International Student & Scholar Services

Events & Activities

A large group of students on a mountain on a trip for snowshoeing


ISSS works with students on a number of programs. We also collaborate with offices and groups around campus to offer cultural activities for the Western community.  While we provide immigration services for international students, we welcome and encourage all Western students to take part in our programming.  If you have suggestions for an event, program, or activity that works to promote cross-cultural understanding, please contact ISSS – we would love to hear your ideas!

ISSS Events

Two students in a red kayak

At the start of each academic year, ISSS hosts a Welcome Barbecue for new international students at WWU’s Lakewood facility on Lake Whatcom.   The event features kayaking, games, hamburgers and hot dogs cooked on the grill, and tasty desserts.

ISSS also organizes events throughout the year around International Education Week, International Women’s Day, international sporting events, local cultural activities, and holidays. In March 2014, we celebrated our first Global Gourmets Dinner.  If you have an idea for an event, please get in touch!

ISSS Programs

International Buddy ProgramA crowd of students sitting in the bleachers at a basketball game

Western's International Buddy Program is a student-initiated, student-run program designed to help new international students in the transition to Western and Bellingham.  Incoming international students are paired with US students who serve as points of contact before arrival, help answer questions, and check in throughout the year.  The International Buddy Program organizes a number of group activities each quarter.  Past events have included trick-or-treating, bowling, a Super Bowl party, WWU sports events, and trips to Seattle.  If you are interested in taking part in the International Buddy Program, please e-mail .

International Cooking Class

Three students baking in a kitchen

The International Cooking Class is an opportunity to learn about another country and try your hand at making a dish from that culture.  The class is coordinated by students and taught by student, scholar, and staff volunteers.  Meetings are usually twice per quarter.  For more information or to volunteer to lead a class, e-mail .