Skip to content
Parents & Families

International students

Welcome to Washington!

Behind each of the nearly 8,000 international students at the University of Washington, there is a network of family and supporters who helped make their academic journey possible. Congratulations on reaching this important milestone!

We know that helping your student navigate college life so far from home can be an added challenge. That’s why the UW has dedicated staff to help international students and families with everything from visa and immigration logistics to academic advising and English language practice. A good place to start: the UW Parent & Family Guide, available in English, Spanish, Chinese and Korean

Seattle is a world-class city that is connected to the knowledge-based, global economy. We’re here to help your student feel at home in their new city and take advantage of all the opportunities available on and off campus.

At your service

From visa guidance to tax workshops, International Student Services (ISS) staff are dedicated to helping your family with the logistics related to the international student experience. Find information about immigration policies, student employment, expenses and more. ISS staff are available for one-on-one consultations through the Front Desk and Drop-In Advising Hours. ISS also maintains a list of common questions on travel, remote learning and government policies related to the pandemic.

Visit International Student Services

UW’s portal to the world

Meet one-on-one with a success coach. Make new friends. Build leadership skills. The Center for International Relations & Cultural Leadership Exchange (CIRCLE) is here to help international students find their campus community and connect to UW resources. CIRCLE also produces a podcast called In the Loop. It’s a great way to learn more about the UW international student experience and stay up-to-date on what’s happening on campus.

Learn more about our UW Circle Team

Common international student questions

Common international student questions

New international students must pay the New Student Enrollment and Orientation Fee (NSEOF) using Flywire or Western Union instead of the UW online payment system. Other fees and tuition may be paid using Flywire, Western Union or a wire transfer. Visit the UW Student Fiscal Services website for more information.

Students on an F-1 or J-1 visa may be employed on campus for fewer than 20 hours per week. Off-campus employment is only allowed with prior authorization from either ISS or Immigration. Review the F-1 employment options or J-1 employment options for more information about employment eligibility. Visit ISS to learn more.

Seattle, the largest city in the Pacific Northwest, offers its residents the best of city and outdoor living. From cultural destinations like the Seattle Art Museum to scenic outdoor spots like Mount Rainier National Park, there is no shortage of places your student can explore during their time in the Emerald City. Many of the city’s top destinations are located on or near the UW campus. Learn more about attractions, lodging and dining across the city at Visit Seattle. Interested in outdoor recreation? UWild is a great way for your student to explore Washington’s renowned wilderness areas and public lands.

All matriculated international students in F-1 or J-1 status are required to purchase the UW International Student Health Insurance Plan (ISHIP). Review the details of the plan carefully, including the effective dates of coverage. We advise you to purchase this insurance for the entire year so that you will be covered whether or not you are enrolled each quarter.

The UW has several programs and resources to help keep students safe, including the Husky NightRide shuttle and a campus alert system. In case of an emergency situation, they should call 911.

Did you know?

The UW’s International & English Language Programs pairs English language learners with fluent English speakers for weekly conversation sessions. It’s a fun way for non-native speakers to improve their English fluency, make a friend and learn about American culture.