Study Abroad

Pre-Departure Checklist

The following is a checklist of items to help you as you prepare for your time here as an exchange student at the University of Washington. Please know that many of these steps cannot be completed until you have received your official acceptance items.

UW NetID and MyUW Account

Your UW NetID and password are tools for accessing your MyUW account. As an exchange student, your NetID will also be your UW email username and will remain with you throughout your program. You will only be able to create your UW NetID after official acceptance.  

You must have your MyUW set up to:

  • access your academic schedule and your grades
  • access your UW email
  • access your tuition and fees statement
  • update your mailing address
  • apply for housing
  • register for classes

International Student Services (ISS) Online Information Session
All new international students are required to complete the ISS Online Information Session. You must complete the ISS Online Information Session before you can register for classes. If you have U.S. citizenship, you are exempt from this requirement. **Please note that it typically takes two business days for the ISS registration hold to be removed.

Proof of Measles Immunity
Before you can register for UW courses, you must submit proof of your immunity to measles. Review the Measles Requirement information on the Hall Health website and follow the directions to submit the required documents. If you have questions or concerns, please contact the Hall Health Center directly.

International Student Orientation and Travel Arrangements 

The Foundation for International Understanding Through Students (FIUTS) coordinates EMBARK, a program for all new international students at the beginning of each quarter. EMBARK is designed to help you learn about the University community, U.S. customs and lifestyles, and the Seattle area. It is also a great way to explore our city and meet other UW students. Exchange Students are expected to attend the special Exchange Student Session that is offered as part of your EMBARK programming. You should plan to arrive in Seattle according to their recommendations for your term of entry.

In addition to attending EMBARK, please complete U101: Online Pre Advising & Orientation Modules created and hosted by First Year Programs. To access the modules, please log into FYP’s reservation system.

Immigration Information
You are responsible for understanding and complying with all terms of your J-1 visa status while in the U.S. The ISS office will help you navigate immigration regulations and procedures so please review their new student information carefully.

Health Insurance
Federal and state laws require that international students maintain adequate health insurance while attending the UW. All international students in J-1 status are required to purchase the UW International Student Health Insurance Plan (iSHIP) and as a result you must agree to purchase this insurance before you will be allowed to register for courses. However, this requirement may be waived for exchange students as long as you meet certain eligibility criteria and have comparable insurance that meets the J-1 requirements. To see if you are eligible please review the insurance waiver process. If you will be at UW for more than one quarter, select “ANNUAL” insurance when applying for the waiver. Should you be granted a waiver, the charges for the UW Student Health Insurance will be removed from your MyUW account. For health insurance waiver inquiries, please email

Register for Classes
After successfully completing the ISS Online Information Session, immunization form approval, and securing insurance you will be able to begin registration during Period II for your quarter of entry. If you will attend UW for more than one quarter you will be able to enroll for subsequent quarters during Period I.