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Inbound Exchange Students

Undergraduate business students from any of our partner institutions are eligible to participate in the University of Washington Foster School of Business exchange program.

This website is designed to provide you a thorough overview of the Foster School exchange student acceptance and arrival process; however, it is not an exhaustive explanation of the Undergraduate Business Program at the Foster School. Read the Factsheet.

View a downloadable version of the information found here.

Partner Universities

Audencia Business School
Bocconi University
Chulalongkorn University, Business School
Copenhagen Business School (CBS)
Erasmus University, Rotterdam School of Management (RSM)
IE University, IE Business School
Kobe University, School Of Business Administration
National Chengchi University, College of Commerce (NCCU)
National University of Singapore, Business School (NUS)
Norwegian School of Economics (NHH)
Paris School of Business (PSB)
Peking University, Guanghua School Of Management (PKU)
Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (PUC)
Universidad de San Andrés (UdeSA)
University of Auckland in New Zealand
University of Economics, Prague (VŠE)
University of Hong Kong, School Of Business (HKU)
University of Manchester, Alliance Manchester Business School (AMBS)
University of Mannheim, Business School
University of Navarra, School of Economics & Business Administration
University of Sydney, Business School
WHU, Otto Beisheim School of Management
Yonsei University, School of Business

Why Select the Foster School Exchange?

The University of Washington is located in Seattle, Washington, USA. Seattle lies in the Northwest corner of the continental United States on a narrow strip of land between the salt waters of Puget Sound and the fresh waters of Lake Washington. Beyond the waters lie two rugged mountain ranges, the Olympics to the west and the Cascades to the east. It is a city built on hills and around water, in a mild marine climate that encourages prolific vegetation and abundant natural resources.

This interactive map can help you get acquainted with campus, and the greater Seattle area.

I hear it rains a lot in Seattle…

It is true that the weather in Seattle can be unpredictable; however our reputation for continual rain is misleading. Summers are warm and relatively dry; winters are typically wet and gray, but mild enough to allow for year-round outdoor activities. You are encouraged to bring a waterproof coat, umbrella, and comfortable, waterproof walking shoes.

Visit UW’s Office of Admissions for a list of resources that will introduce you to Seattle life, culture, and climate.

The University of Washington is one of the world’s preeminent public universities. Our impact on individuals, on our region, and on the world is profound — whether we are launching young people into a boundless future or confronting the grand challenges of our time through undaunted research and scholarship. Ranked number 10 in the world by Shanghai Jiao Tong University rankings and educating more than 54,000 students annually, University of Washington students and faculty work together to turn ideas into impact and in the process transform lives and our world. The University of Washington Academic calendar lists significant events such as beginning and end dates for each quarter, final exam week, holidays and observances.Learn more about the University of Washington.


We are a collaborative learning community of faculty, staff, students, alumni and business leaders dedicated to the creation, application and sharing of management knowledge.


The Michael G. Foster School of Business has a long-term vision to be the best public business school in the U.S.


In 2015, U.S. News & World Report ranked the Foster School of Business Undergraduate Program 1 in the Northwest of the United States, 21st among all national business schools, and institutions and 11th among public institutions. Learn more about the Foster School’s rankings.

Culture of the Business School Classroom

Class formats include lecture and discussion, in-class presentations, and case studies. Grading is based on papers, group projects, case studies, and class participation. Exam formats may vary. Typically exams are held during the final week of the quarter. The faculty and your fellow students have high expectations of professionalism, performance and participation inside and outside the classroom. You will be expected to participate in class, and you might even be called on to share your opinion. We encourage an attitude of collegial and congenial competition among students. As a community, we have a strong commitment to achieving excellence through teamwork and cooperation. We believe greater success comes with the help of peers than at the expense of peers. You will also find an atmosphere that is relaxed, informal, and laid back. Some professors allow students to eat in class, and socializing at club activities is a common occurrence.


Most events and the general classroom atmosphere at the Foster School are casual, so you can dress in whatever you are most comfortable wearing. Events such as networking events and corporate presentations, however, require business or business casual dress.

Academic Advising & Support

We are here to help. Please do not hesitate to contact the program manager or academic counselor for Foster School incoming exchange students.

Foster Global Ambassador (FGA) Program

As an exchange student, you will be paired with a Foster Global Ambassador (FGA). An FGA is a Foster School undergraduate student who is here to help orient you to the UW, Foster School, and Seattle. The goal of this program is to introduce exchange students to the American lifestyle and UW culture that you might not experience independently.You can choose to engage as much or as little as you wish with your ambassador. You will be electronically introduced to your buddy once you have been officially accepted to the University of Washington.

Opportunities to get involved

The student experience at Foster is vibrant and diverse. We encourage you to get involved! Check out the 28 undergraduate student clubs and organizations, or participate in a case competition. Each quarter the Global Social Ambassador (Buddy) team plans unique cultural events that you are invited to participate in. Join the Foster School Exchange Facebook group to stay updated on these fun programs!

Learn more about getting involved.


The Foster School of Business is located on North Campus, and is composed of 4 buildings:

  • PACCAR Hall
  • Dempsey Hall
  • Mackenzie Hall
  • Bank of America Executive Education Center

This virtual tour highlights the state of the art facilities that house the Foster School. Additional information about our resources:

Code of Conduct/ Academic Integrity

As an exchange student to the Foster School of Business you become a member of a learning community committed to the highest academic standards. Be aware you must abide by the standards of conduct below.

HONESTY: I will be truthful with myself and others.

RESPECT: I will show consideration for others and their ideas and work.

INTEGRITY: I will be a leader of character. I will be fair in all relations with others.It is important to remember that American views of academic integrity (honest academic conduct) may be different from those in your home country. In basic terms, you are guilty of academic misconduct (cheating) whenever you present something that you did not do as your own work. You are also guilty of cheating if you help someone else to present their work in a similar way.

Learn more about UW’s Student Conduct Code.

Inbound Exchange Process

Please note that this timeline is approximate.


If you will be starting… Summer Quarter 2019 (June-August) Autumn Quarter 2019 (September-December) Winter Quarter 2020 (January – March) Spring Quarter 2020 (March – June)
Nomination Deadline 01-Feb 15-Mar 01-Aug 01-Aug
Application Deadline 15-Feb 01-Apr 15-Aug 15-Aug
Acceptance Documents Issued (DS-2019, etc.) Mid-May Mid-June Mid-October Mid-January
Course Registration will begin May July November February
FIUTS Orientation (recommended) June 21-23 Sept 17 January 3-5 March 27-29
Foster School Orientation (required) 24-Jun 24-Sep 06-Jan 30-Mar
Instruction Begins 24-Jun 25-Sep 06-Jan 30-Mar
Last day of Instruction 23-Aug 06-Dec 13-Mar 05-Jun
Final Examination Week Typically the last day of class December 7-13 March 14-20 June 06-12
You must be nominated by your home institution.
Nominations by students’ home university are sent to Theresa Maloney ([email protected]).
After being nominated, students will receive an email from Theresa with instructions to submit application materials online.
Students will upload the following directly into the online portal by the application deadline:

  • Copy of passport identification page
  • Official bank letter or bank statement indicating sufficient funds balance
  • All college transcripts, translated into English
  • TOEFL (IBT): 83 or IELTS: 7 score report (Not required for passport holders of English-speaking countries)

Once you have completed these steps, your application will be processed by the UW Office of Admissions. They will generate your official acceptance documents and visa paperwork. Please be patient, this is a lengthy process (see timeline above).

As soon as your acceptance document packet is prepared, you will receive an email notice. The acceptance packet includes:

  • Acceptance Letter
  • DS-2019 (to secure J-1 Visa)

The hard copy of your acceptance document packet will be sent via Fed-Ex to your home university exchange coordinator. You will need to bring the hard copy of your DS-2019 with you to your visa appointment at the US Embassy or Consulate.

At this point you are considered officially accepted to the University of Washington, and there are several things you will need to do before you begin your term in Seattle.

Establish your UW NetID

  • Your acceptance email contains instructions to set up your UW NetID. Your NetID is a personalized ‘user name’ that you can use to log-in to UW online services. It also serves as your UW email address. All email accounts at the University of Washington are structured as follows: (UW Net ID)@uw.edu.

Log in to your online application and complete your profile by inputting:

  • Your UW NetID
  • Your UW Student Number (found in your acceptance packet)

Apply for a J-1 Visa

Make travel arrangements to Seattle

  • As a student on a J-1 visa, you are allowed to enter the US 30 days or fewer before the program start date listed on your DS-2019. This date calculator is a useful tool in calculating 30 days.

Apply for on-campus housing or find off-campus housing
All questions regarding on-campus housing should be directed to: [email protected]

A few things about housing to be aware of:

  • You must use your UWNet ID (see above) to apply for on-campus housing.
  • The Foster School is located on North Campus. The UW campus is quite large, and you may want to factor in location when selecting your housing.
  • If you plan to stay in on-campus housing, you will need to confirm your move-in date and may need to find alternative accommodations when you first arrive. Here is a list of hotels near campus.
  • The FIUTS office can arrange a short-term home stay for 3-7 days when you first arrive. This is a great opportunity to meet a local family and have a place to stay while you confirm your permanent accommodations. An airport pick-up service is included with a short-term home stay.

Fulfill the Measles Immunization Requirement

Complete the required International Student Services (ISS) Online Information Session.

International students at UW are required by federal and state laws to maintain health insurance while studying in the United States. Review health insurance requirements and decide to either purchase ISHIP insurance or submit a waiver.

Log in to your MyUW using your UWNet ID and password. Get acquainted with the information available on this website.

You will be electronically introduced to your Foster School Global Social Ambassador (Buddy).

After you receive your acceptance documents, you will be sent an electronic survey to fill out. In this survey you will indicate which courses you would like to register for.

There are two tools that will be useful to you in determining which courses you would like to take. The time schedule lists which courses will be offered during a specific time period. The course catalog provides descriptions of all courses.

Review the time schedule for the period that you will be on campus and make a list of 6-8 courses that interest you.

  • To satisfy your student visa status, you must be enrolled in at least 12 credits per quarter with a maximum of 18 credits.
  • Most Foster School incoming exchange students take three or four undergraduate (100-400-level) business courses with each course carrying four credits.
  • Some courses are more difficult for exchange students to register for because of demand and space constraints. This includes: Finance and Accounting courses, and our Management 430 Capstone course.
  • Exchange students are responsible for ensuring that the credits they receive will transfer back to their home institution.
  • It is highly recommended that exchange students from Audencia, PUCC, Peking NCCU and Kobe register for I BUS 491, a one credit seminar part of the Certificate of International Studies in Business (CISB) program for the section corresponding with their native language. All other Foster School exchange students are also encouraged to participate in this seminar if they would like to.
  • The UW has a very large course catalog. You can take courses outside of the Foster School of Business if you would like to. If you need assistance navigating the course catalog, please reach out to in inbound exchange manager.
  • Please note that you will not be allowed to register for classes until you submit the measles immunization document, and complete the International Student Services (ISS) Online Information Session.
You will go through immigration and customs inspections at the first point of entry into the United States. Be prepared to provide the following documents at the port of entry to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). NOTE: CBP inspection takes place before you collect your luggage, so you must have these documents on your person. Do not put your travel documents in your checked luggage.

  • Passport
  • Visa stamp (if applicable)
  • DS-2019 (J-1)
  • SEVIS fee receipt
  • Supporting financial documentation

The Seattle Tacoma (Sea-Tac) International Airport is approximately 35 minutes south of the University of Washington by private car and about 45 minutes by Link Light Rail. There are a variety of transportation methods available to get you to campus.

Complete the New Student Post-Arrival Checklist with International Student Services (ISS):

  • Before your Exchange International Student Orientation Session, you must report your local address and submit your immigration documents online to International Student Services and upload your immigration documents. Learn more about required documentation.
  • The dates of the two orientations you need to attend can be found in the timeline above or listed below. The Foster Inbound Exchange Orientation and Welcome Lunch is mandatory while the FIUTS Exchange International Student Orientation Session is strongly recommended. Theresa will email you the date, time, and location of the Foster Inbound Exchange Orientation. The details regarding the FIUTS Orientation can be found here.
  • Remember to ask any questions you have about your J-1 visa, travel to Canada, etc. at the FIUTS Exchange International Student Orientation Session as this is the session with representatives from the International Student Services Office.

Several fees will appear on your MyUW account. As an exchange student you are responsible to pay the following fees upon arrival, but you DO NOT pay the tuition charge that appears in your account:

  • U-PASS $84 / quarter
  • International student fee $45 / quarter
  • ISHIP health insurance (or submit a waiver by 1 p.m. the 3rd week of class)
  • Course fees – if applicable (Some courses charge additional fees for instructional and/or laboratory costs that are not covered by the tuition waiver.)

Acquire a Husky card. The card is used for several important functions:

  • Student ID card – can also be used for discounts at local merchants
  • Library Card – to check out materials at any on-campus library
  • Debit Card – deposit funds on the card to pay for printouts, coffee, etc.
  • Bus Pass – The card serves as your bus pass through the U-PASS system
  • Access to Burke Museum or Henry Art Gallery
  • Access to IMA (workout and gymnasium facilities that offer a variety of fitness classes)

Attend FIUTS Exchange International Student Orientation Session :

  • This orientation for international students (undergraduate and graduate) is held each academic quarter and is sponsored by the Foundation for International Understanding through Students (FIUTS) with assistance from the International Student Services Office (ISS).

Attend required Foster Inbound Exchange Orientation and Welcome Lunch:

  • This required orientation for incoming exchange students to the Foster School of Business is held each quarter, and is an opportunity to learn specifically about the Business School. This is also an excellent opportunity to meet your assigned Global Social Ambassador, as well as the other exchange students who will be studying at the Foster School. You will receive an email with the time, date, and location of this orientation.
  • Summer 2018: Monday, June 18, 2018 at 12:30pm in Mackenzie Hall, Room 132
  • Fall 2018: Tuesday, September 25, 2018 at 3:30pm in Dempsey Hall, Room 302
  • Winter 2019: Monday, January 7, 2019
  • Spring 2019: Monday, April 1, 2019

Purchase textbooks and course packs required for your classes

  • At the University of Washington, you must purchase your own textbooks and coursepacks for your classes. Coursepacks consist of supplemental reading material the professor may assign, such as case studies and articles.
  • You can purchase your books from any source you like, however the University Bookstore is a convenient option.
  • At the end of the quarter, you can sell your books back to the bookstore.
It takes several weeks for your grades to be finalized. Upon your return home, the Foster School Incoming Exchange Manager will email your official transcripts to your home institution.

Resources and Useful Links

I have questions, who do I contact?
For more resources, visit the UW International Student Resource page.

I have questions about… Contact…
Immigration Documents +
[email protected]
On-Campus Housing and Food Service +1.206.543.4059
[email protected]
Measles Immunity Requirement +1.206.616.4672
[email protected]
Health Insurance Requirement +1.206.543.6202
[email protected]
International Student Services (ISS) Online Information Session +
[email protected]
Registering for Foster School Classes Sarah Allex
[email protected]
Events for International Students +1.206.543.0735
[email protected]
Events for Foster Exchange students Theresa Maloney
[email protected]
Orientation Foster:
[email protected]
[email protected]
A signature verifying I am enrolled at Foster Theresa Maloney
[email protected]
Where to pay my fees (Student Fiscal Services)
Pay Online
Pay in Person at Schmitz Hall 129
(cash, check, or money order only). Credit, debit and UW Husky cards are not accepted in the Student Fiscal Services Office.)

Banking and Checking accounts

You are welcome to open a bank account while in Seattle. Many banks offer free checking accounts and/or UW student discounts and ATM (debit) cards. Banking services do vary, but generally most banks are open Monday-Saturday with ATM access 24 hours a day at various locations in Seattle. You may want to ask a student in the Foster School for a bank recommendation, but most banks have branch offices close to the UW campus. Picture identification (passport) is required and most banks request a local address when opening an account. Banks near campus include:

Bank of America
4701 University Way, 206-358-1959
US Bank
UW Husky Union Building 105, (206) 543-2407
Wells Fargo Bank
4100 University Way NE, 206-547-2811
Key Bank
1300 North 45th Street, 206-585-9410

Wireless Phones

There is a wide variety of options for wireless phone service in Seattle. Many companies offer pre-paid or pay as you go options, which may be a convenient option for a short term stay. The main wireless companies in the US are:

Abbreviations and Acronyms

Listed below are some of the acronyms used around the University of Washington campus.

B-School Business School
Dawgs Nickname for UW student body
EMBA Executive MBA
FIUTS Foundation
Foster The Foster School
GEMBA Global Executive MBA
GBC Global Business Center
HUB Husky Union Building (student center)
IMA UW workout and gymnasium facilities that offer a variety of fitness classes
ISS International Student Services
Puget Sound Body of water and the region of the Northwest that includes Seattle
The Ave Nickname for University Way, the main shopping street close to campus
U-District The residential and shopping area surrounding the University of Washington
U-PASS Bus Pass
U-Village A Shopping area near campus with restaurants and a grocery store
UPO Undergraduate Program Office

Frequently Asked Questions

Housing / Accomodations

Q: Does the University of Washington guarantee accommodations for exchange students?
A: No. Due to the large number of undergraduate students and full-time graduate students, the University of Washington cannot guarantee housing for exchange students. However, if you are interested in on-campus student housing, you can apply and in many cases you will be assigned a spot.

Q: Is it possible to arrange housing with an outgoing Foster exchange student?
A: Possibly. Not every outgoing Foster exchange student is interested in renting their house or apartment while they are on exchange. If a student expresses interest in this kind of arrangement, the Exchange Program Manager will email the information to the exchange applicants.

Q: Where do most exchange students live?
A: Most exchange students live in on-campus housing, while some live off-campus within walking or short bus distance from the University of Washington campus. A large number of apartments and houses surround the UW campus in the area called the University District which is a very popular place for students to live. Seattle has a good public bus transportation system; numerous bus routes either pass through or next to the UW campus each day.

Q: Can I arrange a short-term home stay upon my arrival in Seattle?
A: Yes. The Foundation for International Understanding through Students (FIUTS) is an organization that sponsors a variety of programs and activities for all international students attending the University of Washington. FIUTS will arrange a home stay for 3-7 days after you arrival in Seattle. Participation in the home stay program includes an airport pick-up service. For additional information about this program please contact FIUTS.

Q: What is the average rent in Seattle?
A: This varies based on location, size of apartment, and if you live alone or with a roommate. The cost varies between $600-$1,200 per month for rent.

Q: Are home stays possible with a local family?
A: Yes. For additional information contact Abode Home Stays. Note: the Foster School does not endorse this service. The web link is provided as a resource only.

Academics / Course Selection

Q: How many credits/courses do I need to take at the University of Washington?
A: You are required to take the appropriate number of courses/credits as required by your home institution. Full-time Foster students generally enroll in four (4-credit) courses for a total of 16 credits per quarter. To satisfy your student visa status, you must be enrolled in at least 12 credits per quarter with a maximum of 18 credits.

Q: How do I register for courses?
A: Prior to your arrival, you will receive an email from your academic counselor. You will be asked to provide a list of 6-8 courses that most interest you. The academic counselor will attempt to enroll you for the courses at the top of your list. Please keep in mind that courses are limited by class size and several courses are required for Foster School students. Please note that you will not be allowed to register for classes until you submit the measles immunization document, and complete the International Student Services (ISS) Online Information Session.

Q: Can I change my schedule once I arrive to campus?
A: Yes, on a space available basis. All students are permitted to add and drop courses during the first week of the academic term with permission from the course professor. Add/drop procedures will be covered in orientation prior to the start of the academic term.

Q: Can I take courses outside of the Foster School?
A: Yes, on a space available basis. Your Foster School academic counselor can assist you with navigating the course catalog, and provide instructions for enrolling in non-business courses.

Q: Where can I get a list of courses taught in the Foster School?
A: There are two tools that will be useful to you in determining which courses you would like to take. The time schedule lists which courses will be offered during a specific time period. The course catalog provides descriptions of all courses.


Q: Do I have to file a tax return?
A: The requirement to file a tax return varies by student. The UW has provides information on this website to determine if you are required to file: https://iss.washington.edu/student-life/money-matters/tax-information/

If you have a specific question, you can reach out to ‘Glacier Tax Prep’ who offers a free service and advice to UW students. Their contact information can be found on the website above.

Q: Can I work in the US while I am here?
Depending on the circumstance, it may be possible for you to work a part-time job while attending the Foster School of Business as an exchange student. You must be aware of the J-1 visa requirements and receive employment authorization BEFORE you begin working. Additional information can be found on this website: iss.washington.edu/employment/j1-employment

Q: Can I get an internship over the summer?
For students in the US on a J-1 visa it may be possible to secure an internship directly after completing your exchange program. This would be considered ‘Academic Training’ and must be directly related to your field of study. You can find information about academic training and the process to apply for it on this website: iss.washington.edu/employment/j1-employment

Q: Can I stay an extra quarter?
Potentially. This extension would need to be approved by the Foster School Global Business Center, and your home institution. Inquire with the inbound exchange program manager for additional information.