FIUTS advances international understanding through cross-cultural experiences, student leadership, and community connections.
Welcome to the University of Washington!
Pre-Arrival Email #1 for Winter Orientation
On behalf of the Foundation for International Understanding Through Students (FIUTS), I would like to welcome you to the University of Washington! We are thrilled that you are joining our community.

Your international student orientation program is produced by FIUTS, a non-profit organization that was founded on the UW campus in 1948 to promote international understanding through friendship. My name is Amy Bergstrom, and I am the Manager of Student Programs at FIUTS. I will send you an email each week until you arrive with important information about your orientation, the UW and Seattle. Please send me an email if you have any questions. You can learn more about FIUTS by visiting our website and liking our Facebook page.
ISS Tip of the Week:
International Student Services (ISS) is the University of Washington department that advises students about the benefits and restrictions of F-1 and J-1 visa status. ISS and FIUTS work closely together to help ensure international student success, but ISS is the place to go with all visa-related questions. Each week in this email, ISS will provide a tip to help you learn more about issues related to your visa status.
Join the FIUTS UW International Students Group on Facebook to get a head start meeting other UW international students.
Orientations at the UW
Many orientation programs are offered at the UW for newly admitted students and scholars. Depending on your level and program you may have more than one orientation to attend.

Freshmen and Transfer Students: You should attend a minimum of TWO orientations: FIUTS International Student Orientation and a First Year Programs (FYP) Advising and Orientation (A&O) Session.

Graduate Students: You will probably attend two orientations: FIUTS International Student Orientation and a departmental orientation.

Exchange Students: You will attend FIUTS International Student Orientation, including the Exchange Student Session.
FIUTS International Student Orientation
Winter Quarter International Student Orientation begins on January 3, with additional activities through January 7. At Orientation, you will learn about the UW and the U.S., meet new people, and have an opportunity to begin exploring our beautiful region. You will also receive information on immigration, UW resources, health care issues, and the fun of living in Seattle!

It is strongly recommended that all new international students attend FIUTS International Student Orientation. Everyone should plan to attend the official welcome program on Tuesday, January 3.

FIUTS Orientation social activities are optional, but we do hope that you will participate as much as your schedule allows. All international students are automatically registered for International Student Orientation. You can preview the entire orientation schedule online!
Due to high demands, finding a place to live can be a challenge, especially if you are not familiar with Seattle. It is your responsibility to secure permanent housing, whether on or off campus. We recommend you use the housing resources on the FIUTS website to support your research. Here is a brief overview of your options: 

Short-term Homestay: The FIUTS Welcome Week Homestay Program is a cross-cultural friendship experience between an international student and an American host. As part of this program, you will spend up to one week in the home of a volunteer host. Your host will pick you up at the airport (if their schedule permits) and assist you during your first few days in Seattle. Please note: the deadline to apply for a Welcome Week Homestay is at least one month prior to your arrival in Seattle. Even if you already have secured long-term housing, you are welcome to participate in the FIUTS Homestay program for your first week in Seattle. Homestays last 7-10 days only.

On-campus Housing: If you are considering living on campus, you should apply for housing now. Apply as soon as possible because your housing assignment is based on the date your completed application is received. There is a $500 damage/security fee required at the time of application. Should you decide not to live in the residence halls, a percentage of that money will be returned, depending upon the date you cancel your application. If you live in the residence halls and your room is not damaged during your stay, the entire deposit will be returned to you. Visit the Housing and Food Services website to learn about options and apply for housing.

Off-campus Housing: The following public sites are also commonly used to find housing: Craigslist, Seattle Times Classifieds, and Housing UW group Facebook page with local listings. More tips and recommendations from past and current UW students on finding off-campus housing can be found on our website. 

Long-term Homestay: If you would prefer a longer homestay (three months minimum) with a host family, a variety of opportunities for Seattle area homestay are listed on our website.

Hotels: If you need a place to stay for a few days, you can find a list of hotels and temporary housing options on our website as well.
This is the first in a series of emails you will receive each week from FIUTS about pre-arrival topics. Please don't hesitate to contact the FIUTS office if you have any questions before you arrive.

Once again, congratulations on your decision to study at the UW! We look forward to welcoming you to Seattle in January! 


Amy Bergstrom
Manager of Student Programs
FIUTS: Foundation for International Understanding Through Students
Contact FIUTS