Frequently Asked Questions

Looking for answers? We have them right here for you.

New Students

Pre-Arrival Information

The Education USA website has information to help prepare you for your experience studying in the United States. The site can also assist you in connecting with resources in your home country. We also recommend the Study in the States government website for more information about maintaining your visa status.

Information for international students can be found here: EducationUSA | ( and Students | Study in the States (

I applied to Seattle University, was accepted, and I have completed the “Declaration of Finances” form. When should I set up an appointment at the U.S. Embassy/Consulate in my home country to apply for a visa?

Congratulations on your acceptance to Seattle University! This is a very exciting time to join our community. You cannot set up your visa interview at the US Embassy/Consulate until you have been assigned a SEVIS ID Number, which can be found on your SEVIS Form I-20, also known as the “Certificate of Eligibility for a Nonimmigrant Student”. Your will receive this via email but will need to print it out (in color if possible) for your visa interview.

You must pay a fee to be enrolled in SEVIS, and you will need to retain your proof of payment for presentation during your visa interview at the US Embassy/Consulate. The SEVIS fee is $350 for F-1 students and $220 for J-1 exchange.

For more information on how to pay the SEVIS fee, visit You must bring proof of payment to your US Embassy/Consulate Interview.

Make an appointment for a visa interview by contacting the nearest US Embassy/Consulate. You’ll find that information at

The waiting time for an interview appointment for applicants can vary, so early visa application is strongly encouraged. Visa wait times for interview appointments and visa processing time for each US Embassy/Consulate worldwide is available on the US Department of State’s website, and on most embassy websites.

You can check appointment times at this website: Visa Appointment Wait Times (

You’ll find that information at Most interviews with the US Embassy/Consulate require you to bring SEVIS fee proof of payment (Form I-901), the interview appointment confirmation receipt, and necessary identification documents.

  • New Students (First Time under F-1 Status) to the United States

If you are a new student to Seattle University, the Admissions Office ( will issue your Form I-20.

  • Transfer Students

If you are transferring to Seattle University from another school within the US, the International Student Center (ISC) will issue your Form I-20, once we have access to your SEVIS record. Transfer students must request a transfer of their SEVIS record to Seattle University in their final term at their current school.

Are there any requirements for travel to Seattle University or can I just come to Seattle? What about traveling out of the United States once I am already at the University?

With your initial entry Form I-20, you are only allowed to enter the United States 30 days prior to the “Program Start Date” as stated on your Form I-20. For example, if you were beginning your studies at Seattle University in the fall, you would be permitted to come to Seattle as early as late August, 30 days prior to Program Start Date under "Program of Study" on your I-20 (Due to required new student orientation, please note this date may be earlier than the first day of classes.)

When you first enter the US to come to the university, you need to bring your I-20, passport, admissions letter, and visa to present at your port of entry. These are also the documents you need to keep with you each and every time you leave and then re-enter the United States. The ISC does not need to see the original documents and you can upload them via your Admissions Portal.

Once you begin your studies at Seattle University, your Form I-20 must have a current signature on page 2 from a Designated School Official (DSO) prior to travel outside of the US. You will receive this updated Form I-20 from the ISC. The process for getting a signature takes 3-5 business days, so make sure you reach out in time for your travel dates.

Seattle University requires all matriculated undergraduate students be vaccinated against Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR). We require documentation of either two doses of the MMR vaccine or a blood test showing immunity to measles.

Please enter your immunization information and upload a copy of your immunization documents (need to have your name and student ID) onto the patient portal. Include your name, student ID number and date of birth on the documents you submit.

Patient portal:

In addition to the required vaccines, Seattle University strongly recommends Hep B (Hepatitis B), Tetanus (TdAP or Td within last 10 years) and Meningococcal vaccines as well as the normal childhood vaccine series.  Please see these and other recommendations from the American College Health Association at and the Center for Disease Control at

Each dependent must have a Form I-20 issued in his/her own name. Designated School Officials can do this in SEVIS, as they are creating a record for initial attendance. Keep in mind that the “Financial Information” section must be completed before the “Add Dependent” section, which means that dependents’ financial information must be gathered prior to creating their record.

Dependents must present their I-20 and other required documents (such as proof of relationship to the F-1 student) to the embassy or consular office.  Once the application is approved, dependents should then present their F-2 visa stamp and I-20 to the immigration officer as they enter the United States.

Arrival Information

Sea-Tac Airport is located approximately 15 miles south of downtown Seattle, just off Interstate-5. Taxis, shuttle services, light rail, and buses run regularly between Sea-Tac Airport and the city. Since several hundred international students arrive each year, it is impossible for staff to pick students up at the Airport. Here are a number of transportation options you can use.

  • Taxis (Yellow Cab 206-622-6500) cost approximately $35 for a one-way trip.
  • Shuttle Express (425-981-7000 or will take you to the University for about $36. Shuttle Express is next to the Airport's Ground Transportation Office.
  • Link Light Rail ( connects to the fourth floor of the Airport Garage. The Link Light Rail runs from 5 am to 1 am Monday-Saturday and 6 am to midnight on Sunday. Trains arrive and depart every 7 to 15 minutes, depending on the time of day.
  • Metro Buses ( stop on International Boulevard (State Highway-99) and South 176th Street by the Link Light Rail Station. Departure times are displayed at the bus stop. Pick up printed bus timetables at the Ground Transportation Information Booth on the Baggage Claim level.
  • Seattle Streetcar

When you arrive in the United States and go through Immigration/Customs, you must be prepared to show the Immigration Officer your passport, I-20 (for J-1 students, you must show your DS-2019), visa stamp in your passport, letter of acceptance to Seattle University, and documentation proving your financial resources. If everything is in order, the Immigration Officer will stamp the date of your arrival on your I-20 and issue an I-94 number (Arrival/Departure Record) which you can retrieve online:

 It is important to print out your I-94 number after you land in the US. The Officer will return your I-20 (DS-2019 for J-1 students) to you. If you encounter any problems while you are being inspected by Immigration, please contact the International Student Center at 206-296-6260 or 206-296-5990 if after hours or on the weekend. Also, please make sure these items are uploaded to your Admissions Portal. 

Whether you are living on-campus or off-campus, you must complete our ISC virtual check-in process. See the steps to Check-In!

English Proficiency Requirement

If English is your first language, then the TOEFL or IELTS exams are not required. Most applicants for whom English is a not the first/native language must demonstrate English Proficiency regardless of English language studies, academic history, residence in the United States or other English-speaking countries, or immigration status. See the Proof of English Proficiency requirements on the Admissions website.

Graduate and post-baccalaureate applicants who have earned a bachelor or advanced degree at Seattle University or at a recognized college or university in the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Ireland, New Zealand or Australia, and who have continued to reside in countries where English is the primary language for at least two years prior to submission of the application, will be considered to have met the English proficiency requirement.  For other exceptions to the English proficiency requirement, see International Graduate Students Admissions Requirements.

Registration and Academics

All first-year undergraduates will complete a math placement test upon arrival to determine math course selection. Students with English proficiency scores in the ELCB range will also take an essay placement test upon arrival. Some students may have their ELCB requirement waived based upon the results of their essay placement test.

The Welcome Workshop is mandatory for all incoming international students and is an extremely beneficial orientation. The workshop provides important information to help you meet your educational goals and to make the most of your experience at Seattle University. You will learn all you need to know about the university, and you will make new friends from all over the world! The workshop is offered every term, and with the exception of summer (24RQ), is held before classes begin.

First-year undergraduates will be pre-registered for classes upon arrival. Transfer students and graduate students will need to meet with an Academic Advisor to register for classes and this is encouraged — transfer students will hear from their academic program prior to the term.

After your first quarter, you can register on MySeattleU. Under the “Registration” category, you can find your registration time (“My Registration Dates”) and check whether you have any holds that prevent you from registering (“Student Restrictions”). Undergraduates should be aware that throughout the freshman year an advising restriction is placed on your account until meeting with an advisor. You will not be able to register for classes until the advising restriction is removed. 

Transfer students will have an advising restriction in place for their second and third quarters at SU, or until they have completed 30 credits. Once you have seen your advisor, you will have your advising restriction lifted.

  • International students must be full-time in their studies.
  • Undergraduate students: completing at least 12 credits each quarter.
  • Graduate students: completing at least 6 credits each quarter.
  • Law students: completing between 7 and 12 credits each semester.

Do not take less than the required course load for any reason without first consulting with the International Student Center (ISC). Studying less than full- time jeopardizes your stay in the United States and may disqualify you from receiving OPT and CPT employment, travel authorization, school transfer, and an extension of your Form I-20. There are legitimate reasons why you might need to drop below full-time status, but you need to get approval from the ISC before you reduce your course load.

We offer transitional English as a Second Language (ESL) study through the English Language and Learning Center (ELLC). For more information, please visit their website. The ELLC requires you to take a written essay placement test to indicate your academic success at Seattle University. The courses offered in the ELLC are highly advanced, with a specific focus on university-level reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills. Upon completion of the ELLC courses, students are able to enroll into the reading and writing core curriculum courses. For more information check out their website at English Language Learning Center.

Seattle University has a wide variety of courses. Please see the Seattle University Course Catalog for course options or speak to an advisor about specific cultural classes that you may be interested in taking.

Academic advisors are automatically assigned to you by Seattle University and are chosen from within your specific department of study.  You will be notified of your academic advisor through an email sent to your Seattle University email account.  You can also find the name of your academic advisor on SU Online by following the instructions below:

  • Log into MySeattleU.
  • Select the Student Menu.
  • Select “My Profile” under the Academic Profile section.

Your advisor’s name will be listed in the “Academic Information” area.

You can find his/her email, phone number, and location in the Online Faculty/Staff Directory.

Yes — you can set up an appointment with your advisor by contacting them using the contact information provided to you in the automatic email sent to your Seattle University email account. If you are a transfer student and happen to be in the area of the university prior to the first term you are enrolling and you are highly encouraged to contact your advisor early so you can register for classes. The earlier you can register the better.


Federal financial aid is just available to US citizens and permanent residents, however many undergraduate and some graduate international students receive scholarships. New international students, both incoming freshman and undergraduate transfer students, are eligible for merit scholarships which are selected by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.

These scholarships are based on the strength of a student’s academic and extracurricular record. No application is required. We encourage international students to investigate all available options in their home countries and outside funding organizations. International students may also get useful information at

To find out how to pay your bill, students are encouraged to visit Paying My Bill.

You can view and pay for your bill on SUonline or in person at Student Financial Services.

  • Log into MySeattleU
  • Select the Student Menu
  • Select “View My Bill” or "Make a Payment or Pay a Deposit: under the Student Billing and Payment section

For your convenience, the University offers a variety of payment options. Payments may be made by Visa, MasterCard, or electronic check through SU Online, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Please note credit card payments will include an additional 3% cost for processing. In addition, payments may be submitted by mail or in person at Student Financial Services, University Services Building, Room 105. For more detailed information about making a payment, please visit Student Financial Services. Payments in cash are not accepted.

While we cannot support or endorse your use of any of the banks below as we are a private institution that does receive federal financial aid and we are not in the business of supporting local banks - international students have told us they use the banks listed below. There are quite a few banks and credit unions in the area. The following are closest to campus: 

Bank of America
1201 Madison Street

301 Broadway E

Key Bank
1224 Madison Street

Wells Fargo
Locations near 98122

ATM located in west entrance of the Student Center.


Yes, all international students can work on-campus for a maximum of 20 hours per week. F-1/J-1 students who are in status and taking classes full-time are eligible to work on-campus part-time during the school year and full-time during vacation periods. To find listings of on-campus jobs, you can use your Handshake login: Sign In | Handshake (

Working on campus does not require getting any written permission from the International Student Center (ISC) or the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), and you can start working as soon as you begin your studies at Seattle University. Working off campus is only possible under certain conditions, and always requires prior approval from the USCIS and/or the ISC. Do not work off campus without prior authorization!

Yes, you need a Social Security number to work. Social Security numbers are generally assigned to people who are authorized to work in the United States and are used to track and report your wages to the government.

To apply for a Social Security number you will need a letter from your supervisor, a letter from the International Student Center, a completed Application For A Social Security Card (Form SS-5), your passport and immigration documents. First, you must request a job offer or hire letter from your supervisor, which you will provide to the International Student Center to request a separate verification letter for your application for a Social Security Number. You will then need to apply in person at the Social Security Administration office: The United States Social Security Administration | SSA

If you are looking for an internship a great place to start is to talk with your academic advisor and/or an advisor in the Career Engagement Office (CEO), located in PAVL 110. Career Services is a fantastic resource for all students seeking an internship or a full-time job upon completion of your studies. The Career Services staff can advise you on internship search strategies, help with your resume and cover letter, interview techniques, and other job search tools. Career Services also organizes helpful workshops and several career fairs throughout the school year. The Office also has databases that can specifically assist international students in their job search process. The Albers Career Center also offers a wide range of services for business students looking for internships and career assistance.

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is available to students who must work as part of their degree requirements, either non-credit or for credit. You should speak with your academic advisor about your degree requirements, and if you are planning to do CPT, you will need to meet with an academic advisor for the CPT application process. If you would like to do a paid internship related to your major, but not as part of a degree requirement, you must apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT).

Yes and no. The only way an international student may participate in a paid internship experience is through Curricular Practical Training (CPT), and in order to do Curricular Practical Training you must receive credit which counts towards your degree, or use a portion of your allowable OPT. If you are volunteering and it is purely a volunteer position which does not include compensation of any kind — including parking, bus pass or stipend — then you do not need to apply for CPT.

For international students, working off-campus is only possible under certain conditions and always requires prior approval from the USCIS and/or the ISC. International students can, however, work on-campus for a maximum of 20 hours per week. F-1/J-1 students who are in status and taking classes full-time are eligible to work on-campus part-time during the school year and full-time during vacation periods.

Working on campus does not require getting any written permission from the International Student Center or the USCIS, and you can start working as soon as you begin your studies at Seattle University. The best resource for finding jobs off-campus is on Handshake.

Life in Seattle and at Seattle University

Jesuit Tradition: St. Ignatius of Loyola founded the Society of Jesus — the Jesuits, as they are commonly called — more than 450 years ago. Seattle University is one of 28 Jesuit Universities in the United States, and more than 100 around the world.  The Jesuits are well-known and respected as educators. A Jesuit education challenges students to think clearly, think for themselves, and test commonly accepted knowledge. Academic curiosity becomes a lifelong habit. However, Jesuit education means more than acquiring knowledge. The Jesuits believe what you do with that knowledge is just as important.

At Seattle University, students are encouraged to grow personally and spiritually, testing their values, developing a sense of responsibility for themselves and their community, and learning about making ethical choices in their lives. They learn to balance self-reliance with interdependence, knowledge with spirituality, and mind with heart.

The main student life traditions at Seattle University revolve around the annual Christmas Tree Lighting, wearing Red Clothing on Friday to symbolize your Redhawk pride, Homecoming Weekend, and of course our annual International Dinner in February!

Currently, Seattle University’s international student population includes over 1,000 students from approximately 80 countries around the world. International students add to the rich cultural diversity of the campus which is greatly celebrated at Seattle University, and we appreciate our students bringing the world to our campus.

Seattle's climate is temperate, with mild winters (average temperature of 45° F/7° C) and warm, dry summers (average temperature of 75° F/24° C).  As you’veprobably heard, Seattle is cloudy and rainy, with chances of snow in the winter months.

There are a lot of great sites to see nearby campus! Seattle University is about two miles away from downtown Seattle, surrounded by great food and coffee shops, and near some great outdoor options. Check out the Neighborhoods of Seattle on Redhawk Hub intranet.

Yes. There are several King County buses that stop at Seattle University: the 2, 3, 4, 9, 12, 43, 49, 60, 43, and 49. To plan a trip on the bus, visit King County Trip Planner. We are on the local streetcar line and close to the Capitol Hill Light Rail station. A discounted transit pass or ORCA card is offered only to students without a parking permit. See ORCA Transit Pass on Redhawk Hub intranet.

Seattle University has many events that take place both on and off campus. The International Student Center has its own events (such as the Mariner’s game), which are advertised through ConnectSU. There are also many non-ISC events that take place over the course of the year — please see the campus calendar for a schedule of upcoming events on Explore - ConnectSU (

The Seattle University community is a very active one! We have many undergraduate and graduate clubs that students may participate in. These clubs vary in category, including academic/honor societies, community service, cultural/religious, political and sports clubs. If there is not a club that meets your needs, you may even form one of your own if you have enough interest.

Students may also choose to participate in the Student Events and Activities Council (SEAC) and student government organizations, the Associated Students of Seattle University (ASSU) and Graduate Student Council (GSC). For more information, see the Center for Student Involvement.

Aside from clubs and organizations, SU Recreational Sports has an extensive intramural sports schedule where students have the opportunity to play flag football, soccer, softball, basketball, and much more! They also offer outdoor adventure trips, and there are recreational sports facilities in the Redhawk Center. For more information on Recreational Sports, visit: University Recreation.

Finally, a great way to stay active and involved with the ISC is to click on Events in the ISC website. During each academic year the ISC plans International Student Orientation (Welcome Workshop), Thanksgiving luncheon, International Dinner, and more.

Yes, all buildings on campus have ample wireless coverage. Connecting to Seattle University wireless is very similar to connecting to any public Wi-Fi hotspot. For specific directions, please have a look at the Information Technology Support's (ITS) support page: Wired and Wireless.

Yes, Seattle University has several computer labs available to students: Engineering (ENGR) 310, Pigott (PIGT) 206, and the Lemieux Library (1st, 2nd & 3rd floor). All computers have student internet and network access (including file and print server) and email. For computer lab times click here:  Computer Labs and Library hours.

An active Seattle University Campus Card and network account is required to access computer lab stations. There are also two computers available for student use in the student lounge located in the back of the International Student Center.

You can come to the International Student Center (ISC) to request a letter for a Washington State ID or Driver's License. You will take your letter and your other documents (Passport & I-20) to a Department of Motor vehicles location: WA Department of Licensing.

You do not need to have your immigration documents with you at all times. However, you need to keep your I-20, passport, I-94, admissions letter, and visa with you each and every time you leave and then re-enter the United States.

Once you begin your studies at Seattle University, your I-20 must have a current signature from a Designated School Official prior to travel outside of the U.S.. You should come to the International Student Center (ISC) to have page 2 of your I-20 signed every 6-8 months. The process for getting a signature takes 3-5 business days, so make sure you reach out to the ISC a week before you plan to leave the United States.

Health Care

Yes — the on-campus health care center is located in Bellarmine 108. The health center offers on-campus healthcare at minimal cost for many of your healthcare needs. The Student Health Center provides the following specific services: wellness physicals, women's annual exams, diagnosis and treatment of acute illness, management of chronic medical problems, treatment of injuries, treatment of skin problems, STD and pregnancy testing, medication management for depression, immunizations, allergy shots, eating disorder management, laboratory services, and medical supplies.

Yes, to ensure that you will be able to get the medical care you need, you will be required to purchase the health insurance offered at Seattle University, unless you provide proof of insurance under a comparable plan. The insurance premium will be charged to your account on your tuition statement for each term. You can find more information about our plan here: Gallagher Student Health & Special Risk (

For further information about requirements to waive Seattle University Insurance, please visit the Insurance page here: Gallagher Student Health & Special Risk (

Each quarter there is a deadline to fill out the waiver and the deadline is firm so be sure to waive prior to the deadline date which is usually the end of the first week of classes.