Students Testimonials

Wang Yuan Ling

The High School Affiliated to Renmin University of China

(Admitted to Duke University in 2015)

The UC Berkeley Summer Program in attended in 2013 exceeded my expectations. It is not only about intellectual development, but it's also about social development as well. Berkeley creates a good and liberal environment so that you can excel in your studies and make new friends.

All my classmates fell in love with the Berkeley, with San Francisco and the Bay Area, and with the subject matter that we studied. We thought that the format of the program was perfect — with the right split between classroom work, out of class activities as well as excursions to the city and Silicon Valley.

Deng Yong Shen

Dulwich College International High School, China

(Admitted to University of Oxford in 2013)

The six weeks that I spent in UC Berkeley would truly be the most memorable, informative and truly inspiring weeks of my life. Being surrounded by friends from Greater China and all over the world broadened my horizons and changed the perception of the differences between cultures.

Staying in Berkeley provided me also with a great possibility to develop academically. The courses I had chosen (Mathematics and Arts History) happened to be very demanding but the co- operation with teachers and other students made the intensive studying easier. Our teachers and tutors were definitely some of the most passionate and inspiring ones I had ever met. Their attitude made me eager to expand the knowledge in the fields that interest me most.

UC Berkeley Summer Select Program prepared for us a great variety of extra activities, including excursions to San Francisco and Silicon Valley. All of them were equally thrilling. - It was a great chance to understand how to live as an independent and responsible individual in a vibrant community, to discover distinct cultures, to share opinions and experiences and to learn continuously. It was certainly an honor and privilege to be selected and I shall always cherish the memories of my time there.

Wong Kak

T.W.G.Hs Wong Fut Nam College

Hong Kong

(Admitted to UC Berkeley in 2011)

Coming from a traditional local school in Hong Kong, pursing a world-class education at UC Berkeley has always been my dream. The acceptance to Berkeley has made my dream come true as Berkeley is known for being one of the toughest schools for admission. They go beyond academics and look for students who can add to the vitality and diversity of the Berkeley community.

The UC Berkeley Summer Select Program was a life-transforming experience for me. The program had a perfect combination of excellent curriculum, steep learning curve in a very energizing environment. I benefited a great deal from the UC Berkeley College Foundation Program in numerous fronts. Firstly, I was able to earn college-level credits by taking two courses in six weeks. Secondly, the caliber of professors and of the cohort is fantastic. The program threw me out of my comfort zone and compelled me to think with rigor, grow and stretch intellectually, to draw on the diverse skills and experience of my classmates, and to discover a whole greater than the sum of its parts.

Moreover, I learned how to balance all my extracurricular commitments with academics and my social life. Balance is something that is sorely lacking in today's highly motivated and driven society, and I am thankful that my experiences at UC Berkeley have really shown me how to find and hold on to this equilibrium. Well-rounded people are the ones who really make a difference in society, and are the types of person that Berkeley is looking for.

Chan O Yinn Wharton

German Swiss International School

(Admitted to University of Oxford in 2012)

The six weeks that I spent at UC Berkeley were some of the best weeks of my life thus far. I learned fascinating things about the field of molecular biology, met amazing people, learned how to live the college life, and came to absolutely love UC Berkeley and all the University has to offer. This experience has been intellectually stimulating, mind opening, and enjoyable. I wish the program wasn't ending.

What I learned over the course of the Program was invaluable. In retrospect, the week was a gift that helped me realize my potential as a leader and my responsibilities as a global citizen.

Huang Chin Ya

Taiwan Fudan Senior High School

(Admitted to 2011 University of Southern California)

It's challenging, demanding, and robustly depressing. However, those countless nights, with me struggling to bear 500 pages of psych terms in mind and defying the vehement cravings for a rest, put together this unforgettable journey. I strained my eyes, trying to wrap up the bulky assignments before I lost my consciousness. I tried to stay alert, though I'd sensed a strong desire to crash into my cozy bed. "Wake up, girl. Let's go for a walk." my partner's voice brought me back to reality. I looked up and found myself among 7 other people burying ourselves in piles of books for finals. Suddenly, I realized I was not alone.

Berkeley is where you experience an exuberance of dynamic to which everyone is dedicated. Instead of ignoring the individualities, Berkeley embraces these differences, and so do most people in this program. Never be afraid of reaching out for help. Speak up for yourself. Find the problems and consult your professors who are friendly helpers even for a class of 80. Here, not only will you be used to pulling all-nighters brainstorming your thesis ideas, cracking stupefying equations, but you'll also be BARTing for film premiers like Inception and Salt, experiencing the enchanting charisma of Broadway's biggest blockbuster-Wicked, and having free access to such famous facilities as Sather Tower, University of California Botanical Garden, as well as Berkeley Art Museum. And most importantly, stay positive and open-minded, and you'll find where you belong, right here in Berkeley.

Chow Chun Hei

English School Foundation, Hong Kong

(Admitted to UC Berkeley in 2011 )

I joined the UC-Berkeley Summer Select Program in 2010. I am very lucky to have been accepted to Berkeley 2011 undergraduate class. Berkeley's liberating environment changed my attitudes to learning. Thanks to this program, I was shown how enjoyable the learning could be.

"In high school, you merely attend classes. In Berkeley, you've got to create your own classes." This is my experience at Berkeley in a nutshell. Once there, you are given options, opportunities and the ability to make a difference. In high school, classes are usually just teachers giving monologues covering everything needed for examinations. In Berkeley my Philosophy class was a symphony of 30 plus voices all contributing and creating the course simultaneously. We never needed to follow course guidelines as we could discuss whatever we desired and it would all miraculously flow together and allow us to learn everything we needed.

Once a week, our instructors conducted after-lecture sessions in meadow-side cafes hoping Berkeley's serene environment would enhance the mood of discussions. And it surely does. Once you get a view of the Alice in Wonderland landscape in front of the Valley Life Sciences Building, the instructor's discussion session transforms into a casual chat with friends. Being given this freedom, I had the courage to ask my Philosophy instructor whether we could do oral exams rather than written exams. It seemed reasonable because we talked much more than we wrote. Not to my surprise, my wish became a reality.

Chen Jin Shi

The High School Affiliated to Renmin University of China

(Admitted to Cornell University in 2015)

I really enjoyed the exceptional teaching quality at the UC Berkeley summer program. It's a world-class program with unique opportunities to learn and meet really cool, highly talented students from all around the world. I've gained independence and the willpower to really take care of myself. I have never felt so independent and mature; I really believe I am ready for the college life experience in a top US university.

During the six-week program, I came every morning eager and excited for the class discussions, and left each afternoon with dozens of new ideas and thoughts that took over the rest of my day. I have grown as a person and got a sense of what I want to do in the future. This was a truly unforgettable experience.

Zhang Wen

Dalian No 24 High School


(Admitted to Stanford University in 2013)

The UC Berkeley Summer Select Program I attended in 2011 was a rewarding and life-transforming experience for me. As an international student I took advantage of the rich resources and diverse cultural offerings available at the fascinating Berkeley campus. We had the chance to learn from the teachers as well as from one another. We raised awareness of cross-cultural differences, thus developing skills of successful cross-cultural communication and understanding. I improved my language skills as well as my team work skills.

I learned a lot through participating in the Admission and Writing workshop. I became more familiarized with the admission process and essay writing skills from the admission professionals.

I was enrolled in a Psychology course as my elective. I thoroughly enjoyed my classroom experience. The students represented various ethnicities and races and represented a myriad of worldviews and perspectives. Through this class I discovered more about myself. I could not have asked for a better make-up for this classroom experience.

Lai Tin Hong

Hong Kong Wa Ying College

(Admitted to UC Berkeley in 2012)

In summer 2010, I enrolled in the UC Berkeley Summer Select Program which is an excellent pathway to the University. The proficiency of the teachers and the staff helped me achieve good results in my studies. Although the six weeks of program were busy, and a bit tiring, I still really enjoyed them because I made lots of friends and had great time with them. What impressed me the most is the experience of being part of the real student life with all the UC Berkeley's facilities open to us.

On the Berkeley summer program, one does not only grow academically but grows as a person as well by learning about different cultures and different viewpoints, which allows for one to understand another person. It is absolutely worth taking this course if you want to access higher education in the US. The teaching was very diverse and very enriching as every teacher has a different approach and is very committed. It has prepared me well, especially with my essay writing skills. With all the skills and knowledge that I had acquired at the summer program, I was confident and ready to face all the challenges at the university.

Leung Yi Ching, Jason

Hong Kong La Salle College

(Admitted to University of Michigan in 2012)

The Berkeley College Foundation Program is fantastic!

Looking forward to an intense academic course, I joined the UC Berkeley Program and prepared myself for the challenge that I might confront. Surprisingly, the program is rather relaxing and enjoyable although I am often very busy. The liberal learning atmosphere in UC Berkeley gives me a refreshing and fruitful learning experience as well as a break from the intense lifestyle of Hong Kong.

I took English and psychology in the camp. The English professor was nice and friendly, and taught me a lot of useful regarding writing skills. At the same time, the psychology course was very useful and interesting as well. We had a lot in-class experience of testing psychological theories which deepened our understanding.

In UC Berkeley, there are all sorts of facilities and a friendly environment that you need in your daily life. The course also offered a vast amount of learning materials, which helped me a lot in my study. I learnt a great deal of knowledge as well as life skills in the program. Most important of all, it gave me the transition from an innocent high school boy into an independent pre-college student. I built up my strength and confidence, as well as my enthusiasm in exploring life. It is one of my most valuable experience in life.

Wo Bar Wai, Barry

La Salle College

Hong Kong

(Admitted to University of Hong Kong Medical School in 2011)

The Summer Program at UC Berkeley was a wonderful experience for me. My classmates and teachers were incredible and the residential experience exceeded my expectations. The six-week program has given me a broader picture of what the college-life will be in a world-class university.

The students who studied in the History course alongside me were inspirational, achievement-oriented, and intellectual. Besides the intensive and rigorous classes and coursework, we had the opportunity to be amongst people from very different backgrounds who stimulated the course with varying outlooks and thus enriched the debates we had in class as well as outside. It also gave us the chance to make contacts and meet with very interesting, intelligent and friendly people.

Finally not only have I widened my horizons on numerous fronts but at the same time, broadened my circle of friends with whom our friendship continues after the end of the program.