Student Support

International Students

I've never been to Lexington before. What is it like?

Lexington is a friendly, vibrant, and historic small town. It's a community where you can be a regular at the local coffee shop or your favorite cafe. It's your home away from home where you can explore and give back in meaningful ways. 

I'm an international student. Can I still work while I am a student?

Students with F and J visas are allowed to work on campus up to 20 hours per week when school is in session and more during breaks, but to work you must obtain authorization. Interested? Check out our Employment Options.

I am worried about being homesick without family nearby.

A lot of students - international and domestic - may experience homesickness. Thankfully W&L's community is close-knit and supportive and often feels like a second home.

International students can also apply to get an American host family. Find out more about the Host Family Program.

Where can I learn more about International Education?

Look at our Center for International Education website. They will be reaching out to international students regarding necessary forms and international travel to campus. If you have any additional questions please reach out to your admissions Counselor . 

Multicultural Student Organizations

I am looking to explore my own culture - or a different culture. Is that option available to me in Lexington?

Lexington might be small - but you can find the whole world here. We have a host of Multicultural Student Organizations on campus that represent a wide spectrum of countries, cultures, and ideas. Whether you are trying to keep in touch with your own heritage - or discover something new - our student organizations are the first place to start. The leaders of many of these organizations constitute a body called the Office of Inclusion and Engagement (OIE) Advisory Board. 

What I'm looking for wasn't on that list...

All the better reason to come to W&L! We would love to see you come to W&L and start your own multicultural organization or student club. Our Office of Student Activities, along with funding from the Student Executive Committee, helps students start their own clubs and organizations on campus.

I noticed that W&L has a Greek presence. Are there any Multicultural fraternities and sororities? 

Our campus is home to four historically black Greek-lettered fraternities and sororities. Questions about Multicultural Greek Life can be addressed to the Office of Greek Life.

Are there living communities that promote diversity and inclusion? 

We have several theme housing options, including:
- The ARC (Arts, Recreation and Culture) House, for students with an appreciation for the arts, nature, recreation, and culture
- Casa Hispánica, un ambiente social y académico en el que se promueva la comunicación en español
- Chavis House, a physical space on campus where African originated and African American (and other American ethnic/racial minority) cultures and traditions are actively appreciated
- Global Service House,  a student and service-oriented global center that will provide a focus for internationalism, a locale for increased cross-cultural engagement, and a visible home for service activity
- Sankofa House, a residential and social space for solidarity amongst students of the African diaspora and their allies
- and others

Explore the Res Life website for all theme housing options.

Gender and Sexuality

I identify as LGBTQ+. What resources can I access on campus?

W&L has an active LGBTQ+ community that includes students, staff and faculty. Our LGBTQ+ Resource Center providies an educational, social and supportive space for all LGBTQ+ students and allies. Our campus offers many resources such as All Gender Restrooms, Confidential Support Groups, LGBTQ+ Peer Counselors and more.

How active is the LGBTQ+ community on campus?

Our LGBTQ+ community holds many events on campus - such as celebrations during Pride Week and an annual Equality Gala. It is very fancy - and VERY fun. You'll just have to come to Lexington yourself to experience it.

First-Generation College Students

I am a first-generation college student. How can I meet other first-generation college students on campus?

The First-Generation Low-Income Partnership (or FLIP) is a group of students dedicated to supporting first-generation or low-income students to come to W&L. Whether it's a Lending Library to help students get the textbooks they need or planning events for "Money Matters" Week to help students plan financially for the future, FLIP is always coming up with new ideas.

As a first-generation college student, who can I contact for general student support? ?

Our Office of Inclusion and Engagement is committed to the success of our first-gen students and offers many different forms of support, everything from understanding your financial aid package to setting you up with a first-gen faculty or staff mentor. Check out the OIE Website for more First-Gen Resources.

Political Engagement

Are students politically engaged on campus? Is there a broad spectrum of poltical views represented?

What can I say? We're bi-partisan. W&L is a place for all political views and stances on ideas, coming from a long tradition of civil discourse and dialogue. From the many organizations on campus, to activities throughout the state of Virginia - not to mention our proximity to Washington, D.C. - the opportunities for political engagement are limitless. 

I don't know where I stand politically... but I have a stance on some issues.

So do a lot of our student organizations. Care about the environment? Human rights? Animal Cruelty? Or maybe you just like to debate people - no matter the issue. We've got an organization for pretty much everything. Join one of them and they will be very active - politically or not - on that topic. We consider ourselves to be a community of ideas that brings theory into practice, and we welcome all students to share their opinions through club activities and in the classroom.

What is Mock Convention? 

Washington and Lee's famous Mock Convention attracts national attention when it is held in the winter term of every presidential election year. The entire student body participates in this political exercise aimed at choosing the presidential candidate of the party out of power in the White House. The Mock Convention has achieved a remarkable record of accuracy and is considered to be the most realistic event of its kind in the nation. Every student has an opportunity to participate in at least one Mock Convention during a four-year career at Washington and Lee.

Religious Life

What is religious life like at Washington and Lee?

Even though W&L is not a religiously affiliated institution, students will find a number of ways to explore and develop their spiritual lives both on and off campus. A great variety of multi-faith, student programs connect with local faith communities. We also have a large number of student religious organizations that organize religious service, hold meetings and service opportunities, as well as discuss issues in both the W&L and global community.

We have several faith communities that are active on campus. Muslim students join together in fasting for Ramadan in conjunction with students at VMI. Our Hillel House holds Shabbat once a month. And our various other student organizations host other festivals and activities such as Diwali Festival and Lunar New Year.

What religious opportunities are available around Lexington?

W&L partners with VMI in regards to some programs for student religious life, but there really are a wealth of opportunities available off campus. Around Lexington, you can find Anglican, Assembly of God, Baptist, Catholic, Episcopal, Lutheran, Pentecostal, Presbyterian, Quaker and Methodist churches, among others. There are also a variety of other religious communities and places of worship in Roanoke, Staunton and nearby Buena Vista.

W&L also has an Interfaith Resource Center, which has resources about different world religions and is open to anyone of any religion. It also provides a place for students to mingle with their peers of various faiths.

Looking for more? Check out out Religious Life Resources.