Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the most commonly asked questions asked by international students. You can always contact International Student advisors Lori Honts Tongol or Rhea Connors for more information or help with other questions.

What are SPU’s most popular majors?

SPU’s most popular majors are listed on the SPU Facts page. You’ll also find information about average class size, the number of academic programs, ethnic diversity, and more.

How many international students attend SPU?

SPU has an active international population — currently approximately about 150 undergraduate students and 50 graduate students. Our international students represent about 52 different countries.

Where do I stay during the school breaks and during the summer?

Typically, during Christmas and spring breaks students living in residence halls must find alternative housing, since halls are closed during this time. Campus apartments remain open during holiday and spring breaks, so you are not required to vacate. You should talk with your Resident Assistant (RA) about the schedule for leaving during school breaks.

The International Student Services (ISS) office can also assist in trying to find housing on a case-by-case basis with faculty and staff who may be interested in serving as a short-term hosts. You must contact ISS at least one month prior to these breaks to inquire about this service.

In addition, summer housing may be available. Apply for summer housing through University Services. You may talk with staff in Residence Life at 206-281-2043 if you have questions. Or visit the website for more information.

How can I get a job on-campus? Can I work on-campus?

All F-1 international students are eligible to work on campus. Employment depends on the availability of jobs and your level of work experience. Learn more about it at the Student Employment website.

Please notify your international student advisor if you would like to work on campus so they can guide you through the process of student employment and connect you with the correct departments and processes. If government regulations are not followed you may lose your ability to study in the U.S.

Are there any accommodations for students with disabilities?

SPU offers accommodations for students with a wide variety of disabilities. If you need special accommodations, contact the Disability Support Services at dss@spu.edu as soon as possible to see what can be done to accommodate your specific needs.

How can I get involved in campus groups or clubs?

SPU has over 60 student clubs on campus, including the International Student Club. Club information can be found in OrgSync.

Not finding a club you are interested in? Here are the guidelines on how to start a student club.

How can I find a tutor?

There are several different options for getting help with your courses and study skills. Visit the Center for Learning website for information on study tables, tutoring, study courses, and workshops. You can check your International Student Handbook for more information on the Center for Learning.

If you need help with writing you can get more information by visiting the Writing Center.

Where can I find help if I do not understand the classes?

The first person to meet with if you are struggling with understanding a course is your professor. You can meet with them before or after class, or you can reach him or her via contact information listed in the syllabus. Make sure to let your professor know you are struggling with the course right away so you do not fall behind in the class. If you need additional help after speaking with your professor you can visit the Center for Learning. There you can find study tables, tutoring, workshops, and other resources.

How does the bus system work?

Metro Transit offers public transportation throughout King County. Here is information on how to ride the bus.

There are several buses leaving from SPU to different areas in the city, day and night. These routes are:

Metro offers a convenient online website to help plan your trip.

Information on bus fare: Peak hours means the busiest time during week days. Monday–Friday, 6–9 a.m. and 3:30–6 p.m. Hours outside of these times are called “non-peak” hours and have a slightly lesser fare. YOU NEED TO HAVE EXACT CHANGE WHEN RIDING METRO BUSES. The drivers cannot make change.

You can buy passes at most transit centers and online.

Getting to Sea-Tac International Airport: Sound Transit offers light rail service from the University of Washington to the airport.

What fun things can I do in Seattle?

Seattle is located in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, which is known for its many hiking trails and outdoor activities. In addition, Seattle has many restaurants, coffee shops (including the original Starbucks), and music events. Learn about some of them.

SPU in located on Queen Anne Hill, and is close to Ballard, Fremont, and South Lake Union.

For more information on places to visit, consult your International Student Handbook.

Where can I eat besides the SPU campus?

There is a wide variety of restaurants in Seattle.

To find options you can search restaurants or eateries in:

Pike Place Market in downtown Seattle is an open market comprised of hundreds of farmers, craftspeople, and small businesses. There are hundreds of vendors, many from diverse cultures, selling food, crafts, flowers, and much more.

How can I travel safe locally?

Use a major bus company such as Bolt or, if you have a driver’s license, you can rent a car from major rental companies, or from Car-to-go. You can also use Uber which is a less-expensive form of a taxi service.

Make sure you travel with people that you know and let your friends know where you are going and when you plan to return. Never travel without letting someone close to you know where you will be!

Marissa Ukosakul-Witt

Meet Marissa Ukosakul-Witt ’11

“I get to see exciting work that God is doing,” she says, “work that’s really impacting people for Christ.” Meet this missionary kid who never thought she would stay in the States.