Slow down but don’t stop. It’s summer at Berkeley

Cloaked alternately in sunshine and fog, the UC Berkeley campus is downshifting into a relaxed but still lively summer season, with enrollment again expected to top 16,000. Of this year’s more than 4,300 visiting students — those not previously enrolled at Berkeley — 3,084 are from overseas and 1,224 are U.S. residents. More than 1,800 will be taking online courses,  a 12 percent increase over last year.

Summer on campus is divided into five sessions ranging from three to 10 weeks, and ends in mid-August. Meanwhile, more than 900 students are studying abroad or serving internships in such countries as Argentina, Brazil, China, the Dominican Republic, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, Thailand and Taiwan. And, through the new Global Edge program, 57 entering freshmen will spend the third summer session on campus, then study in London this fall while earning credits toward their UC Berkeley degree.

Topical or intriguing courses offered on campus this year include “Household Archeology,” “ 3-D Computer Technology,” “ Buddhism in Contemporary Society,”  “Introduction to Artificial Intelligence,” “ Medical Parasitology,” “Solar-Powered Vehicles,” “ Native Americans and the Cinema,” “Human Food Practices,”  “Russia After Communism,”  “Psychology of Sleep” and “Babylonian Religion.”

UC Berkeley first offered summer study in 1900, with 37 courses and 433 students. Courses are taught by faculty, lecturers and graduate student instructors. Berkeley students typically make up 75 percent of summer scholars. The remaining 25 percent includes visitors from other institutions and other adult learners.