Why should I consider going on an exchange?
There are lots of reasons: academic, professional, and personal. Our partners are among the top business schools in the world; taking classes at these institutions will give you a different perspective. Studying abroad allows you to polish your language skills, delve into a new culture, and make friends. Many Haas students use their exchange semester to contact local firms with the goal of securing employment beyond the Bay Area or outside the U.S.
Who is eligible for exchange programs?
You must be in good academic standing (a GPA of at least 3.0) and have completed the core courses. You also must be a solid citizen at Haas. Exchange students are Haas ambassadors, and our exchange relationships depend in part on your good citizenship while on exchange. We reserve the right to deny applicants whose behavior while at Haas indicates they might endanger those relationships and prevent future Haas students from going on exchange to a particular school.
Can I participate in both IBD and exchange?
Yes, you can. Participation in IBD typically requires enrollment in MBA298A in the Spring semester of your first year and MBA298B in the Fall semester of your second year. Please make sure to discuss your options with the IBD coordinators on how you can complete the Fall component of IBD if you are offered a spot in the exchange program.
When can I go on exchange?
Full-time MBA students typically go on exchange during the Fall semester of their second year. Dual-degree students may go during the Fall of their third or fourth year.
How many students can go on exchange each year?
We may send between one and ten students each year to each school or 8 to 20 students in total. The number is a function of the size of the partner school’s exchange program and the “balance of trade” between Haas and the partner school over time.
How and when do I apply? What are the selection criteria?
Exchange applications for full-time MBA students are due in late February of your first year. All students are notified by email about the dates for information sessions and the application deadline.
The application includes a brief essay stating which school you want to attend, why going on exchange is relevant to your personal and professional goals, and how you would be a good Haas ambassador while abroad.
If there is space available at the school you have selected, you are in good academic standing, and we have no concerns about your ability to represent Haas, you will be offered a space at your chosen school.
If demand for the school you selected exceeds supply, exchange students will be selected by lottery. Those who are not selected in the lottery are welcome to go to another school where space is available.
All offers for the exchange program are conditional on maintaining a 3.0 GPA for all coursework and completing the MBA core courses before the exchange semester.
Because the focus of the international exchange is the opportunity to gain exposure to a new country and culture, we typically do not send students on exchange to their home countries.
How much will it cost?
You will pay your usual tuition and fees to the University of California as if you were spending the semester at Haas. No additional tuition or fees are paid to the exchange school, except perhaps secondary fees to use the computer center or other services.
How will the exchange school know that I am accepted?
After you accepted your offer, we will nominate your name to the exchange school. It is important to complete all relevant sections on the participation confirmation form so that the exchange school will have the information needed to process your enrollment at their school. The exchange school will start contacting you with more information once we nominate your name.
What can I expect after being accepted to an exchange program?
We will connect with you to provide instructions on completing the required exchange documents and attending the required meetings. Mandatory action items are important parts of your exchange program commitment. Please make sure to complete them in a timely manner.
Will my participation in the exchange program affect my financial aid?
You will need to check with the Haas Financial Aid Office if you will need financial aid while on exchange. All paperwork should be completed and in order before your departure.
You must sign up for Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) so your financial aid proceeds can be deposited directly into a designated bank account. Budget appeals can be considered to augment the standard financial aid budget for some of the increased costs of studying abroad.
Will my participation in the exchange program affect my California residency?
Since Haas does not determine your California residency, we cannot guarantee that your residency status will not be affected by a semester on exchange.
However, former Haas students who have spent semesters abroad, and were long-time California residents before they left, have reported no problems. Students who are still attempting to establish California residency should be aware that participating in an exchange program might have a negative impact. You should check with the campus Residence Affairs Unit.
How fluent do I need to be in the local language (even New York-ese)?
The degree of fluency in the local language required at each school varies. All partner schools teach many electives in English. You should investigate the policy at the particular school you are interested in by visiting its website.
English is widely spoken in some countries, less so in others. In all cases, familiarity with the local language will be important to get the most out of your exchange experience.
How can I learn more about the classes at the exchange school? What classes may I take?
Some of our partners provide a list of previously available courses on their websites. If you are not able to find a list, you can connect directly with the exchange school and let them know the types of courses you’re interested in so they can provide guidance on where to look.
You will take only 12-unit equivalent of MBA elective courses at the exchange school. Non-MBA courses, including language courses, cannot be counted in the required 12-unit course load at the exchange school. You can take more than 12-unit equivalent if the exchange school permits, but only 12 units of pure MBA electives are transferrable back to Haas.
Keep in mind that you will only be able to take Haas electives during the Spring semesters of your first and second years. If there is a Haas elective that you feel you must take, check on the likelihood of it being offered during those semesters. Remember, course schedules are subject to change and there is no guarantee that they will be offered.
You can also check whether the partner school is offering an equivalent course during the Fall, but there is no guarantee you will get a place in that class if the class is oversubscribed.
How will classes be credited toward my degree?
You must complete the equivalent of 12 units of pure MBA courses while on exchange. Before you depart, you will be registered for the MBA Exchange Program class at Haas, MBA298X. Your exchange units will transfer back to your UC Berkeley transcript as a block of 12 units on a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory basis. To earn a Satisfactory grade for the entire 12 units, you must earn a B- or better in all your exchange courses. It is important to check with the exchange school on the grading system so you can plan out your course performance accordingly.
You will receive an official transcript from your exchange institution listing the specific courses completed and grades earned.
Exchange students will be required to submit a copy of their courses and grades before starting their Spring semester so the Academics team can ensure students are on track to graduation. Haas will officially assign a grade for the units earned once the official transcripts are received from the exchange schools.
Will you announce the name of students who have been accepted to participate in the exchange program?
Due to our confidentiality policy, we will not be announcing the names of students who have been accepted. We will create an optional exchange channel in Slack and will invite those who have accepted their exchange spot so students can start connecting.
How do I get to the school I selected?
You must make, and pay for, your own travel arrangements.
Check out this article for some tips and a fun checklist to help you prepare.
How do I find a place to live?
Our exchange partners require you to find local housing on your own but will provide you with guidance. One option is to trade housing with visiting exchange students coming to Haas. We will provide a Housing Swap document for you to share your information with incoming exchange students.
Will my student medical insurance be valid?
Berkeley’s Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) will be valid while you are abroad, provided you are properly registered and pay all your current Berkeley fees before you leave.
How do I get a visa?
The partner school will provide the necessary documentation to apply for a student visa, but you are responsible for submitting the paperwork to the appropriate governmental agencies far enough in advance that you can start school on time.
How will an exchange affect my job search?
- Applying to recruiting opportunities: You may submit resumes and cover letters to any jobs you see in CMG BEARS. In your cover letter, please indicate that you are away on exchange in the fall but can do virtual interviews.
- If you are invited to an in-person interview, please work directly with the recruiter to suggest a virtual option.. Keep in mind, the recruiter may decide not to interview you at all—it is their call.
- You will also have access to the career services of the school you are visiting, so be sure to take advantage of that.
When will classes start?
The start date of your Fall semester at the exchange school can be found on the fact sheet. Some are on the quarter system, so your summer break will be longer than usual. Make sure all travel and arrival preparations are completed ahead of time so you can arrive on time to start your classes.
Will I like it?
Studying abroad can be a wonderful chance to experience another culture and meet students from another part of the world. It also can be very challenging to find housing and navigate a foreign city while keeping up with the academic demands of another top MBA program.
Whom should I contact if I have questions about exchange?
You can contact Thao Phan, the Exchange Program Coordinator, at [email protected], if you have questions.