UW Graduate School

International Graduate Students

UW Core Programs works to hear and address the needs of international graduate students through resource sharing and tailored programming. We know it can be challenging for anyone to navigate the multiple offices and units at a large university. Working with tri-campus partners, we curate resources you may need, and help to point you in the right direction.  If you ever cannot find what you are looking for, please reach out — we love hearing from you and continually work to make our centralized resources more responsive to you.

Resources for International Students

Core Programs also features a quarterly professional development workshop for international graduate students with support from campus partners. Communication skills are key to all students in academic, professional and social settings. In particular, international graduate students can face challenges in a new cultural context. Moving from a different culture and being multilingual, it can help to hear from faculty and fellow students regarding effective strategies for participating in small group discussions, presenting ideas or papers in class or at conferences, communicating with faculty, and navigating the workplace.

We include current and past programming at the link below. Past programs include links to program resources, often including blogposts informed by highlights from the speakers. Core Programs looks forward to meeting you at an upcoming event!

Past Programming & Events

Spring 2017

Working in Industry with A Graduate Degree – Insights from Professionals

The following topics were addressed at the workshop though moderated panel discussion.

  • Learn career insights from professionals working at Microsoft and Amazon
  • Hear about ways to make the transition from graduate school to industry
  • Get an understanding of workplace culture in industry
  • Network with speakers and fellow graduate students and postdocs
  • Enjoy free food and refreshments during the reception

Panelists: Moderated by Dr. Kelly Edwards, Associate Dean for Student and Postdoc Affairs

  • Dr. Sumit Basu, Principal Researcher, Microsoft
  • Dr. Luna Dong, Principal Scientist, Amazon
  • Dr. Roopesh Ranjan, Senior Research Scientist, Amazon
  • Dr. Jessica Tran, Design Researcher, Microsoft

Relevant Downloadable Documents: Event Flyer | Event Program | Relevant Blogposts

Winter 2017

Communicating with Faculty — A Workshop for International Graduate Students

For international graduate students, communicating with faculty from a different cultural context can be stressful when you are unsure about how to communicate. This event introduced different approaches to make this process easier.

At this workshop, a panel of faculty members from across the disciplines have:

  • Shared insights on how students can communicate effectively
  • Discussed strategies to minimize, and navigate, miscommunication

Following the panel discussion, students got an opportunity to have one-on-one conversations with panelists about their concerns and develop their own strategies for communicating with faculty.

Panelists: Moderated by Ziyan Bai, Graduate Research Assistant at the Graduate School

  • Mari Ostendorf, Professor, Electric Engineering
  • Wendy Thomas, Associate Professor, Bioengineering
  • Xiaosong Li, Professor, Chemistry
  • Kelly Edwards, Professor, Bioethics
  • Jennifer Tee, Graduate Advisor, Public Health

Relevant Downloadable Documents: Event Flyer | Event Program | Relevant Blogposts

Autumn 2016

Communication Skills for International Graduate Students

The workshop was co-facilited by doctoral students who have combined professional backgrounds in working with English-as-Second-Language students, public speaking, and teaching. The workshop aimed to help international graduate students:

  • Learn about cultural differences and communication styles
  • Discuss communication skills in and out of the classroom
  • Practice tips for effective communication and networking skills
  • Develop strategies for real world communication situations in academic, professional and social settings

Relevant Downloadable Documents: Event Flyer | Event Handout | Relevant Blogposts

Past Events

Events in 2015-2016

Spring 2016

Working in Industry with A Graduate Degree – Insights from Microsoft Research Professionals

Industry Panel Featured:

  • Dr. Sumit Basu, Principal Researcher, Microsoft Research
  • Dr. Hrvoje Benko, Senior Researcher, Microsoft Research

Winter 2016

Communicating with Faculty – A Workshop for International Graduate Students

Faculty Panel Featured:

  • Gino Aisenberg, Associate Professor, Social Work
  • Gojko Lalic, Associate Professor, Chemistry
  • John Sahr, Professor, Electric Engineering

Autumn 2015

Communication Skills for International Graduate Students

Co-Facilitators: Monica Cortes Viharo, School of Drama & Ziyan Bai, College of Education


Resources for International Students

All UW graduate students have access to any of our Graduate School resources, regardless of where your graduate program is located. Some of the campus-based resources are limited to students enrolled at that campus (UW Bothell, UW Seattle, UW Tacoma) due to student fee restrictions. Check out the Tri-Campus Resources for Grad Students and Advisors page from Core Programs for more details about Bothell and Tacoma campus units.

Administrative Support & Resources
  • Graduate Enrollment and Management Services (GEMS)

Provides advising to graduate students on Graduate School policies and processes in matters related to student academic progress and graduation.

Provides visa and immigration advising to international students who are at the UW on F or J student visas including lawful status, employment and travel policies, 1-on-1 advising is available.

Provides a variety of services including: Class registration (except for students in fee- based programs who register through PCE or individual program); Official transcript; Enrollment verification; Classroom schedules, etc.

Tuition and fees billing and postings, disbursement of aid, and payment acceptance for students on all three UW Campuses; Monitors student tax information and provides appropriate forms for students to file tax returns

Awards and coordinates all major financial aid and loan programs for graduate and professional students as well as need-based institutional grant programs.

Provides low-cost legal representation and advice to UW Seattle students (located in HUB 306); See Brochure online.

Serves as a resource for international student exchanges with a commitment to collaboration, ethics, and professionalism.

Academic Support & Resources
  • Your Graduate Program

Program specific supports: academic guidance; faculty advisors and mentors; peer support; Research tools and resources

Finding Your Community

Official student government that represents all graduate and professional students on campus. GPSS advocates for and supports graduate students through professional development and community building activities.

FIUTS connects university students to local and global communities through programs that build international awareness, cross-cultural communication, and informed leadership; See International Student Handbook online.

Growing Your Teaching Skills

International TA Program: Workshops at the annual TA/RA Conference; individual consultations for international TAs; a collection of online teaching resources

Launching Your Careers

Workshops for Career Development, 1-on-1 Career Counseling, Career Fairs, Networking Events, HuskyJobs (online job & Internship search system), Workshops and online resources specific to international students

Taking Care of Yourself

Starting points for students in distress and in need of multiple levels of support to encourage academic success by building relationships and connecting to resources. Other critical services are also available to support students experiencing distress including The Student Care ProgramThe Suicide Intervention ProgramSARVIS (Sexual Assault and Relationship Violence, Information Service) and Alcohol and Other Drug Education.

One doctor appointment per quarter, drop-in nurse consultations, and crisis counseling that are available at no further charge, ISHIP 1-on-1 counseling

Free, confidential short-term individual, “Culture, Diversity and Belonging Group”, couples, & crisis counseling, career assessment (for a small fee), light therapy, referral, and consultation

Provides a safe environment for voicing concerns and developing constructive options for addressing challenging situations through consultation and assistance.

Night Ride; Husky Nightwalk; Personal safety information; Violence Prevention and Response Training; Hotline: 685-SAFE.

On-campus housing options for graduate students are plentiful and varied. Singles and families are encouraged to contact Housing & Food Services for information.