International Students

At the Elliott School and GW, our diversity is our strength. Elliott School international students are an important and special part of our student body. The resources here, specific to Elliott School international graduate students, are meant to supplement the GW International Services Office, the first stop for visa and employment-related questions. Discover Elliott School resources for international students as well as resources available GW-wide.

"I was living in Dubai, I was doing an internship there. And I applied from there to the Elliott School. It was an easy process. Everything was online. There was nothing difficult about it, actually. Here in DC you get to know a lot of people. People come from all over the place, from almost every region around the world. You don't feel as a stranger over here in DC. You feel it's your home away from home."

Ali Almullaali
M.A. International Relations

The Elliott School of International Affairs welcomes applications from inbound graduate-level exchange students from our current International Exchange Partner Institutions.

Note: Undergraduate-level exchange students who wish to attend GW or the Elliott School should contact the GW Office for Study Abroad for assistance, [email protected]

The Elliott School is one of the world's leading schools of international affairs. Its superb scholars and institutes conduct cutting-edge research on the complex challenges of the past, present, and future of international affairs. Its innovative, interdisciplinary teaching programs provide students with the education and training they will need for careers in the international arena. The Elliott School's 14,000 alumni can be found in leadership positions in the public, private, and non-profit sectors around the world.

Travel and Visas

To apply for a visa to study in the U.S., you will need a visa-qualifying document, either an I-20 form (for a F-1 visa) or a DS-2019 form (for a J-1 visa). These documents must be generated through the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) and issued by a U.S. college or university or a U.S. Department of State-designated sponsor organization. The information provided on this page is intended to help you understand the process of getting an I-20 or DS-2019 from The George Washington University and the steps involved in getting a visa. For more information, please visit the International Services Office (ISO) site.

Academic Advising and Career Development

While enrolled at the Elliott School, the office of Graduate Student Services (GSS) has resources available to assist you with your academic planning and professional development. Your advisors at GSS can direct you to resources at the Elliott School and across the University. Not sure where to start? Use this checklist to make sure you are aware of the services available to you as a graduate student at GW.

GSS works collaboratively with GWU's International Services Office (ISO) and can help coordinate specific programs for students with a F-1 or J-1 visa. Whether you aim to secure an internship or a job, you must follow the federal regulations established by the U.S. government. GSS and ISO will work with you to understand the regulations and ensure your work experience adheres to those guidelines. The National Career Development Association developed this handout to help answer some preliminary questions international students might have. International students are also strongly encouraged to regularly review the GW Center For Career Services webpage. This page contains information related to relevant workshops and resources for international student career development. 

Internship Grants

Currently, there are at least four internship grants available, including the Freeman Foundation Grant, the Elliott School International Internship Grant, the Career Development Fellowship, and the GWU Knowledge in Action Career Internship Grant (KACIF). For more information on the Freeman Foundation Grant and the Elliott School International Internship Grant, please view the application requirements in Handshake or on the GSS webpage.


The Elliott School offers a wide variety of graduate-level international affairs courses in policy fields such as conflict and conflict resolution; international security studies; international economic affairs; international affairs and development; international public health; technology and international affairs; international law and organizations; and U.S. Foreign Policy. Courses in regional studies focus on Asia, Europe and Eurasia, the Middle East, and Latin America. In addition, the Elliott School offers a series of unique professional skills courses.

The GW Schedule of Classes for any given semester outlines which courses are offered in that semester. Exchange students are eligible to take most courses numbered 6000 and above in any school or department except those in the School of Medicine and Health Sciences, the Law School, and certain courses that are restricted to degree candidates or any specific prerequisites. Students can verify these criteria by viewing the Schedule of Classes.

Academic Calendar

The Elliott School has two main semesters: Fall and Spring. The Fall semester is from late August to mid-December. The Spring semester is from mid-January to mid-May.

Most Elliott School courses meet in the evening, after 4 p.m.

Language of Instruction

International applicants from countries in which English is not the official language are required to take the TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE Academic exam. The minimum score for admission to the Elliott School is 250 on the TOEFL computer exam, 600 on the TOEFL paper exam, 100 on the TOEFL Internet exam, or an overall band score of 7.0 on the academic IELTS (with no individual band score below 6.0). The Test of Written English (TWE) on the TOEFL is strongly recommended. Students are required to score a 68 on the PTE Academic.

At GW, all courses are conducted in English. GW also offers instruction in over 15 languages, such as Arabic, Hebrew, French, Spanish, Japanese, and more. The Elliott School also offers language conversation lunch on Fridays from 12:00-1:00 pm during the academic year. These events are open to all current GW undergraduate, graduate, and exchange students. 

Exchange Students from Abroad

The Elliott School of International Affairs welcomes applications from inbound graduate-level exchange students from our current International Exchange Partner Institutions. Undergraduate exchange students, who wish to attend GW or the Elliott School, should contact the GW Office for Study Abroad for assistance, [email protected].