KTO will closely monitor the situation regarding COVID-19 in the U.S. and coordinate closely with UC Berkeley for the latest programme arrangement.

Programme Details


During the four-month study, students are required to take 12 academic units, with eight of those from SCET course offerings:

  • INDENG 95 - A. Richard Newton Lecture Series (1 unit)
  • INDENG 185 - Challenge Lab (4 units)
  • SCET Elective (3 units)
  • Other Elective (4 units)

Those units successfully completed by students are recognised by the Academic Registry at HKBU for unit transfer. Students are responsible to discuss with their programme directors for the course selection. Students will receive an electronic form from SCET for course registration and will be asked to prioritise the choice of elective courses in due course. However, students’ final course registration will be decided by the SCET subject to the seating capacity.

Application Method and Period

Interested HKBU students should submit application to KTO. Please go through the Application Important Notes and complete the Online Application.

Semester at Cal

Spring Semester (January to May 2022)

Starting date for application at HKBU

August 2021


Interested HKBU students have to fulfill the following requirements:

  • Only undergraduate students currently in Year 2 and Year 3 can apply; and
  • Students must attain GPA of 3.0 or above; and
  • Students must have a good command of English*; and
  • Students must not have any other overseas exchange or internship engagement, no matter organised by HKBU or other external parties, at least 2 months prior to the commencement of the programme; and
  • Students preferably have previous learning experience at entrepreneurship activities.
  • Any other specific criteria set by the Faculty/School/Academy/KTO.
  • For candidates who meet all of the criteria above, to respect the wishes of some donors, priority will be given to local (i.e. non-visa holder) students.
Students can provide an English Proficiency Proof either the result of TOEFL: 90 (iBT) or IELTS Academic Format: 7 or TOEIC: 800. If students cannot provide this document, their respective academic units should provide a supporting letter instead.

Tuition Fee Sponsorship

As one of the Sutardja Center’s Global University Partners, our HKBU students are eligible to enrol in one semester of the Startup Semester Programme at a discounted tuition fee of USD 9,875 per student. Successful candidates might receive sponsorships from KTO and the respective Faculty/ School/ Academy.

Air Ticket, Accommodation and Cost of living

Students will need to bear the cost for air ticket, accommodation and other living costs including meals, local transport etc. Budget on living expenses estimation is as follows:

Item Budget for one semester study (estimated)
1 Round-trip Air Ticket HKD 18,000
2 Accommodation HKD 47,000
3 Meal HKD 18,720
4 Transportation fee HKD 2,250
5 Book and supplies HKD 3,400
6 F1-Visa application fee HKD 1,280
7 Program Application Fee & SEVIS Fee HKD 3,510
Total HKD 94,160


Students are required to arrange their own accommodation due to restricted capacity of UC Berkeley on-campus housing. UC Berkeley International Office vetted and suggested the overseas students to visit some off-campus housing webpages:

Cal Rentals Off-Campus Housing Webpage

More details ...

Legitimate Housing Facility (endorsed by UC Berkeley Summer Sessions)

More details ...


Students may browse some UC Berkeley International Students Facebook page, e.g. “UC Berkeley off-campus housing” to obtain advice from previous renters.

Visa Application

According to the US Consulate website, students are required to present the Form I-20 to the US consular officer while applying for their F1-visas (student visas). Once students complete the online application for the Startup Semester Programme, the SCET will send the application materials to their UC Berkeley Visa Processing Office and they will handle the collection of the documents needed. The whole process will take 2-3 months. They will send the Form I-20 directly to the individual student once ready.

After that, students will apply for visas via US Consulate online application system. Students are strongly recommended to apply their visas in Hong Kong. Students should be responsible for the visa application fee HKD1,280, program application fee USD100 and SEVIS fee USD350.

Under F1 Visa Program, students can enjoy many benefits:

  • Receiving an official transcript upon the completion of the programme;
  • Using the Cal Central Registration Platform to arrange registration and changes of courses;
  • Free access to university fitness Facilities;
  • Free access to AC Transit Bus System;
  • Early access Berkeley email address;
  • Cal card advance pickup;
  • Receiving higher discounts for purchasing health insurance; and
  • Enjoying housing counselling service provided by the UC Berkeley Extension

HKBU Tuition Fee

As the Startup Semester Programme is not an exchange programme, students will be granted leave of absence for one semester during their studies at UC Berkeley and do not need to pay tuition fees to HKBU for the semester while studying at UC Berkeley. However, they are required to pay their outstanding tuition fees for the whole normal study period before they are approved for graduation.

Unit Transfer

The courses completed by our HKBU students under this Startup Semester Programme will be recognised. Students may apply for unit transfer after they have completed their semester at UC Berkeley. However, the students' respective academic units reserve all rights to decide how many unit(s) can be transfered to their current studies at HKBU.

Special note for COVID-19 situation

While kick-starting our recruitment for Startup Semester, we will closely monitor the COVID-19 development in the U.S. and communicate with UC Berkley regarding the arrangement.