Hi, this is Rui Zhang. I'm happy to share you about my adventure in Berkeley and wish it will help you guys. I came to UC Berkeley for a summer school with my classmates in summer, 2019. But unfortunately, I didn't choose the course I wanted and I regretted it for a long time. And urging by the strong enthusiasm for pursuing the Ph.D degree, I applied for the BISP program and went to the Berkeley for a semester.
However, 2020 is a really hard year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which I won't mentioned in detailed. Because the BISP program is a none certificate program, it is hard and difficult to enroll in course. But as for the summer school, normal semester indeed opens more courses and we can choose graduate level course. Although someone may dissuade you when you stick to some courses, it is much easier to get them than in China. Berkeley has lots of research opportunities for BISP students. Many of my classmates are lucky enough to visit professors'lab and be a semester research assistant. If you don't enter the official program, you can email to professor directly in which you can express your strong desire for research and attach personal CV. Then you can email as many professors as possible.
It is a good memory for me, even something bad happened. Hope you can find your own journey in Berkeley. See you again, my Berkeley!