Guide for Admitted International Students

Congratulations on your admission to Western! We look forward to welcoming you as one of the newest members of the Western family. Below is a guide to help you set yourself up for a successful transition to our campus community.

Confirm Your Enrollment

You have successfully completed the first and biggest step in becoming a Western student—welcome! You have a lot to look forward to here. Your next step to joining our community is to confirm your enrollment.

Confirm Now

Accepting Your Offer

When you are ready to finalize your decision, you can easily accept or decline your offer of admission.

Accept your offer and pay the non-refundable $280 enrollment confirmation fee – your confirmation isn't complete without it. This one-time fee helps pay for new student orientation, advising, and academic support. We encourage you to submit your enrollment confirmation as soon as possible to receive information about course registration, orientation programs, and to activate your Western email address. International Student & Scholar Services will send your I-20 form only after we have received your $280 enrollment confirmation fee.

Once you have been notified of your admission you can confirm and pay using our online payment system.

Please note: Enrollment is contingent upon your continued academic success, including completion of any conditions communicated to you by the Office of Admissions in writing or via email, satisfactory completion of all attempted coursework not currently on file, and receipt of official final transcripts and financial documentation.


Declining Your Offer

If you do not intend to come to Western, please decline your offer so your enrollment space can be considered for another student. 


Get to Know Us Better

In consideration of the safety of our visitors and campus community due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) we are currently unable to accommodate on campus visits. But, there are other ways to familiarize yourself with our campus and community!

Campus Tours

Take a virtual tour, or check out our student-led tour on YouTube.

Life in Bellingham

You can become more familiar with the Bellingham community on our website. 

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter & Snapchat

  • Facebook: Join the You're In! WWU New Students 2020 Facebook group and get to know other new students who will be headed to Western.
  • Instagram: Western on Instagram
  • Twitter: @WWU on Twitter
  • Share the news! Spread the word using #wwubound.
  • See what campus and Bellingham are like through the eyes of our students on Snapchat! @wwuadmissions

Contact Academic Departments

Refer to Western's website for specific departmental information, or contact the campus operator at (360) 650-3000.

Watch the Mail

Check your email regularly as you will receive information related to interests identified on your application for admission as well as other information about Western.

Stay in Touch

If the Admissions staff can be of assistance at any step of the way, feel free to contact Casey Egger, International Admissions Counselor, directly at or (360) 650-4764. Casey can help connect you with others on campus. 


Plan Your Finances

Western is nationally recognized for providing excellent education at an affordable cost, with Forbes, Kiplinger and Washington Monthly magazines ranking Western as a top value in education.

As you review estimated annual expenses, it is helpful to know that payment for tuition, fees, housing and meals is due at the start of each quarter. Also, remember that costs for transportation, books, supplies and personal expenses can be reduced depending on your lifestyle. 

Financial responsibility

International students must assume all responsibility for student expenses. Proof of sufficient funds is required for the visa application process to gain entrance to the United States. These funds must be available from sources other than potential employment. Acceptable evidence may take the form of notarized bank statements in U.S. funds in the student's name, a scholastic award letter from a foundation, agency, government, industry, etc., or a notarized letter from an individual sponsor indicating willingness to provide support for the specified amount and accompanied by a verified bank statement.

Please note: all financial evidence you submit to Western will also be required when you apply for your student visa; therefore, you are encouraged to secure duplicate documents.


Western offers a variety of scholarships for new and continuing international students, including the International Achievement Award for fist-year and transfer students with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.


Find a New Home

Living on campus can enhance your overall college experience. While not required, most new students live on Western's beautiful Bellingham campus, and you should definitely consider doing so. Find a new home and submit your housing application online by the priority deadline.

Tip: Connect with potential roommates using WWU's MyRoommate, the WWU New Students Facebook Group, and the WWU On-Campus Housing Facebook page. Also, the Off Campus Living site is available for those looking for additional housing options.


Prepare for Orientation and Registration

After you confirm your enrollment, International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS) will send you information about orientation, registration for classes, immunization requirements, health insurance, etc. The International Student Orientation is mandatory; therefore, please plan your travel accordingly. Please contact ISSS at if you have questions about orientation.

The New Student Services/Family Outreach Office also hosts orientation sessions for new students before classes begin. Detailed information about our advising and orientation program will be sent to you after you confirm your enrollment. 


To Do Before Arriving on Campus

View your Countdown to Western Checklist

Keep track of your status in several important areas including your advising and orientation reservation, receipt of final transcripts, measles clearance, housing assignment and more with your Countdown to Western checklist. 

Please note: the Countdown page only displays information for students enrolling in the next available term (currently, spring quarter).

Activate Your Universal Account

After you have confirmed your intent to enroll at Western, you will need to activate your Universal Account. This is especially important because you won't be able to make your orientation program reservations or register for classes without it. Your Universal Account provides technology resources to enhance your academic experience, including the myWestern web portal and a web-based email account, on-campus computer labs, personal storage on network servers, wireless internet access, and laptops available for check out. Students are required to check myWestern email regularly, as official university correspondence will be delivered to myWestern email accounts.

Plan for Your Major

Because you may need permission to register for courses that require prerequisites, major or pre-major declaration, etc., transfer students are encouraged to contact academic departments prior to course registration. You can view our Programs of Study, which include contact information for each academic department, in the University Catalog. We also encourage you to visit the Academic Advising Center as it includes information about the many academic resources available to Western students.

Send Updated and Final Transcripts

Be sure to make arrangements for your college to submit a final transcript, with your degree posted if applicable, as soon as it is available and no later than:

  • Fall & Summer Quarters: July 15 *
  • Winter Quarter: January 31
  • Spring Quarter: April 30

* Because we include all coursework received by June 1 in your initial credit evaluation, we encourage students who are admitted for summer and fall quarters to send updated official transcripts that include winter quarter/spring semester grades as soon as they are available.

It is your responsibility to insure that official college transcripts are received in the Office of Admissions by the deadlines above. To determine which items we have received in our office, including transcripts, please visit our Application Status website (due to high processing volume there may be a several week delay in posting of final transcripts). A credit evaluation of your college coursework will be provided to you after you have confirmed your intent to enroll; every effort will be made to provide you with an initial transfer credit evaluation prior to course registration. For students entering summer or fall quarter, your initial transfer credit evaluation will generally not include any college coursework completed spring quarter. To ensure you can register for classes that may have prerequisite requirements, you are advised to bring unofficial copies of your transcripts to your orientation program. Transfer credit information can be found on our Transfer Credit Policies page.

Measles Immunity

Proof of measles immunity is required for all students born after January 1, 1957. Appropriate documentation must be on file with the Student Health Center in order for you to register for courses. Detailed instructions will be provided after enrollment confirmation.

Math Assessment

Most students who plan to register for a math course at Western, including transfer students, must first take the ALEKS Math Placement Assessment (MPA) online. The MPA also serves as a prerequisite for some courses in other departments such as Astronomy, Chemistry, Computer Science, Decision Sciences, Economics, Environmental Science, Environmental Studies, Geology, Physics and Science Education. Students must first activate their Universal Account in order to access ALEKS. Students will need to take the ALEKS assessment at least once as a proctored exam so as to assure the most accurate placement assessment. Western will email you instructions on how to initiate the ALEKS as an online and proctored assessment in early May.


Tie Up Loose Ends

Campus Transportation Options

Western is a residential community where you don't need to have a car and using alternative methods of transportation is encouraged. There are a variety of transportation options at Western, including:


Bicycles are the preferred form of transportation on campus and there are over 900 parking spaces within the academic core. All residence halls provide bicycle storage, and there is a student-run bike shop at Western's Outdoor Center that provides access to bike tools, bike repair, and bike parts and supplies. You can register your bicycle through University Police.

Bus Pass

The student ID card works as a bus pass on all Whatcom Transit Authority (WTA) routes. Buses run regularly through campus, downtown, and Whatcom County. Most students choose to take the bus over driving a car to get around town.

Personal Vehicle

While limited parking is available on campus, you can expect to pay about $275 for an academic year parking permit. If you choose to bring a car, you must apply for a parking pass through Parking Services.


Western has partnered with Zipcar to bring self-service, on-demand car sharing to the area, with discounted hourly rates for students, faculty, and staff.

Disability Access Center

The Disability Access Center (DAC) serves students who have a wide variety of disabilities. The DAC provides prospective and admitted Western students an equal opportunity to access all aspects of University life through services and programs designed to foster intellectual, emotional, physical, and social development. They partner with over 1,500 students a year. Students who intend to access services provided by the Disability Access Center must contact the office prior to enrollment to insure timely coordination of services.

Email and Mailing Address Changes

Please let us know about email or mailing address changes as soon as possible by emailing Be sure to include your full name and Western ID number.