Why should I consider going on 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, 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 an 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. However, special arrangements will be made for students who participate in an exchange to complete the Fall component of IBD in some other way.
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?
Typically, we send between one and three students each year to each school or 8 to 24 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. The Exchange Program Coordinator, Thao Phan, can give you current information on the schools you are considering.
How and when do I apply? What are the selection criteria?
Exchange applications for full-time MBA students are due in early or mid-February of your first year. All students are notified by email about the dates for information sessions, the number of placements available at each school, 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 your maintaining a 3.0 GPA for all course work and successfully completing the MBA core courses before the exchange semester.
Because the focus of 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.
Will my participation in the exchange program affect my financial aid?
You should 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 Residency Office.
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.
What classes may I take?
You will take only elective courses at the exchange school.
This means 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 12 units of coursework while on exchange. Before you depart, you will register for an assigned MBA Exchange Program class at Haas. Your exchange units will transfer back to your UC Berkeley transcript as a block of 12 units on a pass/no pass basis. You will receive an official transcript from your exchange institution listing the specific courses completed and grades earned.
How do I get to the school I selected?
You must make, and pay for, your own travel arrangements.
How do I find a place to live?
Our exchange partner programs 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.
You must pay out of pocket for any health expenses incurred while on your semester abroad, and seek reimbursement when you return by bringing your bills to the Student Health Insurance Office. SHIP covers 100% of emergency department care, 90% of hospitalization, and 80% of professional fees—such as physicians’ fees, lab tests or X-rays—while out of the country. However, SHIP will cover only care that is “medically necessary,” as determined by Blue Cross.
The plan does not cover medical evacuation from a foreign country or repatriation of remains.
If you have private coverage and waived enrollment in SHIP, be sure to check with your private insurance carrier on the extent of coverage while abroad.
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 on-campus recruiting opportunities: You may submit resumes and cover letters to any jobs you see in CareerNet. In your cover letter, please indicate that you are away on exchange in the fall.
- If you are invited to an in-person interview or to be an alternate, please let the account manager know you were invited; the account manager can either call the recruiter for you or advise you to call the recruiter to ask for an interview by phone or in your current location. The recruiter may decide not to interview you at all—it is their call.
- Please note that accepting an interview means that you are expected to be physically present on campus for the interview. If you accept alternate status, you also may end up on the Haas on-campus schedule. If you miss a scheduled Haas on-campus interview, you will receive a warning; two warnings result in your on-campus recruiting privileges being revoked.
You do not receive bid points if you are away on exchange. You do, however, have access to the career services of the school you are visiting, so be sure to take advantage of that.
When will classes start?
Your classes will start on the normal date for the school you selected. Some are on the quarter system, so your summer break will be longer than usual.
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.
During your first year, there are likely to be some second-year students on exchange from the schools you are considering. They are a wonderful source of advice.