Skip to body

Office of International Studies and Programs

Give to OISP


Contact Us

Phone: +1-509-963-3612
More Contact Info

Central Washington University
Office of International Studies and Programs
Hebeler Hall 102
400 E. University Way
Ellensburg, WA 98926-7408

Student Life

Partner University Students Home Applying as an Exchange Student Finding Classes and Registration Accommodation J-1 Visa and Immigration Arrival & Orientation Student Life Employment


On-Campus Activities

OISP Programming:

The Office of International Studies and Programs (OISP), under which Study Abroad and Exchanges (SAEP) falls, hosts or facilitates a variety of different programs each quarter, examples of which include shopping trips to Seattle, hiking and other outdoors activities around the region, attending the annual Christmas Tree Lighting in Leavenworth, and much more. One of our major events, in partnership with the Student leadership, Involvement, and Community Engagement (SLICE), is International Café, which brings international students together with domestic CWU students, employees and community members 2-3 times per quarter in order to interact and learn from one another. Some events, particularly those off-campus, may have a fee to participate, but it is usually negligible.

While many event announcements will come through students’ CWU email address, students may also follow our International Students pages on Facebook and Instagram for updates on OISP programs.

Elsewhere on Campus:

A variety of different offices and organizations across, both academic and student life-oriented, below is what amounts to a partial list of such resources; however, there will be many we miss out. For instance, we have none of the academic departments or colleges listed, but many of these will also hold events for students in their programs. Students with a particularly academic interest may find the CWU department that houses that discipline and reach out to enquire about how to become involved.

Perhaps the most comprehensive single source for event information is Hype, which is published at the beginning of each quarter and lists all activities CWU departments, offices and organizations have asked to be listed. Click the link or look for the hardcopy publication around campus.

Other Opportunities:

In the Community

Events and Sights (Local):

Various community organizations in Ellensburg and the larger Kittitas County sponsor events throughout the year or provide opportunities for recreation in multiple forms. Below is a short, non-comprehensive list of resources and such organizations.

Events and Sights (Farther Afield):

Below is a non-comprehensive list of resources for sights and events elsewhere in Washington.

Religious Services/Organizations


As a state institution, CWU itself is secular and, therefore, does not sponsor religious services of any sort. Nonetheless, there are religiously oriented student clubs and organizations on campus, most of them Christian-oriented and a few affiliated with local churches. Click on the “Student Clubs & Organizations” link above to search for these organizations.

Additionally, the Diversity and Equity Center oversees a “reflection room” open to all students for reflection, meditation, prayer, etc. Many Muslim students, particularly those from Saudi Arabia, have utilized this room to organize their own Friday prayers.


Christianity: Virtually all of the formal houses of worship in Ellensburg and Kittitas County will be of one Christian denomination or another. The CWU Community page has a reasonably comprehensive list of local Christian churches, though it does miss out Prophet Elijah Antiochian Orthodox Church (Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East) and Cascade Valley Congregation (Old German Baptist Brethren Church). Churches of other Orthodox denominations do exist elsewhere in Washington, particularly in the Seattle-Tacoma area.

Judaism: The closest synagogue to Ellensburg is Temple Shalom in Yakima. Officially it is a Reform Congregation, but indicates that it tries to serve “a community with diverse levels of observance and engagement with Judaism and background”. Synagogues affiliated with other denominations do exist elsewhere in Washington, particularly in the Seattle-Tacoma area.

Islam: The closest mosque to Ellensburg is the Islamic Center of Yakima. It’s not clear to which, if any, denomination services are oriented. However, additional mosques exist elsewhere in Washington, particularly in the Seattle-Tacoma area.

Buddhism, Hinduism, Sikhism, Shintoism and others: The majority of Washington State’s population and the majority of its diversity resides west of the Cascade Mountains, particularly in the corridor from Everett south to Olympia, which includes Seattle and Tacoma. Students seeking out formal Buddhist, Hindu and Sikh temples will find them there, though both Hindu and Sikh temples are also found in the Tri-Cities east of Ellensburg. Tsubaki Grand Shrine of America, a Jinja Shinto Shrine and (according its website) direct North American branch of Tsubaki O Kami Yashiro, is located just northeast of Everett in Granite Falls. Places of worship for other religions are more likely to be found in Western Washington, as well.


Air Travel:

Most students arrive in Washington through Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (IATA Code: SEA), known colloquially as “Sea-Tac” and approximately 100 miles west of Ellensburg. Yakima (IATA: YKM) and Spokane (IATA: GEG) have smaller airports with mostly domestic connections and may be more suitable for travel within the US once one’s program has started.

The Bellair Airporter Shuttle provides transportation directly from Sea-Tac to Ellensburg, making it the most convenient and popular way for students to make their way from the airport upon arrival. The shuttle has two Ellensburg stops, with “CWU-Starbucks” being the most appropriate. Prior reservations are required. The Airporter Shuttle also provides service to and from the Yakima airport.

Ellensburg Central Transit:

Ellensburg Central Transit is the free public transportation service, providing access across Ellensburg. It has several stops on or near the CWU campus, including very near Kennedy Hall, as well as grocery stores (Safeway, Fred Meyer and Super 1), the Love’s Travel Stop (the location of the Greyhound and Appleline stop), and the Grand Meridian Cinema, among others.

Intercity Bus:

The Bellair Airporter Shuttle makes several stops between Sea-Tac and Yakima, including the outlet mall in North Bend, and a second route provides connections to Seattle and as far north as Blaine, near the Canadian border. Therefore, it can be used for more than transportation to and from the airport, though it may not always be the best or cheapest option.

Within Washington State, options include the Kittitas County Connector, which connects (west to east) Ronald, Roslyn, Cle Elum, Ellensburg and Kittitas; the Yakima-Ellensburg Commuter (Route 11), which connects Ellensburg and Yakima and stops near Student Health Services; and Appleline, which connects Ellensburg with Omak in north-central Washington. Greyhound and Flixbus both connect to major cities in Washington, as well as across the United States and, in the case of the former, Canada and Mexico.

This page contains links to websites outside of The views and opinions expressed on unofficial pages of Central Washington University faculty, staff or students are strictly those of the page authors. The content of such pages has not been reviewed or approved by Central Washington University.

Take the Next Step to Becoming a Wildcat.