Communal living podcast; Bay Area Host Family Program; Joe Lurie to lead tour at Global Homecoming

The I-House Connection

Dear Alumni and Friends,

Communal Living

International House opened in Berkeley in 1930. It became not only a place where international students could live, but it was also co-ed — this defied social norms of the period.

We are pleased to share that International House was recently featured in a podcast produced by The Bancroft Library about communal living. The episode features an audio recording of the first executive director of International House Berkeley, Allen C. Blaisdell. Below is an excerpt:

“One solution to this discrimination was the expansion of the International House model that began in New York. The idea was to create a multicultural residence that would house international students and scholars, fostering intercultural connections. But when International House opened in 1930 on Piedmont Avenue in Berkeley, it faced pushback from the local community.

Allen C. Blaisdell was the first director of I-House. He recalls:
“…realtors and others who owned apartment houses took the attitude that International House was to relieve them of the problem of racial housing. And I said, ‘On the contrary, International House was established to set the pattern for everyone to follow.’”

Listen to full podcast.

Happy 89th Birthday International House Berkeley!

I-House Berkeley, circa 1930We are also excited about our 89th birthday on August 18th! Please help us celebrate by sharing a story for our Stories website. Submit your story here, or share a post on Facebook or Instagram telling us about why you love International House. Include the hashtag #ihouseberkeley. Videos welcome!

August 18th marks the beginning of our milestone 90th year, and we will be announcing more events over the next few months.

Consider a donation to honor 89 years of International House!Make a Birthday Gift to I-House Now

Questions? Email us at or call (510) 642-4128.

Apply for the Bay Area Host Family Program

Host Family ProgramEvery year, friends of International House are invited to host an incoming resident for welcoming activities as part of our Host Family Program. With the goal of easing the students’ transition to the Bay Area and to help them understand the local way of life, host families offer cultural revelations, new perspectives, day trips, shared meals, and more—that can lead to long-term international friendships.

To learn more and to apply, visit the Host Family Program page or contact with any questions.

Join us for Global Homecoming

Sunday, October 20, 2019, 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Global Homecoming 2019

We will be highlighting a variety of different activities planned for Global Homecoming in the upcoming editions of our I-House Connection, leading up to October 20th. We are pleased to announce that Executive Director Emeritus Joe Lurie will be leading an Architectural Heritage Tour again this year at 9:30 a.m. He will be highlighting the remarkable relevance of the building’s location, construction and architectural features to the institution’s ongoing mission and impact.

Other events include an interactive presentation by the Robertson Center for Intercultural Leadership (CIL); the Global Table Talk Lunch; and the Around the World Under the Dome Fashion Show & Tasting Festival. See the schedule and more details at

Eventbrite - I-House Global Homecoming 2019 (I-House Alumni and Community)Ticket prices include admission to all events. Save $5 by pre-registering. Register online now.

Calling All Alumni!

Stay in TouchIt is our goal to celebrate the lives and achievements of our alumni and the contributions they have made and continue to make around the world. Please help us to keep you informed of upcoming regional events, update our records to help you reconnect with old friends, locate lost alumni, and share recent news with you. If you have moved, changed email or mailing addresses, or want to give us an exciting update about developments in your own life, please let us know by filling out this brief contact update form.

By sharing this with your friends, you are helping to extend our reach and to keep the International House Berkeley connection alive! As always, we welcome your news at

As always, we welcome your news at

We look forward to welcoming you back to I-House. If you’re in the area, please let us know!

Best regards from Berkeley,

I-House Development, Alumni Relations & Communications Team

Meet the Alumni Relations Team

I-House LogoThe I-House Development, Alumni Relations & Communications Team

(510) 642-4128 |

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About Laurie Ferris

As the Communications Strategist for International House at UC Berkeley, I share stories online and in our I-House Times Newsletter. I created this blog for alumni, residents, and staff to share the I-House experience with the UC Berkeley community and beyond. If you would like to contribute a guest post, please contact me at Share the I-House love! ♥
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