FIUTS connects students with local and global communities through programs that build international awareness, cross-cultural communication and informed leadership.
Welcome to FIUTS and UW!
Pre-Arrival Email #1 of 8
Welcome to the University of Washington from the Foundation for International Understanding Through Students (FIUTS)! Our community is looking forward to welcoming you. ​FIUTS is a non-profit organization located on the UW campus that delivers International Welcome Weeks, as well as a variety of events and programs throughout the year. FIUTS will be a great resource for you during your time at the UW.

My name is Amy Bergstrom, and I am the Manager of Student Programs at FIUTS. For the next eight weeks, we will send you weekly e-mails about various topics to help you prepare for your arrival to the UW and Seattle. Feel free to e-mail our orientation team with any questions during this exciting time!

You can learn more about FIUTS by visiting our website and liking our Facebook page. You'll find answers to many FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) on important orientation topics online and, to help with your upcoming transition, we have also prepared a handbook for international students that contains practical information and tips compiled by past international students and staff.

We want to do the best job possible in preparing for your orientation. Please complete our pre-arrival survey to let us know what you are hoping to get out of your experience. We are excited to welcome and support you!
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.
FIUTS Welcome Weeks Homestay Program
Hello everyone, my name is Samantha Novak and I am the Manager of Community Programs. If you choose to apply for the FIUTS Homestay Program, I will be processing your application and matching you with your future homestay host.

The FIUTS Welcome Weeks Homestay is a great way to make a local connection as soon as you arrive in Seattle! In this program, you will spend about one week (7-10 days) in the home of a local volunteer host. Your host will pick you up at the airport (if their schedule permits) and provide support during your first few days in the U.S. A FIUTS homestay offers a great cross-cultural experience, and hosts often become your home away from home and first friends in Seattle. Even if you have secured long-term housing, you are welcome to participate in the program for your first week in Seattle. 

Application deadline: The deadline to apply for a FIUTS homestay is at least one month prior to your arrival in Seattle. Please submit your application as early as possible because placement is not guaranteed. APPLY NOW! 

Questions about the Homestay program? Email

If you're not interested in staying in someone's home but wish to make a local connection, consider our Friendship Connection Program!
Plan Your Arrival
Online ISS Information Session
Well before arriving or registering for any classes, all international students are required to complete the ISS Online Information Session. The session includes important information you will need to know throughout your stay in the U.S. and should be completed as soon as possible. International students holding F or J visa status, including graduate, undergraduate, and exchange students, will not be able to register for classes until this online session is completed.
Early Fall Start (EFS) for Freshmen
Get an early start on college! Registration remains open for EFS -- a special program designed to help freshmen achieve early success at UW. Earn 5 credits and make a smooth transition to university life one month before autumn quarter begins. Learn more about Early Fall Start

If you choose to participate in EFS, you will participate in a special EFS International Student Orientation on August 20. This orientation will include completing your required immigration check-in and special thematic sessions to introduce you to student life in the U.S. and at the UW. Visit our Early Fall Start page for other important information!
Orientation Programs
All new international students at the University of Washington on F-1 or J-1 visas are required to attend a FIUTS International Student Orientation Session, during which you will connect with other new and returning students, prepare for your cultural transition to the UW and U.S., and complete your compulsory immigration check-in process.

Freshmen and transfer students are automatically registered for their International Student Orientation Session when they register for their First Year Programs Advising & Orientation program. Matriculated graduate students must register for their chosen International Student Orientation Session by July 31. Exchange students (graduate and undergraduate) must attend the Exchange International Student Orientation Session and do not need to register for their session. See the International Welcome Weeks website for more information about dates and registering if necessary.

We recommend that you arrive in Seattle with plenty of time before your International Student Orientation Session and participate in as much of International Welcome Weeks as you can. Make sure to check the date on your visa before you schedule your flight to Seattle. Most international students can enter the U.S. up to 30 days before the start date on their I-20 or DS-2019.
From now until International Welcome Weeks, we will send you weekly messages with important information for new international students and scholars. Should you have any questions in the meantime regarding your preparations for studying at UW, please do not hesitate to contact the FIUTS office by e-mail at or by phone at +1.206.543.0735.

Want to get a head start connecting with other Huskies? Join the FIUTS UW International Students Facebook group to meet both new and current students in our community.

Thanks for reading. We look forward to welcoming you to our amazing city and university soon!

Amy Bergstrom
Manager of Student Programs at FIUTS
Contact FIUTS