At UW, we are a global community. Our graduate students are engaged in global health, global affairs, diplomatic relations, cultural exploration, and more. And 20% of our graduate student population are international students! Our international students and collaborators are key to our innovative, impactful university. In this Core Programs newsletter, we wanted to focus on particular needs that members of our university community may be experiencing. Whether you are yourself an international graduate student or work alongside an international peer, we hope there is something here for you.
For International Graduate Students:
Funding. We know it can be challenging to find funding sources for your education and research when coming from outside the country. Our Graduate Funding Information Service has compiled a starting list of fellowships and funding sources that are not limited to U.S. citizens. Also, sign up for the GFIS blog.
Work and Internships. Similarly to funding, it can be difficult to know if you are eligible for certain internship, practicum, or work opportunities. The International Student Services office is of course a great resource, but so is our Career and Internship Center. The Career and Internship Center has created an online information guide with tips for students on F-1 status who meet certain eligibility criteria for internships.
Working with Faculty. It can be difficult for any student, but particularly if you come from a different culture than the dominant one here, to know how to approach faculty and engage them in your research and future interests. Check out the upcoming workshop Core Programs is hosting. The workshop includes a panel of faculty who will discuss effective skills for communicating with faculty.
Self-Care. Like many graduate students who have moved to Seattle to attend graduate school, you may be out of your element and miss family, friends, and the comfort of a familiar “go-to” place. Be gentle with yourself. Graduate school is demanding and it is a marathon (not a sprint, though it feels like it at times). Do what you need to do to recharge and restore your energy.
Connect with Community. Self-care is critical, and part of that is connecting with your community. Whether it is through a student organization, connecting with family members on Skype, or spending time with friends, classmates, colleagues–find and build your support network. It also often helps to connect with people who share similar life experiences with you. Hearing from others who are in the same situation helps normalize yours and eases the anxiety you may have.
For Non-International Grad Student Peers, Faculty, and Staff:
Check in. If you are faculty or an instructor who advises, mentors, or teaches international graduate students, including Muslim students, be mindful that recent immigration orders have caused undue stress, anxiety, and a very palpable fear of being sent home or being harassed. Reach out to your students, or peers if you are a fellow student, by simply checking in and seeing how they’re doing. Not everyone will want to talk about their experience, but students often appreciate just being asked and acknowledged.
Challenge preconceived notions. In different ways, and to varying degrees over time, we are all socialized to learn and internalize misconceptions about communities we did not grow up with or have rarely interacted with in real life—if at all. Regardless of the background we have, we can learn to debunk and challenge stereotypes about any group of people.
We are always looking to grow our resources and programming for international graduate students so let us know if you have something good to share, or a need we at Core Programs in the Graduate School can work towards addressing.
Kelly, Jaye, and Ziyan
Core Programs Team
Additional Campus and Self-Care Resources
- Foundation for International Understanding Through Students (FIUTS), UW Seattle
- Counseling Center, UW Bothell
- Student Counseling Center, UW Tacoma
- Counseling Center, UW Seattle