International Student Services

Study Abroad

ISS is very supportive of international students who wish to study outside the U.S.

When you study abroad as an international student, you still must adhere to the requirements of your immigration status. This means that you need to continue to meet the full-time enrollment requirement for F-1 students (12 credits for undergraduate students, 10 credits for graduate students).

Many study abroad programs follow the semester system. If you choose a spring semester study abroad program, for example, you’d be outside the U.S. for winter and spring quarters at the UW. The credits for your study abroad program would need to transfer back so that you are full time for both quarters, so this would end up being the equivalent of 24 UW credits.

When you come back to the U.S. to resume your studies at UW, you’ll need to make sure that you have a valid F-1 visa. If your visa is expired you must renew it before travelling back to Seattle. You should also check the validity of your travel signature before you make plans to return to the U.S.

If you’re considering studying abroad, ISS and the Study Abroad Office recommend that international students choose to do so during winter and spring quarters. These quarters offer the smoothest transition for international students. While it is possible to do so, studying abroad in your final quarter can present challenges to your immigration status – if you’re thinking about this option, we recommend that you consult with an ISS advisor.