Berkeley Economics Semester Abroad Program

The Berkeley Economics Semester Abroad Program, or BESAP, provides international students with the opportunity to enrich their academic and cultural experience by spending one to two semesters at the University of California, Berkeley. With BESAP, students must be majoring in Economics at their home institutions, fluent in English, and nominated by a program coordinator from one of our Affiliated Institutions. This is a wonderful opportunity for students, as it allows them to take upper division courses in the Department of Economics, interact with world-renowned faculty, and participate in a host of campus offerings one of the best public universities in the world. 

BESAP provides an opportunity to:

  • Spend up to two semesters at one of the world's leading research institutions
  • Engage with Economics and campus faculty through courses and research opportunities (find more information on our faculty and Nobel Laureates here)
  • Increase international and cultural awareness by living in Berkeley, California
  • Take graduate-level courses in Economics (with proper preparation and instructor approval)

Examples of past courses offered*

     World Economy in the 20th Century (B. Eichengreen)
     International Monetary Economics (M. Obstfeld)  
     Case Studies in Economic Development (E. Miguel)
     Urban Economics (P. Kline)
     Public Economics (E. Saez)
     Financial & Behavioral Economics (U. Malmendier)
     The Great Depression to the Great Recession (C. Romer & D. Romer)

*Courses may have limited space or may not be offered every semester


Admissions Process


The selection of students is conducted by the home institution on the basis of academic excellence and English language proficiency. 


Nomination Deadline
(from affiliated institutions)

Application Deadline
(for students nominated)
Semester Start

Fall 2024

May 1, 2024 June 1, 2024 August 28, 2024

Spring 2025

October 31, 2024 November 1, 2024 January 21, 2025

Application Process

  1. Apply to BESAP through the home institution (MUST be one of the BESAP Affiliate Institutions).
  2. Accepted students that need to complete the TOEFL test must do so by early-June for Fall semesters and by early-November for Spring semesters. The Economics department may also be able to waive the English Proficiency requirement.
  3. The names of the students at the home university that have been admitted and passed the TOEFL are submitted to the Department of Economics, who will provide next steps for nominees to apply for BESAP. 
  4. Each student will receive one invitation letter to International Student Services. A copy of this letter can be used for student loans, stipends, etc.
  5. Students need to obtain “A Statement of Financial Support” from the home country.  Usually institutions involved in granting student loans may issue these. This statement is then submitted in the application to International Concurrent Enrollment.
  6. Students submit an online application to the International Concurrent Enrollment Program at UC Berkeley, Extension.

For additional questions contact Blair Van Tassel, the BESAP coordinator at