Advice from Other Students

FIUTS has worked with thousands of international students since 1948, and our programming is designed to support students in building cross-cultural connections and accessing the resources they need for their success. But we know it can be helpful to hear from someone who has been in the same position as you. Current and former international students share their advice to creating a successful University of Washington experience.


What advice would you give to new international students to prepare them for a successful transition and orientation to the University of Washington?

“Be curious about everything and explore unknown things bravely because there is always surprise waiting for you in the front.”

"Start planning as much in advance as possible."

“Approach someone! Everyone loves to make new friends when they're in a new environment. I know I did.”

Be really active during the first days and weeks and make lot of friends because later all international students will split into smaller groups so it’s better to belong to one.

"Come Seattle earlier to prepare for the new life."

“Do not afraid of reaching out for help and making grammar mistakes. Once you reach out, you find almost everyone is friendly and warm hearted.”

"Try to spare some extra time on finding the classrooms."

“It's important to attend the events at the start as this reduces the anxiety and gets so many of your questions answered".”

"Follow the email from ISS or other departments from UW, please read and understand them."

“Take a step back to look at your culture and what really matters to you. Distance from home can give you perspective. Nostalgia can tell you even more about yourself and those that matter to you. You may feel alone at times but you never are. Reach out and make new friends even when it seems daunting. Take advantage of opportunities. Strike up conversations. Don't let the looks of someone and differences be a barrier for you to get to know them. That's what I've experienced is that everyone's really friendly and kind when you get to know them. And definitely go to camp! But make sure you wear the most comfortable shoes you can find. After square dancing for two hours, you'll be glad of the investment!”

Come prepared but don’t stress out.

"Pay careful attention to information sessions and take every bit of the advice given at orientation. Also, ASK QUESTIONS."

“Attend all the events. Be it Dawg Daze or FIUTS welcome week events. They really do make a lot of difference in your college transition phase.”

"Go to the FIUTS events! You get to meet other international students, as well as super nice facilitators who can answer lots of questions."

"If you're not staying on campus, then finding a place to stay can be challenging unless you have someone who can take you around the city!"

"Read information about the university as much as you can, International students Do's and Don’ts and attend FIUTS event because if you miss anything on your own, they will tell you."

"Be opened to new people and relations. Join at the beginning as many activities as you can."

Feel free to ask about what you need and don’t be shy about that.