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Student Life

Unite UW: Once united never divided

Unite UW is an on-campus cultural exchange program that builds bridges between domestic and international students at the University of Washington.

Program Goals

Unite UW’s goal is to create a mutually-enriching international experience in a local setting. The program aims to engage student participants in cultural exchanges to enhance global understanding, overcome barriers and boundaries, inspire lasting international relationships and unify our campus.

About the Program

Unite UW connects domestic and international students at the UW through a unique seven-week program. Each Unite UW section has 30 participants who are paired up (domestic-international) for weekly cultural bonding activities. Small groups of pairs, led by a facilitator, will meet outside the program to encourage further cultural exchange. This complimentary program is offered every quarter in the academic year, with no credit bearing.

Join Unite UW for a fun, meaningful, and transforming experience!

Applications for Fall Quarter

If you are interested in a fun, cross-cultural exchange opportunity that can lead to lifelong friendships and increase your global perspective. Students interested in participating in Fall Quarter can apply now! If you enjoy leading small groups, have a passion for relationship building and like to initiate activities, you can apply to be a Unite UW facilitator.

  • Applications for participants are due September 28th at 11:59 PM.
  • Applications for facilitators are due September 21 at 11:59 PM.

Tentative Schedule

Note: Once selected, you can choose to be in the Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday program, but you have to attend the same program each week.

Weeks into

the quarter

Workshops & Events Dates & Time

(Tuesdays)

Dates & Time

(Wednesdays)

Dates & Time

(Thursdays)

Week 1 Facilitator retreat on Vashon Island, Sat (9/30) 8am-Sun (10/1) 1pm (Facilitators and program leaders only)
Week 2 Kick-off night with (A or B) Challenge: Wed(10/4)@5:30-7:30pm
Greater Seattle Scavenger Hunt on Sat (10/7) 9:30am-4pm
Week 3 Cultural leadership workshop Tu(10/10)@5:30-7:30pm Wed(10/11)@5:30-7:30pm Thur(10/12)@5:30-7:30pm
Retreat at Pack Forest on Fri(10/13)-Sun(10/15) : Murder Mystery party, round table, hiking, etc.   

Departure from UW N22 Parking Lot @2:30 or 5:30pm on 10/13; Return to UW the same location @1pm on 10/15

Week 4 Campus resource fair Tu(10/17)@5:30-7:30pm Wed(10/18)@5:30-7:30pm Thur (10/19)@5:30-7:30pm
Haunted House(Optional) on Friday night (10/20)
Week 5 Pumpkin carving Tu(10/24)@5:30-7:30pm Wed(10/25)@5:30-7:30pm Thur(10/26)@5:30-7:30pm
Corn Maze+Halloween party (Optional) on Sat (4pm-8pm)
Week 6 Cultural fair + potluck Tu(10/31)@5:30-7:30pm Wed(11/1)@5:30-7:30pm Thur(11/2)@5:30-7:30pm
Week 7 Hot pot night + honey toast (Optional) Tu(11/7)@5:30-7:30pm Wed(11/8)@5:30-7:30pm Thur(11/9)@5:30-7:30pm
Week 8 Closing night: Thanksgiving Dinner for all: Wed (11/15)@5:30-7:30pm
Coming up:  Unite UW Ball at HUB North Ballroom on the Thursday of November 30

 

Stay connected

Connect with us on Facebook

Like the Unite UW Facebook page!

Hear from our alumni

“As a domestic student, my experience with Unite UW has broadened my understanding of the international community here at the UW. Cross-cultural understanding and the relationships I’ve made have helped me realize the potential and many opportunities to expand my own global understanding.”

Thomas P. , domestic first year student

 

“I’m a shy person, myself, and it was difficult to talk to new people before this program, but since I joined, many people tried to talk to me and I felt like it’s my new American family!”
Erika A., second year exchange student

 

“Unite UW experience was definitely one of the highlights of my freshman year. I learned so much from my partner, not only about him as a person, but also his family, views on things, people, school and life. After all, domestic and international students have so much in common… More than that, the time we spent together taught me to ask good questions and reflect on my past experiences. I really appreciated this opportunity to meet this new person who made me think and understand more than before.”
Xiange W., international first year student

 

“Our cultures and backgrounds are part of the stories we tell, and if we’re open to hearing these stories, they become points of connections. I’ve gotten to experience these connections over a lunch of Indian dosa, a Japanese cooking session, and today’s dinner of Mexican-American Chipotle. For me, these Unite UW interactions did not feel “cosmopolitan”, “international”, or any other buzzword — they were simply interactions with fellow people.”

 

“There are some stigma against international students on campus that even my perception of them were skewed. Unite UW helped me push down these stigma and barrier and encouraged me to reach out and build stronger relationship with people different than myself”

 

“Unite UW has challenged me to look at who I am trying to get to know, and who I am not. This inspires me to wonder about all the other people I pass on campus everyday. Where are they from? What is their story?”

 

“The stories, experiences and personality types that make up Unite UW are so incredible. Going on adventures, grabbing coffee/lunch, and supporting friends at events have brought us closer and bridged the cultural divide.”

 

“I love Unite UW because it puts individual connection in front of “political” slogan of cultural understanding. This family-like atmosphere promotes connecting & understanding of people around you, and cultural understanding follows. At this point, I find myself knowing a lot more of different cultures, but the friends and family I have here at Unite UW is indeed being put in the first place of my heart.”