"I House is like a mini-U.N., but better...the students do what their leaders can't. if we put all our world leaders in a place like this, a lot of important problems would be solved." -- I House resident


Built in 1930 with a gift from John D. Rockefeller, Jr., "I House" is both an international program center and a residence for 580 students and scholars-about half from the U.S. and half from abroad. It is founded on the idea that friendships can transcend nationality, race, and religion.

Located at the southeast corner of campus on Piedmont Avenue in "fraternity row," its domed tower and elegant interior have long been campus landmarks.

Residents are about 70 percent graduate students and scholars and 30 percent juniors and seniors, with seniors getting first dibs. Graduate students get single rooms, undergraduates double.

Cost for (double) room and board this year ranges from $5,518 to $6,396, which includes room only during winter break. There is generally a waiting list for fall semester, so undergraduates are encouraged to apply for I House residency in May or June.

A big attraction of living at I House is the dining room, with its American and international buffets prepared by a professional staff. National and international holidays are often celebrated with special menus. Here one can find students from countries separated by hostile governments sitting together for the first time at a dinner table half way across the world.

I House is where Jerry Brown met Rose Bird; where Michael Blumenthal, Treasury Secretary under Jimmy Carter, washed dishes with Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, former prime minister of Pakistan; where Pete Wilson pored over his law books; and where John Kenneth Galbraith says he experienced an "intensity of discussion beyond any I've known since, in 60 years of public life."

Open 365 days a year, I House facilities include a game room, library, computer room, meeting rooms, auditorium, and cafe.

It can be the ideal living environment for those interested in an international career, for those about to study abroad (see p. 4), and for students returning from study abroad who want to maintain foreign ties while reconnecting with their home culture.

An international crossroads for the entire campus community, I House events include nationality nights (performances, food, arts and crafts), cross-cultural discussions, coffee hours, dances, aerobics, films and slide shows, language tables, and trips. There, everything from lunch to laundry can be a culturally broadening experience.

"I House is like a mini-U.N., but better," says an American resident. "The students do what their leaders can't. If we put all our world leaders in a place like this, a lot of important problems would be solved."

For more information: (510) 642-9470.

 [Spring 97]
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Last Modified 5/30/97. JBC