Spouses & Children

Spouses and children of international students and scholars are part of the Western community too!  You are always welcome to contact ISSS with any questions or concerns and we encourage you to get involved in University and local activities.


Spouses, domestic partners, and dependents (aged 18-23) of members are also eligible for Rec Center membership.

Spouses of WWU faculty and staff may access  Western Libraries using the Courtesy/Community Card.

Some  AS Clubs  are open to community members.  Contact the club you’re interested in for more information.

Holders of certain dependent visas are not allowed to work, but there are other ways to stay active and engaged.  The  Whatcom Volunteer Center  can put you in touch with local organizations in need of volunteers.


The  Bellingham Public Library  has a number of programs for children, including story times during the day for children age 3 and under.

The WWU Associated Students Child Development Center (CDC) is a NAEYC accredited early childhood education (children 2-5 years old) program serving student parents and working professionals of Western Washington University. Tuition for student parents is based on income and is subsidized by the Associated Students. Enrollment is not guaranteed as the CDC often has a waitlist. Visit their website to submit an application.

If you have school-age children, contact the  Bellingham Public Schools  for information on enrolling your child in the local school system.  Public schools provide a free, tax-funded education for children from kindergarten (age 5) through high school (age 18). There are also many pre-schools, daycares, and private schools in the area.