Responding to the continued needs for community and support, we are very excited to launch CIRCLE of Friends (CoF), a space where international undergraduate students can hang out, make friends, get support, and much more! 

  • Starting in January 2022, you can drop in the CoF Zoom room every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday any time between 5:30-8:30pm, to study, to connect, or to engage. We can play board games, do quiet study, or listen to music, so we don’t have to be alone or feel isolated.
  • In February 2022, CoF will move to HUB 141 to continue supporting you and your friends in person. 
  • Through CoF, you can also make 1:1 appointments with peer advisors and CIRCLE staff throughout the week. This is meant to be a safe space where you can chat about your unique situations and get help. Feel free to book your appointments here.


CoF Program Goals:

  • Provide a welcoming space where international undergraduates can hang out, make friends and find a community they belong.  (Connection & Community)
  • Create a safe space where international undergraduates can share their stories, voice their concerns, and support one another (Safe space)
  • Connect international undergraduates with campus resources to support their academic and professional growth. (Resources and support)
  • Create fun activities to enhance cultural understanding, as well as social aspects of being a college student in the U.S. (Social life)
  • Build a low-stake (or casual) environment for students to reach their full potential (Leadership)

Chat 1:1 with CIRCLE Staff or Peer Advisors:

As part of the CoF program, now you can book a 30-minute appointment with a CIRCLE Staff or a Peer Advisor. Each of them specializes in different areas to help you succeed in your college life, including transitioning, student life, financial aid, student care, academic resources. Read their bio below before you make an appointment.

Dr. Felipe Martinez, Executive Director, he/him

As Executive Director, I am responsible for the coordination and implementation of CIRCLE programs and services to support international students. To achieve this goal, I collaborate with a variety of departments to streamline communication and holistic support for students. Feel free to chat if you find yourself in need of financial support, navigating the University or ways to reach your full potential as a student.

Languages: Spanish & English


Dr. Dan Zhu Assistant Director, she/her

As Assistant Director, I oversee Unite UW, RCG, and CIRCLE of Friends. After growing up in China and graduating from Beijing Normal University, I became a Husky to get my PhD focusing on international student English writing. I am passionate about helping international students learn how to make informed decisions. Feel free to chat with me about English writing and social issues from parental communications to cultural understanding.

Languages: Mandarin & English


Sarah Pauling, Unite UW Program Manager, she/her

As Program Manager, I run a 7-week on-campus intercultural exchange program that brings together domestic and international students through deep conversation and exciting activities in the Seattle area. I grew up in Michigan, but my interest in international education was born as a study abroad student in Sevilla, Spain. Come talk to me about Unite UW, cross-cultural communication, making friends in Seattle, or the nuances of intersectional social identity (especially queer!).

Languages: English & Spanish


Xinyue Yu, Program Assistant, she/her

I am a first-year Linguistics major. I am from China, but lived in South Korea for 7 years and studied in the Us for middle and high school. I was a facilitator for Unite UW and FIUTS. I would love to chat with you about how CIRCLE can help you. I am happy to talk about campus resources, the transition to US schooling, cultural barriers, personal issues, and other concerns. I love studying new languages and learning about new cultures! I also like to read, cook, skate, hike, and golf.

Languages: Mandarin, Korean, and English


Heyang (Dean) Dai, Peer Advisor & PCL, he/him

I am a junior Finance & Information Systems major in the Foster School of Business. I am also a two-time Peer Connection Leader for the RCG program and a Unite UW participant. Feel free to chat with me about application tips on Math, Applied Math, Econ, ACMS, and Business majors, as well as academic resources, RSOs, and internship opportunities. I enjoy making friends with people from different backgrounds and cultures. I also love Mandarin Pop-Music, workout, boba tea, coffee, movies, guitar, and travel.

Languages: Mandarin & English  


Muskan Bawa, Peer Advisor, she/her

I am a Junior in Computer Science major, focusing on the Data Science track. I am also minoring in Computational Finance and Risk Management. Besides being a PA, I am also a teaching assistant of CSE 142, team lead for the Core and AI vector in my research lab and the Director of Social Media and Marketing with Unite UW Student Association. Having been an Orientation Leader this summer, I am also well versed with UW Seattle campus resources. 

Languages: Hindi & English


Vanessa Sutjitro, Peer Advisor & PCL, she/her

I am a senior Finance and Information Systems major at Foster School of Business, focusing on machine learning and information technology. I am also the Head of Treasury in ISAUW (Indonesia Student Association in University of Washington). You can chat with me about personal struggles (academic/non-academic), homesickness, on-campus learning opportunities, or off-campus activities. I love learning new languages, cultural exchange, event planning, and social media!

Languages: English, Indonesian, Korean, and very basic Mandarin