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Office of International Studies and Programs


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Student Stories

UESL students come from many different countries including Japan, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Korea, Spain, Turkey, China, Mexico, Thailand, and Vietnam. They make American friends and also friends from many other countries while studying in the UESL Program.

Ryota Kimura (Japan)Ryota Kimura, former UESL student

“I spent 6 months studying English at CWU. I liked taking classes with foreign students and playing for CWU men’s soccer club. Oh, I miss SURC food, studying for exams in the library, and playing intermural indoor soccer. I likeed my experience at CWU because I could make friends through soccer. I was bad at using English, but there I could get confidence to use my English to communicate with people. In fact, that is helping me with my company now in Japan.”

Maki Tagawa (Japan)Maki Tagawa, former UESL student

"I was in the UESL Program for a year. I like how easy it is to know and get close to people at CWU. I loved watching the stars in Ellensburg. The stars were THE MOST BEAUTIFUL STARS I have ever seen and will ever I think. Getting to know many cultures is the benefit of my Ellensburg life."

Carla Arcay (Venezuela)Carla Arcay, former UESL student

“When I started at CWU, I always felt welcome since day one. When I started in the UESL Program, the teachers were very nice and always willing to help. Indeed, I feel like this is my second home. At first, it was always hard to adapt to the weather but with more time, I got used to it. At this point of my life, I would recommend this experience to anyone who has opportunity to be part of it. I learned many different cultures and met great friends.”

Yanwen Shi (China)Yanwen Shi, former UESL student

“CWU helped me to learn other countries’ cultures and make different friends. People are really nice and it has beautiful environment to study. It helped me to improve my English.”

Edgar Estrada (Mexico)

Edgar Estrada, former UESL student

“What was like to be enrolled in the UESL Program at Central Washington University? Nothing less than a blessing. I'm so grateful with all the stuff at the campus and my teachers as well who helped me through the process of not just understanding a language but a culture. I never saw myself as a bilingual person, and I still may not hold a PhD degree in English Language and yet I can't complain to where the English skills that I acquired at CWU have gotten me. Ellensburg is a perfect town to enjoy outdoor activities, it has rivers, mountains and high quality fresh air. Those amazing landscapes gave me time to rethink things, to reflect, to realize that there is another way of life, that perhaps the world is not as I’ve imagined it.“

Abdulaziz Bin Zuair, UESL and CWU graduate Abdulaziz Bin Zuair (Saudi Arabia)

“I spent around 6 years in CWU, and I graduated with an Accounting bachelor's degree. I only studied one quarter in the UESL program, but I had really great experiences. One of which is being taught by good teachers, who were willing to spend their time and effort to help international students. From my experience, not a lot of teachers give the time to work one on one with students to help them; yet I found that in CWU. Ellensburg is one of the dearest places to my heart. In Ellensburg, I found true friends and true lessons that are still with me today. However, I liked one thing in particular in Ellensburg; It was simple, yet full of life. I learned a lot for being in a small town. I am independent, hard working, closer to people, and mainly willing to try new things because of this experience.”

Victoria Levillageois Besnainou, former UESL student Victoria Levillageois Besnainou (Paris, France)

“I came from Paris at the end of 2013 and stayed nine months here, until June 2014.  The UESL program was an incredible experience, I learned a lot with those great teachers. During this program I developed an interest in historical studies so after I finished it, during my last semester, I took classes in history and history of art. I also took anthropology and geography classes.

Finally, I went back to France because I made my choice about my future and I wanted to learn more about European history. But CWU and especially UESL were an amazing opportunity that I will never forget. In fact, thanks to this experience, I am today a graduate in history, archeology and history of art major from a French university in south of France. The UESL program and its teachers gave me the chance to know better about myself and open my mind on different topics I would never think about before.

I am also thankful of knowing Ellensburg, of course. If you compare to Paris or our big cities in France, it’s completely different but it’s a good reflection of what I wanted to discover: the American way of life. I think the thing I enjoyed the most about this experience is all the people I met. UESL is the perfect place to discover on one hand, Americans, but also on the other hand, foreign cultures. It gives you a chance to learn a lot about many countries in a way you could never discover from your original city because here you are in an environment that helps you to meet and share.

I encourage all the foreign people who would like to try a new experience, to go on CWU and definitely take the UESL Program!!”

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