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Why the University of Washington?

The University of Washington looks forward to welcoming over 200 visiting exchange students to Seattle every year. Learn more about why the UW may be a great fit for you!

Since our founding in 1861, the University of Washington has been a hub for learning, innovation, problem solving and community building. Driven by a mission to serve the greater good, our students, faculty and staff tackle today’s most pressing challenges with courage and creativity, making a difference across Washington state — and around the world.

The University of Washington has been recognized as the #1 most innovative public university in the world and is consistently ranked among the top public universities in the world. We welcome over 45,000 students from over 100 countries around the world. Find your community and learn from award-winning faculty and discover your path with more than 180 majors to take classes from.

The UW has been home to 7 Nobel Prize winners; 17 MacArthur Fellows; 189 members of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; and 193 fellows in the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

The UW in Seattle features a campus renowned for its beauty in the midst of a vibrant, multicultural city. Seattle, also known as the Emerald City, is a multicultural, international hub of innovation, known for its tech startups, music scene, aerospace engineering and, of course, plenty of coffee. Our students, faculty and staff find a breadth of local opportunities for research, public service, the arts, entrepreneurship and beyond. And when it comes to having fun, whether you’re catching a live show, paddle boarding on Lake Washington or shopping at Pike Place Market, Seattle’s possibilities are endless.

There is so much to do in Washington State while on your exchange, but if you are in need of a few ideas, we have a few for you:

  • Go for a hike! Find hikes near and far through the Washington Trails Association (WTA)
  • Explore downtown Seattle  – Pike Place Market, the first Starbucks, Museum of Pop Culture, The Space Needle, there is no shortage of things to do close by.
  • Go to a sporting event! – No matter what time of year you are in Seattle, there will be sports events to attend:
    • Mariners (Baseball)
    • Seahawks game (football)
    • Kraken game (Hockey)
    • Sounders or Reign (Soccer)
    • Or stay close to home and visit one of the many sporting events on campus.
  • Visit a National Park
  • Take a road trip. Visit beautiful British Columbia (2 hours north) or spend the weekend in Portland, Oregon (2 hours south). Explore the variety that Washington has to offer from Leavenworth to Spokane.

  • Visit UW Today to find out more about what is happening at the University of Washington today
  • Read The Daily, our student-run newspaper
  • Follow the UW on Instagram and Facebook