About SELS

The Berkeley campus and San Francisco Bay Area community offer a stimulating environment for students interested in improving their English. Known for its academic excellence, creativity, and innovative thinking, Berkeley is a perfect choice for summer study.

Courses in the Summer English Language Studies program are appropriate for intermediate through advanced students who want to enhance their English language skills, improve job performance, or undertake university work.

There are five main Summer English Language Studies courses—ESL or COLWRIT 3, 5, 6, 7, 9. Courses are offered through our six-week and/or three week-sessions. Different course topics and related fieldwork projects give you the chance to use your English language skills in the classroom and community.

In each course, you participate in field trips and fieldwork assignments to increase interaction with native speakers and use your English in conversation. Past events have included escorted dinners, museum tours, visits to local businesses, lectures by famous Berkeley locals, and more. Since most of our courses do not meet on Fridays, you are free to visit the local attractions on long weekends.

Location and Contact Information

117 Wheeler Hall
Summer English Language Studies
UC Berkeley
Berkeley, CA 94720-2500
email: summerenglish@berkeley.edu

Registration and Payment

Berkeley is a large university. This means that different offices take care of different parts of the registration, housing, and payment process. This may seem confusing at first, but it’s actually easy.

1. Go to our Summer ELS courses page to see what classes you want to take. You can sort classes by times to make sure you do not sign up for two classes that meet at the same time.

2. Copy the section and course control numbers of the classes you want. For prices and other information, you can check Summer Schedule of Classes

3. When you are ready to register, go to the Summer Sessions registration page.  Registration will open in February.

  •  On the registration form, you will also pay a registration fee as well as your class fees. This fee depends on your status as a Berkeley student, a visiting student residing in the U.S., or a visiting international student. When you fill out your registration form, you can also request a visa if you need one.
  • If you are a visiting international student, there is a special Summer Sessions web page that will take you step-by-step through the registration, visa, and payment processes.

Important: The Summer English Language Studies program does not handle money, visas, housing, or registration. For questions, please contact the Berkeley Summer Sessions Office at summer@berkeley.edu or +1 510-642-5611.

Visas(link is external)

If you are coming to Berkeley from a foreign country you’ll need a student visa. UC Berkeley will help you follow the procedures for getting your visa. For detailed information about visas, please visit the Berkeley International Office(link is external) web site.

Housing(link is external)

There are many excellent reasons to visit or stay in the Berkeley area, as the city offers a wide selection of accommodations for the summer student.  You can find a list of housing options on the Berkeley Summer Sessions(link is external) web site.

Medical Insurance

For questions, please contact the Berkeley Summer Sessions Office at summer@berkeley.edu(link sends e-mail) or at +1 510-642-5611.

Medical care in the U.S. is very expensive and hospital costs in Berkeley are among the highest in the country, averaging $1,000 per day. Health insurance MUST be purchased to meet these unexpected expenses. You should purchase a health insurance policy before you arrive in Berkeley, as UC Berkeley’s Student Health Insurance Plan is not available to visiting Summer Sessions students. This policy should cover ALL medical and hospital costs or provide you with a minimum of $50,000 ($US) for each accident or illness, from the time you leave your current residence to the day you plan to return. Be sure to bring with you a full description of the health benefits and an identification card giving the period of validity and telephone number of a U.S. contact person. More information can be found at the Summer Sessions website(link is external).


UC Berkeley(link is external) is a large university. Different offices address different questions and problems. Please direct your question to the correct office to get the answer you need.

The Summer English Language Studies office is open during business hours in July and August only. Email(link sends e-mail) or fax your questions to us, or if you need to talk with someone via the telephone, please call the Berkeley Summer Sessions Office at +1-510-642-5611.

Questions About

Registrationsummer@berkeley.edu(link sends e-mail)
General Application: http://summer.berkeley.edu/registration
(link is external)
UC Berkeley students can Register for classes in CalCentral.

Visasbiosummer@berkeley.edu(link sends e-mail)
General Information: http://internationaloffice.berkeley.edu/students/summer(link is external)

Housingsummer@berkeley.edu(link sends e-mail)
website: http://summer.berkeley.edu/student-services/student-housing(link is external)

Paymentsummer@berkeley.edu(link sends e-mail)
website: http://summer.berkeley.edu/registration/fees(link is external)

Coursessummerenglish@berkeley.edu(link sends e-mail)
website: http://summerenglish.berkeley.edu/courses/(link is external)

Application Checklists:
For domestic students: http://summer.berkeley.edu/visiting-student-checklist(link is external)
For international students: http://summer.berkeley.edu/international/international-checklist(link is external)

Summer English Language Studies Office:

119 Wheeler Hall(link is external)

UC Berkeley

Berkeley, CA 94720-2500

Fax: +1 (510) 642-6963

Email: summerenglish@berkeley.edu(link sends e-mail)

Our office is open during July and August only.  If you have questions before the term begins, please contact us via email or fax.