Arriving in Bellingham

Once you receive your visa, you can start planning to arrive at Western at the start of the next semester.

Prepare to Study Abroad

Before you join us at the International Study Center, there is an important checklist to complete to confirm your placement and ensure everything is ready for your arrival.

1. Confirm Your Place

After you have applied and received an offer of a place to study at the International Study Center, you must pay your deposit to confirm your place. To see what payment if needed to confirm your place, you can view our fees and pay online. Paying your deposit will allow you to begin your student visa process.

2. Apply For Your Visa

After paying your deposit, the University will release your I-20 immigration document. Keep this document in a safe place. You will need your I-20 to pay any additional immigration fees, apply for your student visa, and when you enter the USA.

3. Book Your Accommodation

Western has 16 residence halls to suit all living styles. A Student Enrollment Advisor will help you secure your student accommodation after your application is accepted.

4. Book Your Travel

After receiving your student visa, you can book your travel to the USA. Bellingham International Airport is the closest airport to campus. You may need to arrange a flight to Vancouver International Airport or Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, where you can take a bus or a connecting flight to Bellingham.

Join Us

A student working outside on their laptop

We have different study options in place to help you – and will work with you closely to make sure you are successful in your classes. 

What do I need?

There are a few essential items you will want to pack in your hand luggage while traveling, and you might have a few special items you want to bring from home. You will be able to find most of what you need in local shops after you arrive, like home decor for your residence hall, clothing, toiletries, electrical items, and much more.

Essential Documents

It is important you bring any essential study documents in your hand luggage so they are easily accessible. This includes:

  • Your valid passport and visa
  • Offer letter
  • English language test results
  • Evidence of funding for your tuition fees and living costs as certified financial statements and Affidavit of Support
  • Accommodation documents
  • Insurance documents.

Medication

If you have any necessary medication, it is important you travel with this in your hand luggage. Sometimes during travel luggage can be delayed and you don't want to be without the necessities. Any prescriptions will need to be translated into English, so they are easily recognized. Be sure to check with your airline to understand what is allowed on your flight.

Clothing

You will study in a relaxed atmosphere at the International Study Center with no formal dress code. You should pack the clothing that makes you comfortable, like jeans, t-shirts, and sneakers. Bellingham is known for its rainy weather, and a light rain jacket will be suitable for most of the year. If you are traveling in the winter, you will want to come prepared with a winter coat. You can buy any other clothing you need once you have arrived in the many local shops.

Find out more about starting your studies or check the latest COVID-19 information.