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First-Year Highlights

Highlighting some of the achievements and successes of CIRCLE’s first year

November 1, 2020, marked UW CIRCLE’s one-year anniversary. Needless to say, our first year was quite eventful – full of quick adjustments in an effort to support students during the pandemic and meet them where they were. While we are not able to come together to celebrate in person, we did not want to miss an opportunity to share some milestones achieved during our first year.

We invite you to explore the updates and videos on this page, which highlight the impact that CIRCLE has had over the past year. The three student video testimonials below represent a sampling of the diversity of our international student population, while the data points highlight some of the great things we have been able to accomplish.

A message from the CIRCLE Executive Director

Our pillars

Engagement, support, and advocacy serve as the three foundational pillars of CIRCLE. Every program, intervention, and service is aligned under one of these pillars to provide a structure that helps in delivering a transformative Husky Experience. Expand each pillar below to learn more and to hear directly from our students!


A few engagement highlights:

  • 40+ workshops and events hosted in person or online
  • Launched the student-fueled “In the Loop” podcast and completed an 11-episode season with over 400 downloads
  • 600+ newly-admitted first-year students engaged in over 43 Regional Connection Groups
  • 274 domestic and international students connected through Unite UW, building lasting support systems and meaningful communities of belonging
  • Led and coordinated virtual International Husky Send-offs in Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Indonesia, India, Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand, Europe, and Latin America.


A few support highlights:

  • $12,000 awarded in emergency aid to UW international students who faced a sudden financial hardship
  • 56 individual student mental health support appointments facilitated via Let’s Talk from September 2019 to March 2020
  • 33 individual success coaching appointments, both in person and virtual
  • Individualized case management support to help students navigate University systems during times of distress


A few advocacy highlights:

  • 10 undergraduate students representing 7 different countries helped launch the first CIRCLE Student Advisory Board
  • CIRCLE staff supported students in the creation of the International Student Engagement Taskforce to elevate international student voices within the Associated Students of the University of Washington (ASUW)
  • CIRCLE and UW Counseling Center staff lobbied successfully for a reduction in copays for international students to utilize mental health services

Thank you!

With the support of countless campus partners, UW alumni, and donors, CIRCLE was able to answer the call to engage, support, and advocate for international students. It has been an incredibly humbling experience to see how different sides of the University have mobilized to help us be successful, in turn empowering us to best serve students. It really does take a village!

Here’s to a successful first year, and many more to come!

Fueling student success

Students holding hands in a circle in a field near the woods at a Unite UW retreatIf you would like to make a lasting difference for the academic, professional, and personal trajectory of UW students, consider a donation to CIRCLE. Your support fuels innovative programming and support resources that empower international and domestic students alike to connect to community, expand their horizons, thrive at UW, and excel in an interconnected world after graduation, even in the face of the profound impacts of COVID-19. CIRCLE helps Huskies from every corner of the globe make the most of their Husky Experience and prepares them to make a meaningful difference in our world.

Support Our Students