if i do the fall program for freshman and choose to live in UCB housing, will i live alongside UCB freshman who currently go to the school (maybe even room with one) or would i live only with other FPF students who will enroll in spring 2013? thanks
there is no separation of FPF and non-FPF student, socially or otherwise. The only difference is that FPF students are not listed as enrolled, thus the total headcount at the school is lower, and the classes are taught out of the Extension program, the one that also provides coursework for the general community. A number of official Cal classes are also given thru the Extension, to allow non-degree students to take them, and the credit is accepted so the FPF student is able to take a semester of classwork and earn credit 'as if' they had entered in Fall. In Spring you officially become a Cal student but are right on pace with those who officially entered in Fall. It is a pretty cool program without much downside, IMO.
They pretty much quarantine all the FPF students in a small dorm room for the semester and then let you out during the spring. With the budget cuts and all, I can't imagine it being that much better today.
All kidding aside, yes you will be with fall admits (and continuing students) if you get UCB housing. If you don't, there are a few off-campus housing (i.e. Telegraph Common) that you can look into.
Actually plenty of off campus housing as most students live outside of the dorms.
Physically, the dorms are 'off campus' as well, if you pull up the map of the school from the website and look at Units 1, 2 3, Clark Kerr and Foothills, you will see they range from across the perimeter road (Foothills), most several blocks away, to CK which is a bit more of a hike. Interspersed between those dorms are apartments and houses in Berkeley, a good majority of which are housing students. Most leave the dorms after the first year. It is great to be in the dorms initially to meet new people when you are first here, but the advantages of the apartments, houses, co-ops and other choices over university residences are pretty compelling.
It's only about a 15 minute walk and you can always take the bus or bike. Also, English classes are held on campus, so you'll have less distance to English than others living in the Units. For other dorm options, Units 1 and 2 are closest to the FPF building, and Unit 3 is in between FPF and campus.