New Students

A Student examines flags on the University Yard

Our diversity is our strength and GW is proud to host over 2,400 students, faculty, and staff from over 130 countries. The International Services Office is the first stop for the GW international community and will help eliminate administrative challenges when studying in the US. ISO advisors host a variety of special events that highlight our diverse international student population. At GW, we’re finding new ways to build an inclusive culture.

A Message for Our Newly Admitted Students Waiting for I-20s:

If you are waiting for your I-20, please know that we are processing it as quickly as possible.  The ISO starts processing I-20s once we receive a complete application from your admitting school or department. This is an extremely busy time for the ISO and we attempt to return a complete application with an I-20 to the school or department as quickly as possible.  An incomplete application will cause delays in this process.

Please verify with your department that you have submitted all necessary documentation.  We have a large number of international students who are waiting on their documents to be processed.  Therefore, to ensure that we are fair to all of our waiting students, we process I-20s in the order they are received.

Once your department or school receives the I-20, it will be mailed to you.  Please refrain from making your visa interview appointments at the US embassy or consulate until you are informed that your I-20 is on its way.  You will have to reschedule your visa appointment if you do not receive the I-20 by your appointment date.

If you have further questions or a special situation, please ask your school or program's admissions representative.

Find out more about the Student Health Insurance Requirement

Beginning in the fall 2012 semester, all GW international students holding a J1 or F1 visa will be required to carry health insurance. This requirement is a GW mandate. If you are an F1 or J1 visa holder, you will automatically be enrolled in Aetna Student Health Insurance plan and the fees will be added to your tuition bill.  If you have comparable coverage and wish to opt out of the plan, you must submit an online waiver form.  To complete the online waiver form, visit the Aetna website.

Waiver decisions are made immediately and you may appeal the decision using the Aetna Student Health Website.

Learn why it’s important to have health insurance.

Please note that ISO does not:
  • Administer the plans provided to students.

  • Make the final determination with regard to insurance waivers.

  • Provide information on alternative plans.

  • Remove insurance charges from student accounts.

  • Provide advising services with regard to health care, insurance or medical advice.

We hope that this email answers your questions. If you have additional questions or need more information, please contact the Aetna Student Health Customer Service Department: 1- (800) 213-0579.

Please visit the Student Health Services website for information on insurance waivers. This insurance handout is also available for your information.