Home

students pose on a cliff behind wilting bushes

Greetings from ISSS!

International students and scholars are valued members of the Western community. We welcome about 180 international students from over 35 countries.  

We provide assistance with:

  • immigration issues: maintaining F-1 or J-1 immigration status, processing benefits,  OPT and taxes workshops
  • practical matters: health insurance, employment requirements, safety, transportation
  • social and cultural adjustment: activities, connecting to on-campus resources

We work to promote cross-cultural exchange throughout the University, and invite all members of the Western community with an interest in global issues and identities to take part in our many events and activities.

International Activities

group of students at Ebey's Landing

Western’s International Buddy Program is designed to help the new International students transition smoothly to Western’s campus and Bellingham, and to create opportunities make global friendships and share cultures. The program coordinators organize a number of group activities every quarter—most are free or low-cost!

people kayaking on a body of water

Current Western students may join any quarter and participate as much as your schedule allows.  For more information contact:  wwuinternationalbuddies@gmail.com .  The program coordinators will contact you and pair you with a buddy who shares some of your interests. 

student presenters and chef at the banquet

Every winter quarter, student volunteers work with the University's executive chef to reproduce authentic dishes from their home countries, which form the centerpiece of this elegant event.

ISSS News

ISSS scholarship opens for applications!

ISSS is pleased to announce that we are now accepting applications for the 2020-2021 International Student Scholarship.  …

ISSS office operating remotely

Please note staffing changes in our office due to COVID-19 restrictions and WWU policy.  Your health and safety are very important to us. 

We will…

Check out Resources for Spring Quarter!

Current international & exchange students, please join this Facebook group for Spring…

Coronavirus & Travel Updates

Please monitor updates and see Frequently Asked Questions on WWU's Coronavirus…

Meet ISSS Students

Emily sailing

Major:  Communication Disorders

I fell in love with Lakewood, Western’s facility on Lake Whatcom, and joined Western's sailing team. I had never sailed before but the team was willing to teach me. Today, they are the biggest family I have here in Bellingham.

Emily Tsan
Malaysia
student in ISSS office

Major: Cybersecurity

Many students in our program competed on the Collegiate Cyber Defense Club. We had fun and got experience with real-life applications. The competitions were in Seattle and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory where we also got to meet big sponsors such as Boeing, Google, NSA, and the Department of Defense.

Ky Tran
Vietnam