Student Life

The Center for International Relations & Cultural Leadership Exchange (CIRCLE) is the UW’s primary portal to resources, community, and activities that help international and domestic students maximize their Husky Experience, together.


CIRCLE streamlines critical support for international students and engages both domestic and international students so that they thrive at UW and in the global economy.

Our Vision

The Husky Experience is a global experience. No matter where students are from, their exposure to a global society and world class education begins the moment they arrive on campus. CIRCLE is a key component to delivering on UW’s promise to our community and our world; it is a logical extension of our values, and further reinforces our role as a leading global university.

Our Pillars

Streamline the international student experience

CIRCLE connects several offices to improve the quality, consistency, and efficiency of UW’s international student support.

Maximize the Husky Experience for all students

CIRCLE harmonizes and bolsters the domestic and international student experiences at UW through shared engagement opportunities and leading-edge programming.

Prepare students to thrive in a global economy

CIRCLE better prepares both domestic and international students for a globally-interconnected, knowledge-based economy by equipping them with the skills, experience, and network to thrive in a global economy.

Invest in our local economy and community

CIRCLE helps further position Seattle and Washington as hubs for global innovation, education, and commerce by forging globally-minded leaders among domestic students and deepening international student connections and engagement within our communities.

Our Work in Action

Our Partners

CIRCLE centralizes, coordinates, and partners with several services, organizations, and units that support students, such as:


The Foundation for International Understanding Through Students (FIUTS) is a nonprofit organization based on the UW campus and focused on promoting international understanding and community through cross-cultural experiences, student leadership, and community connections. FIUTS offers a comprehensive range of programs serving international visitors and the Puget Sound community including homestays, mentoring, leadership development, educational outreach, orientations, and cultural events.

Unite UW

Unite UW is an on-campus cultural exchange program that builds bridges between domestic and international students at UW. Unite UW promotes cross-cultural engagement, meaningful community, and leadership development through a unique seven-week program that pairs domestic and international students for weekly cultural bonding activities, retreats, and structured community-building.

Our Leadership

felipe-martinez-headshotFelipe Martinez | Executive Director, CIRCLE
In his role as executive director, Felipe is responsible for the coordination and implementation of programs and services to support international students. To achieve this goal, Felipe collaborates with a variety of departments to streamline communication and holistic support for students. Prior to this role, Felipe worked at the UW and other institutions on student success and retention programs and initiatives to support students on their path toward graduation.

era-schrepfer-headshotEra Schrepfer | Executive Director, FIUTS
Era Schrepfer has been executive director at FIUTS since 2006. In her role, she has collaborated with the FIUTS community board, student board, and staff to grow the organization, expand leadership programming, and build strong partnerships both on and off campus. Before joining FIUTS, she worked in leadership and operations at several local nonprofits and served in the U.S. Peace Corps in the Dominican Republic.

dan-zhu-headshotDan Zhu | Assistant Director, CIRCLE
In her role as assistant director, Dan oversees the Unite UW program and implements programs and services for international student engagement. Having been a Husky for ten years, Dan is completing her Ph.D. dissertation on international students’ writing and writer identity. After graduating from Beijing Normal University, Dan taught in China, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Dan is passionate about helping international students succeed at the University of Washington and beyond.

Support our Students

Your support has a lasting impact on the experience and trajectory of international and domestic students at UW. Please consider making a donation today.

Support CIRCLE

Contact us


Telephone: 206-685-4004

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