Welcome to Washington University in St. Louis! 67% of our postdoctoral appointees are international. As we recognize that relocating to a foreign country can be overwhelming, isolating, and confusing, we are committed to helping you meet these challenges and making the most of your time here.

To get started, visit this page on Living in St. Louis. The City of St. Louis is home to many international communities and has a long and welcoming history.

Have questions about finding a doctor? Visit our Wellness page.

Once you arrive on campus, your departmental administrator will register your for the monthly New Postdoc Orientation through Human Resources. There you will meet a WashU Postdoc Society (WUPS) representative and the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs (OPA) Director. In addition to WUPS, consider joining a campus group around a common interest to network and build your professional skills.

The Office of International Students & Scholars

The Office of International Students & Scholars (OISS) provides a variety of resources for international students and scholars. The OISS provides social, cultural and academic support; information on governmental regulations including income taxes; and facilitates cross-cultural understanding within our university and the St. Louis area.


All postdoc visas are handled first at the department level and then by OISS. If you need to apply for or renew a visa, please speak to your department administrator first. If you are planning to leave the country for a conference or for vacation, check with your department administrator and OISS to see what paperwork or requirements are necessary to ensure you can safely return to the U.S.

English Language Skills

For information about the types of English Language Programs (ELP) offered and how to choose an appropriate level, visit the ELP website. ELP courses are offered through University College and include a variety of writing, speaking and biomedical-specific classes. The Postdoc Tuition Benefit allows benefits eligible Postdoctoral Appointees to take up to four undergraduate credits at UCollege per semester for career development purposes only, including improving speaking and presentation skills.

The St. Louis Public Library offers free English as a Second Language Practice Sessions. Visit their website and select “Events” for current locations, dates and times.

The International Institute of St. Louis also offers English classes.

The St. Louis Mosaic Project works to support the international communities in our city. They provide support services and connections for new international residents.

National Postdoctoral Association

The National Postdoctoral Association (NPA) has an International Postdoc Survival Guide and their International Officers that advise and advocate for postdoctoral issues–BTW our WashU OPA Director, Dr. Paola Cepeda, is serving as the NPA International Officer until 2024!