International Student Resources | Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis
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International Student Support

The Brown School is home to more than 120 international students from around the world.

We recognize the unique transitions faced by international students studying in the U.S. Our Office of Global Programs and its partners are committed to making the international student experience a positive one, and host the following programs, events and initiatives to assist and support students during their time at our School and beyond.

International Student Orientation

Every August, the School hosts a dedicated orientation for international students. It includes programming geared especially towards international students, including an opportunity to use public transportation with Brown School staff and students to begin to explore your surroundings.

Students also have access to a practicum student in the office of Global Programs the summer before arrival, who can help assist with the transition to St. Louis and the Brown School.

International Connector Program

This program informally matches each first-year international student with a second-year domestic student and a second-year international student. We organize a welcome and concluding event, and at least 1-2 cultural events throughout the year, such as a Blues Hockey or Cardinals baseball game. This is an opportunity for students to get to know others at the School and to explore St. Louis!

International Student Resource Sessions

The Office of Global Programs hosts lunches on campus to explore topics of particular interest to those less unfamiliar with living and working in the U.S. Topics have included:

  • Maneuvering Health Care
  • Working with Police
  • How to Get a Car and License
  • Building Resumes and Cover Letters
  • Working in the U.S.

Mental health resources

The Habif Health and Wellness Center offers a Chinese-speaking therapist on staff. In addition, students can participate in "Let's Talk," a program that provides students with easy access to free, brief and confidential consultations with counselors from Mental Health Services (MHS). MHS counselors hold walk-in hours on the third floor of Goldfarb Hall during which students can stop by when their schedule permits. Appointments are not needed. As well, the Liberman Graduate Center presents International C.H.A.T. (Creating Healthy Actions Together), a weekly informal gathering for international graduate students led by experienced group facilitators.

Communication Lab

The Brown School Communication Lab offers workshops to enhance students’ professional writing and presentation skills across a variety of formats and media. The Lab also offers intensive ESL support as well as some tutoring services.

English Language Support Classes

The OISS English Language Program will test all Brown School international students for English language proficiency upon arrival at Brown School. Based on the assessment scoring, students may be required to attend an English Language Support (ELS) Class, held every Friday during the first semester of the MSW, MPH and MSP programs. There is no tuition charge for these two credits, however, they do not count toward a degree program.

Current student and alumni panels

The Global Programs Office often arranges panel discussions with current second-year international students as well as recent international alumni from the Brown School.

Cultural Showcase

This annual event highlights the many vibrant cultures at the Brown School, culminating in a student showcase of song, dance, and food!

International Student Groups

Various international student groups are available to provide comradery, community and additional support. See this page for more details.

“It is an honor and a pleasure to work with and support our international students during their academic journey. They bring diverse and important viewpoints and knowledge, as well as dedication and passion, to our student body. We are grateful to the contributions they make during their time at the Brown School and as alumni.”

—Tammy Orahood, Director of Global Programs


“The level of support from Brown School faculty and staff is definitely top notch, and this support is even able to be enjoyed after graduation. I am particularly grateful for the incredible help from Peter Coogan in the Communication Lab, who is dedicated to sharpening students’ academic writing and stimulating incisive thoughts.”




—Bin Chen, MSW ’18, working in the United Nations system

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