Life in Seattle & SU

Frequently Asked Questions

Life in Seattle and at Seattle University


What are some of the traditions of the 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, the roll-out of our successful Men’s and Women’s Basketball Teams at Midnight Madness, Wearing Red Clothing on Friday’s to symbolize your SU pride, a massive music festival in the Spring called Quadstock, SU Homecoming Weekend, the SU Film Festival, and the 450 person International Dinner in January! 

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How large is Seattle University's international student population?

  • Currently, Seattle University’s international student population includes 850 students from approximately 60 countries around the world. International students add to the rich cultural diversity of the campus which is greatly celebrated at SU.

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What is the weather like in Seattle?

  •  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’ve probably heard, Seattle is cloudy, rainy, and chances of snow particularly in the winter months.

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What is around Seattle University?

  • There are a lot of great sites to see around campus! Seattle U is about two miles away from Downtown Seattle, surrounded by great food and coffee shops, and near some great outdoor options. Check out the list of activities and ways to experience Seattle here!

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Student Life

Is public transportation available from campus?

  • 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. A discounted transit pass or ORCA card  is offered only to students without a parking permit from the Department of Public Safety and Transportation.
  • There is also the Night Hawk Safety Escort/Patrol program that provides a safe and convenient way of traveling throughout the surrounding community for SU students and affiliates during evening hours. The Night Hawk is a free shuttle to all addresses within 6 blocks of campus. The service currently offers shuttles from 6 pm to Midnight, Sunday through Thursday, and the service time extends from 6 pm to 2 am on Fridays and Saturdays.

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Does the university offer off-campus activities and events?

  • Seattle University has many events that take place both on and off campus. The International Student Center has its own events (such as International Week), 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 Seattle U Calendar.

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 What co-curricular activities are available to students on campus?

  • 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 (New Beginnings), the United Nations Luncheon, International Education Week, The International Dinner in January, and company visits.

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 Is there wireless internet access on campus?

  • 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.

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 Are there computer lab facilities on campus?

  • 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.

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 How can I get a Washington State ID or Driver License?

  • 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: WA Department of Licensing.

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 Should I carry my immigration documents (for example, I-94, I-20 and Passport) with me at all times?

  • 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 SU, your I-20 must have a current signature from an International Student Immigration Advisor (Designated School Official) prior to travel outside of the US. You should come to the International Student Center 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 bring your I-20 to the ISC a week before you plan to leave the United States.

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 Is there an on-campus health center if I need non-critical 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.

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 Is it mandatory to buy student health insurance?

  •  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 at the beginning of your first quarter when you register for classes. We have an annual premium, so if you enroll in the fall term you will be covered from September 1st through August 31st of the following year.
  • For further information about requirements to waive Seattle University Insurance, please visit our Insurance page: here.
  • New students will be emailed a link from the International Student Center if they wish to waive SU’s policy. Each quarter there is a deadline to fill out the waiver and the deadline is a firm deadline so be sure to waive prior to the deadline date which is usually the end of the first week of classes.

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