International Students

International students are eligible and highly encouraged to participate in Early Fall Start! As an international student, you’ll have the chance to:

  • Become familiar with college life and routines, and explore the UW campus
  • Make friends with other new students
  • Work on your English language and writing skills
  • Earn five credits and get a head start on academics


International students can register for any Early Fall Start course, whether or not you have met the UW English proficiency requirement. However, students should select the right course for their language abilities.

There are two types of courses to choose from:

  1. English language and writing courses help prepare you for college-level study by improving essential reading, writing and communication skills.
  2. Discovery Seminars are intensive arts and sciences courses that offer an in-depth exploration of a specific subject.

English Language Proficiency Requirement

All international students must satisfy the UW English Language Proficiency Requirement (ELPR) upon enrolling at the University of Washington Seattle campus.  Students who have not yet satisfied the requirement have three options.

  1. Begin satisfying your ELPR during Early Fall Start by enrolling in one of the Academic English Program (AEP) courses — English 102 or 104. For help deciding which English course to take, email or call 206-543-6242.
  2. Challenge your standardized test results (TOEFL, SAT, ACT or IELTS) by taking the AEP placement test. See the AEP placement test site for details on the testing procedures, fees and schedule.
  3. Enroll in another Early Fall Start course, and take an AEP course during autumn quarter to meet the requirement.

Important Travel and Immigration Dates

international studentIf you are participating in Early Fall Start and are entering the United States for the first time, be aware that U.S. immigration policy will not allow you to enter the country more than 30 days before the program start date listed on your immigration documents (I-20 or DS-2019).

The official start date for all new international students is September 20, 2019, which means you will be able to enter the United States as early as August 21, 2019. This is before the beginning of Early Fall Start. You should make your travel plans accordingly. Note that Early Fall Start students cannot move into UW housing until August 24, 2019.

International Student Orientation

International students participating in Early Fall Start are required to attend a compulsory Welcome Session on August 25, 2019. More information about the Welcome Session and orientation options, including a special session just for Early Fall Start participants on August 26–27, 2019, can be found on the Advising & Orientation page.