing option for your needs and your budget. 23
So let’s talk about the cost for this exciting educational opportunity. The total cost is $19,500 US dollars per semester. Don’t forget that housing is not included
in the cost. But we estimate that housing will cost about
$10,500 per semester. So for one semester of studying with us, that
would be $30,000 U.S. dollars. 24
We do offer scholarships. Each scholarship is for a maximum of $3,000
and you do need to apply for the scholarship at the same time as when you apply for the
program and you will need to apply early. To apply for the scholarship, you’ll need
to submit an online application, where you’ll tell us in 250 words or less why you are applying
for the scholarship. You will also need to tell us in 500 words
or less about the societal or environmental issues that drive your current studies and
why participating in this program will help you excel in your field. Finally, you’ll need to have a professional
or academic colleague send a letter of recommendation. This colleague could be a faculty member or
teacher from your current studies, or a supervisor or manager from work. 25
So, how do you get start on this exciting educational opportunity? We accept applications from top qualified
undergraduate students who have a minimum GPA of a 3.0 This is a very academic program
so we do have a high TOEFL requirement of a 90 or an IELTS of 7.0 or a TOEIC score of
900. The exception is if you’ve taken at least
a year of full-time curriculum in English. So depending on what country you’re coming
from and what your educational background is, there may be an opportunity to waive the
TOEFL. But if you have questions about this, please
reach out to us, let us know your situation and we can let you know if we can waive the
TOEFL or IELTS. You’ll need to submit a Statement of Purpose
specifically about this program. This essay should include information about
your background and academic successes, why you’re interested in the program, any extracurricular
activities you’re especially proud of and anything else you’d like the admissions
committee to know about you and your ability to succeed as a student. The statement is also a chance for you to
address any anomalies or deficiencies in your educational transcript. You’ll also need to submit a financial statement,
official university transcripts and a copy of your passport. There is also a $200 nonrefundable application
fee that you’ll pay for when you submit your application. The application is entirely online. You will upload your educational and financial
documents and complete the application process electronically. 26
Thank you for submitting your questions, many of which we’ve been able to answer during
the presentation. Here are a few more that have come in. What is UC Berkeley Extension? That’s a great question. UC Berkeley Extension is the continuing and
professional education arm of UC Berkeley. We work closely with UC Berkeley Extension
to offer this program. So we are providing our amazing faculty, facilities
and coursework and amazing network. Extension provides the administrative support
necessary for this program. The certificate that you receive at the end
of your studies will be from both the College of Environmental Design and UC Berkeley Extension. Your transcript will say UC Berkeley Extension. Can I transfer these classes to my home university? The majority of students are wanting to transfer
credits either back to a home university or to another program after finishing this program
of study so students do receive a transcript and those credits are transferable. We work very closely with students to help
them get what they need to show either their home university or the university where they’re
looking to transfer to after this program. It is the students responsibility to make
sure that the credits will transfer. Will completing this program make me more
eligible to be admitted into a degree program at UC Berkeley? It will not give you priority admission to
a degree program but it will strengthen your academic resume. your admission to a degree program is dependent
on how strong your application is. It’s a holistic admission process meaning
the admission committee will look at your entire educational and professional background
including your attendance in this program. As the program will strengthen your resume
and your academic background it may be helpful for admission to any degree program at any
University but it’s not going to give you a priority. 27
Well, that’s all the time we have to take your questions. But if you have any additional questions that
I wasn’t able to answer, here is my contact information. I would love to hear from you and discuss
how this program can fit your educational or professional goals. If you haven’t already done so, I suggest
filling out our newsletter sign-up form on the website. You’ll receive emails about the program,
upcoming deadlines and other information. Thank you again for taking the time to learn
about the Berkeley College of Environmental Design Global Access Program and I hope to
see you in Berkeley soon!

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