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Office of International Studies and Programs

ESL: FAQs

At the UESL Program we like to answer your questions. Below are questions that students often ask us and the answers to those questions.

1. Will the UESL Program give me information and help me apply to a university or college?

Yes, we will give you information, advise you, and help you apply. We have a conditional admission arrangement with our own admissions office at CWU.The UESL Program recommendation is accepted in place of the TOEFL for undergraduate admission. We also have relationships with several Washington community (two-year) colleges that will accept UESL recommendations instead of TOEFL scores.

2. How can I go to CWU from the airport?

If you arrive in Seattle, it is easy to take the Airporter Shuttle Bus directly to Ellensburg. We will send arrival information with your I-20. UESL staff will meet all buses arriving from Seattle on Sunday and Monday at the beginning of each quarter. The staff will help you find your dormitory room, meet the dormitory staff, go the dining hall, and buy bedding. You will receive a first week schedule and campus map.

3. How will I know which classes I should take?

On Tuesday of the first week, we give our placement tests to all new students. We examine your reading, writing, vocabulary, grammar, listening, and speaking. Wednesday afternoon we have an orientation program for new students. At that time, we will tell you your level, your elective class choices, your class schedule, and your textbooks.

4. Can I take the TOEFL at Central Washington University?

Yes, CWU is an official TOEFL testing center..

5. Is it possible to live off-campus?

Yes, but we don't recommend that when you first arrive unless you have a friend or relative in Ellensburg. When you sign a Housing Contract to live on campus, you agree to live there until summer. If you break the contract before summer, you will pay a penalty. We also have on-campus apartments; you must be 20 years old to live in them.

6. Are there many international students at CWU? Will I have many chances to practice English outside class?

There are 300-400 international students out of 8,600 students at CWU. That means it will be easy to practice your English outside class. UESL students usually have American roommates, and the Program matches UESL students with American conversation partners for informal language practice. There are also many clubs, teams and activities that you can participate in. Ellensburg is a friendly place; it is not difficult to find people to talk to.

We also want to know what other questions you have. If you are a new student, a returning student, or a person who might become a student, you may ask your questions below. We will answer your questions and/or put the answer on this frequently asked question page.