International Student Services

About ISS

Mission – What We Do

ISS serves F and J students at the University of Washington by providing immigration advising and support, allowing students to navigate their path toward academic achievement, career success, and holistic wellness.

Vision – What We Aspire to Do

ISS advocates for international student success and contributes to the cultural diversity of the community by promoting education and global citizenship.

Values (*UW values)


We are international educators. We collaborate with students, colleagues, administrators, elected officials, and government agencies to develop policies that enhance opportunities for international students.


We engage in the university wide community of learning, research and scholarship by serving students throughout their academic careers and beyond.


We empathize with and support students as they navigate complex university and immigration systems. We empower students to make informed decisions and recognize the diversity of their experiences.


We believe that international students are essential members of the University of Washington community. We work to remove barriers and elevate student experiences to enrich the global community.

Global Engagement

We build community with students and campus partners through meaningful dialogue, learning, cultural exchange, and celebration.

ISS Advisors and Staff

  • Alisa Sweet, international student advisor
  • Chris Dessert, ISHIP counselor
  • Edward Farnham, program assistant
  • Jo Anne Marie Ancheta, international student advisor
  • Justin Mellish, assistant director for student services and compliance
  • Kim Lovaas, director
  • Leana de la Torre, international student advisor
  • Megan Serenco, SEVIS coordinator
  • Sharece Bunn, assistant director for international student advising
  • Sophia Schuessler, international student advisor
  • Vacant position, international student advisor
  • Vacant position, international student advisor
  • Vacant position, international student advisor

Campus Partners

ISS works with various campus partners to provide a well-rounded experience and provide essential services for the international student community at UW.


UW Admissions can answer questions regarding undergraduate admission to UW or I-20s.

Undergraduate Admissions
Phone: 206-543-9686

Graduate Enrollment Management Services (GEMS)
Phone: 206-685-2630

International Student Health Insurance Program - ISHIP

ISHIP coverage is provided to meet the health insurance requirement by international students at UW.

Counselor: Mr. Chris Dessert
Website: ISHIP
Phone: 206-543-6202
Location: Room 187B Hall Health Center

First Year Programs - FYP

FYP provides Advising & Orientation (A&O) sessions where undergraduate students connect with an adviser, select and register for classes, and learn how to get involved at UW.

Website: First Year Programs
Phone: 206-543-4905

Foundation for International Understanding Through Students - FIUTS

FIUTS is an organization at UW that helps build community and enhanced experiences for international students. FIUTS hosts International Welcome Weeks, Embark sessions, arrival information, homestay & and can help with temporary housing.

Website: FIUTS
Phone: 206-543-0735

International Scholars Operations - ISO

ISO assists with UW sponsorship of overseas visitors for teaching or research purposes at UW.

Website: H-1B Temporary Workers
Phone: 206-685-8847

International & English Language Programs - IELP

IELP offers several English language programs and two programs for J-1 visa holders to undertake significant research projects at UW.

Website: IELP
Research Website: IELP – Research Programs
Email: Prospective Students
Email: Current Students
Email: General Inquiries
Phone: 206-543-6242

UW Bothell: Center for International Education - CIE

CIE provides services for international students enrolled at UW-Bothell.

Website: Center for International Education
Phone: 425-352-3876

UW Tacoma: International Students and Scholar Services - ISSS

ISSS provides services for international students enrolled at UW-Tacoma.

Website: UWT International Student Services
Phone: 253-692-4762