keikoDo you ever imagine where you will be in 30 years? Maybe you will be in the IELP! That’s what happened to Keiko Monden. Right now, Keiko is a student in the Business-focused Short Term English Program (STEP). But her UW story started 31 years ago, when she came to the IELP to participate in the Tsuda School of Business Intensive English program. She fell in love with Seattle. She remembers her dorm room in Haggett Hall, a class trip to the Burke museum, and a lasting friendship she made with the Hanzeli’s, a prominent UW family.   She has been back to Seattle to visit several times. But Keiko recently celebrated her 31st anniversary at the Central Bank of Japan, and she decided to use her leave time to return to the UW as a student. I asked her what has changed in the last 30 years ago. “The internet!” she said right away. When she first came to Seattle, she needed a printed map to get around now. Now she just uses her smartphone. “I can’t be lost anymore.” She is also surprised by some of the changes on campus. She is staying in the new dorms, and loves the remodeled HUB. Although she remembers Suzzallo library, she did not recall its beauty. Keiko admits that studying in STEP isn’t as relaxing as being a tourist, but she is still managing to catch up with old friends and explore the city she loves. When she returns to Japan, she hopes to use what she has learned in Seattle to help plan international conferences.

Your Friday Readings: Part 2

For the next five weeks on Fridays, small essays written by IELP students will be posted!

Last Spring, students in Independent Writing (INDW 150) had to write a final persuasive essay to demonstrate their acquired skills in the class. The prompt was: Imagine that you work for the department of education in your country. You are assigned with selecting English schools abroad in which students could study. Would you have them choose IELP at the UW in Seattle? Why or why not? Try to persuade your reader.

Several students wrote amazing essays. Check back next week for another awesome essay.

This essay was written by Bess

Recently, English is significant in human’s life because people in different countries communicate with each other by using English language. Even though people can use another language to communicate but English is more worldwide. Therefore, many parents want their children to study English when they are young. However, there are many places to study English. The IELP at UW in Seattle is one of the best choices that you are looking for because the University of Washington is well-known, and teachers are high qualities, also the weather in Seattle is quite similar in Thailand.

There are many IELP in the US but if you search on the internet, you will see the University of Washington is the top 10 ranking in the world. That is because the UW is really well-known university. This university has a lot of smart students, so an environment can make you feel like you are one of these students. Moreover, you will be proud of yourself if someone asks you where you study because people will know at the first time.

Furthermore, there are many high quality teachers in the IELP at the UW. Most teachers have a high education, so you do not need to worry about their background. As a result of having a good background, that means teachers also have a lot of experience and knowledge, you will get more information from this school. Consequently students in one are not as many as some schools, so teachers can focus on each student.

Another reason is the weather. The weather in Seattle is quite the same in Thailand, so you do not need to adapt yourself a lot. In other words, you will get used to living in Seattle more easily than other countries or other cities. Also, if you’re concerned about food in Seattle, I can say you do not need to worry because there are many delicious food in this city. I am pretty sure you will gain weight after staying in Seattle.

In conclusion, studying in the IELP at the UW in Seattle has many advantages, for example, the UW is very famous university, and teachers have high education. Also, the weather is similar in Thailand. Therefore, I highly recommend students who are interested in studying English should go to the IELP at the UW in Seattle.

Your Friday Readings: Part 1

For the next six weeks on Fridays, small essays written by IELP students will be posted!

Last Spring, students in Independent Writing (INDW 150) had to write a final persuasive essay to demonstrate their acquired skills in the class. The prompt was: Imagine that you work for the department of education in your country. You are assigned with selecting English schools abroad in which students could study. Would you have them choose IELP at the UW in Seattle? Why or why not? Try to persuade your reader.

Several students wrote amazing essays. Check back next week for another awesome essay.

This essay was written by Thang Pham

Practicing using English continuously is the most effective way to improve English and thus, study English abroad in an English-speaking country such as the US should be encouraged. From my experience, the IELP program at the UW in Seattle should be considered as one of the best options while selecting a school to study. For not only its efficiency of designing specific tracks that align with students’ demand, but also other factors that support students to have the best outcome in their English.

The first reason to consider IELP at the UW as one of the best English courses is its specific tracks. There are many specific tracks available here, including University Track, Business track, Cultural Conversations. Students, depending on their purpose of learning English, either to get into American school or to use English in business, can always find a track that meets their needs. These tracks help student to focus more on a particular field that learners really need rather than to focus on English in general like in other ESL at other schools. For example, I have been taking the University Track for three quarter for my purpose of entering an American graduate school. I have learned too much from this program, especially the academic English and how to apply it to essay. Since I came from a different education system, this program has also helped to getting used to with the academic style that is used in college here. In short, not only has my English been improved, but my academic skills are getting better and more practical for the US’s colleges.

Yet another reason for choosing IELP at the UW is supporting factors, such as teachers, tutors, facilities, as well as activities to help boost students’ experience to the best. During my time studying here, I have got so much help from teachers and advisors, even outside the class, let alone in-class time. Most of my teachers have wide general knowledge or even major in some specific fields such as political science or anthropology. Therefore, as a student, I always receive my teachers’ bets help for matters that I care about. Also, there are many tutors and assistants that are always willing to help with any difficulties of learning English. It is needless to say, we, students at IELP at the UW, always received wholeheartedly help and support from teachers and facilitators here. In addition, many activities and events are frequently organized to help us have more chance to get to know other fellows in our program, as well as to introduce interesting things about Seattle to us, who just came to Seattle. These factors that mentioned truly boost my experience, both academic and lifestyle, much better than I had expected at the first place.

Some might argue that IELP at the UW is good but it is not good enough to worth the expensive cost that students have to pay. However, if doing an analysis for the cost IELP is only a little higher than the average of ESL program, unless facilities and other supporting factors do not count. Also, quantity and efficiency should be focused on for a good investment. In my opinion, with the outcome that studying in IELP at the UW brings to me, it is a good investment.

For those reasons mentioned above, IELP at the UW should be considered when choosing an English program to study abroad. From my experience, I highly recommend our Vietnamese students to experience the quality here once.

My Experience in the IELP Classes

This blog post was written by Ziaulrahman Mushkalamzai, a Campus IEP student.

The IELP Program of University of Washington is very effective program designed for international students. There are many English programs in the world, but, I say, this is a very well organized program. As an international student at the IELP program from Afghanistan, I would like to share my experiences with my friends (all of you) who have plan to improve or learn English.

When I came to the U.S for the first time, I was very curious and always thinking “How can I improve my English? Is IELP an appropriate program for me?”. When we took the placement test and started our classes,  I felt from the first day of the class that I can learn English here. As expected, my first quarter was full of achievements. I learned English as I hoped. I really improved my grammar, listening, speaking and reading skills. The instructors were very helpful and supportive in all classes and they inspired me and my classmates to learn English. If someone received poor grades, the teacher would always come to him and ask, “What is the problem? Was my method of teaching not helpful?” The teachers said that they would change their method because they emphasized that their purpose is the understanding of students.

The other method that was extremely useful was that every Monday we had different group discussions with lecturers where we were discussing various issues. That was the benefit of different methods that caused us to learn many things in a short time period. In this quarter, I took writing and grammar, listening and speaking, and reading classes. In these classes, I saw the effective teaching methods of teachers and they were able to transfer their knowledge to the students very easily.

In my grammar class, the handouts were very helpful and our instructors described things clearly and simply. In addition, we also had practical lessons, in which we learned how to describe things. In the listening and speaking class, every day the teacher was dividing us into groups and we had free discussion for around five minutes.

In the reading class, one day we had the vocabulary quiz. The teacher took the quiz and corrected our errors. Next day at class time, suddenly our teacher said, today we have the same quiz as yesterday, and I would like to know how much you remember your errors that I corrected yesterday. We were surprised and some students scored lower grades than the previous day. It was an interesting experience.

My dear friends and brothers there are many benefits to learning English in the foreign countries particularly at the University of Washington- IELP program.I can’t describe these benefits in just two pages and I think my office- LESPA- made the right decision  to enroll me at the University of Washington for learning English language to prepare me for the law school. I would not have the same opportunity if they chose somewhere else. I strongly recommend this program to everyone who is looking to learn English effectively.


Student Spotlight: Our Partner School, UW Tacoma

Taotao Li has accounting in her blood. She majored in accounting at Shanghai University (LIXIN). The president of her University is called the “Father of Modern Accounting” because he introduced accounting to China.  Taotao knew she wanted to continue her education, but the first time she applied to graduate school she was not accepted. So she hopped on a plane and came to Seattle to improve her English. And she is much closer to her goal now.

A few weeks ago Taotao learned that she was accepted into the Master of Accounting program at the UW Tacoma Milgard School of Business. She will begin in Fall quarter, after she completes University Track. I asked her what helped her achieve her goal. First, she made a lot of connections. “Don’t be shy!” she tells us. She talked to advisors and teachers in the program she wanted to go to. Second, in her application she had to successfully highlight her strengths and explain her weaknesses, which was challenging. Good luck in graduate school, Taotao!

If you are interested in learning about the UW Tacoma, come visit on Friday 7/29.  We will meet in the UW Tower Lobby at 11:45 and drive together to tour the campus and visit with an international advisor.


Congrats Taotao!

Taiwanese Food in Seattle

This blog post was written by Yu-Wei Chen, a Campus IEP student.

I believe that everyone embraces the excitement of first coming to Seattle, but after a few months, we all confront some level of homesickness for our country. Whether you are missing your family, your friends, or your culture, and the delicious foods near your house. I spent some time exploring Taiwanese restaurants in Seattle. I tried to find the flavors from my hometown. Even though it is not exactly like my hometown flavor, these are my recommendations if you want to try some Taiwanese foods in the Seattle area.

Bubble Tea

Bubble Tea

The most famous food/beverage from my country is bubble tea. Many of my friends like to drink bubble tea and it has become their favorite beverage.

I asked them about their favorite place, and found out that most good bubble tea shops in Seattle are near the University of Washington.

Sharetea UW (U District)

3510 Stone Way N Seattle, WA 98103

Yelp rank: 4.5(230 reviews)/price $

Tea Republik (U District)

4527 University Way NE Seattle, WA 98105

Yelp rank: 4.5(184 reviews) /price $

WOW Bubble Tea (U District)

4527 University Way NE Seattle, WA 98105

Yelp rank: 4.5(184 reviews) /price

Oasis Tea Zone (U District)

519 6th Ave S Seattle, WA 98104

Yelp rank: 3.5(519 reviews)/price $

Jewel Box Cafe (Northgate)

321 NE Thornton Pl、Seattle, WA 98125

Yelp rank: 4(506 reviews)/price $

As you can see, there are many bubble tea shops new UW and even more in the whole Seattle area. I hope you can find your favorite flavor in these shops.

Next, I will introduce some Chinese/Taiwanese restaurants.

Boiling Point (International District/Bellevue)

International district: 610 5th Ave. South Seattle, WA 98104

Bellevue: 1075 Bellevue Way NE. Bellevue, WA 98004

Yelp rank: 3.5(445 reviews)/price $$

Boiling Point

Boiling Point is a traditional Taiwanese style hot pot restaurant. It is a good idea to go there if the weather is cold. Remember that they only accept customers who show up in line and sign up on the list. There is no reservations in this restaurant. Boiling Point 2

Looking for Chai Tawianese Kitchen (Edmonds)

22511 WA-99 #100, Edmonds, WA 98026

Yelp rank: 4(137 reviews)/price $$

Looking for Chai

This is what it looks like outside

Chai Pork Buns

The best pork buns in Seattle?!

Chai Milk tea

The bubble tea here is pretty good and called “Cookie Milk Tea”

Facing East (Bellevue)

1075 Bellevue Way NE B2, Bellevue, WA 98004

Yelp rank: 4(1293 reviews)/price $$

Facing East

This is one of the best Taiwanese restaurant in the Greater Seattle area. It is close to Bellevue square so the location is pretty nice. The price is a little bit expensive, but I recommend that you try it at least one time when you live in Seattle.

Three Cup Chicken

Many people like their “Three Cup Chicken”

Facing East Braised Pork Hock

Braised Pork Hock is really nice!

Din Tai Fung (University Village/Bellevue)

University Village: 2621 NE 46th St

Bellevue: 700 Bellevue Way NE #280

Yelp rank: 4(1057 reviews)/price $$

Din Tai Fung

The most famous Taiwanese restaurant also has branch stores in the Seattle area. Din Tai Fung was awarded one Michelin star and has a good reputation all over the world. If you want to try Taiwanese food, Din Tai Fung can be your number one choice. Notice that this restaurant also doesn’t accept reservations, so go there early to enjoy the delicious Taiwanese meals.


Although there are lots of good Taiwanese restaurants in Seattle area that I haven’t introduced, I hope this brief introduction can intrigue your interest in Taiwanese cuisine.

Student Spotlight: Taking a UW Class

Ali N’Simbo is a doctor in his home country – the Democratic Republic of Congo. In the DRC and in South Sudan, he worked at a health organization called Doctors Without Borders (MSF), where he helped patients with diseases and wounds from the war. He also met his wife at MSF and they moved to the US, where Ali started to learn his fifth language – English.


This is where the Democratic Republic of the Congo is

He recently came to Seattle with his wife and 18-month old baby. He is now a board member at MSF, and his goal is to study in a master’s program in Global Public Health. In the IEP, students at Level 5 can take one regular UW class, so Ali decided to take Geography of the Developing World 335. He says it’s challenging, but useful to understand how university classes work.

Ali N'simbo

Ali N’Simbo presenting at MSF

Ali has this advice:  Choose a small class that you have a background in. He also thinks it’s important to manage your time – there is a lot of difficult reading.  “Don’t wait until your reading is a mountain,” Ali says. Instead, do it in small steps. Finally, he wants us to remember that we learn and teach in UW classes.  IEP student have valuable opinions and experiences that other students in the class want to hear.  “It can be intimidating, but try it. Don’t be afraid.” Interested in taking a UW class?  Attend the mandatory meeting on Tuesday, August 9th.


How to Improve your English

This blog post was written by Almaprok Alkarami, a Campus IEP student.

In order to enhance your speaking skills, the first thing you have to do is create a comfortable environment for “language immersion”.

  1. If you have never been to an English speaking country, try to combine different activities:  read blogs, articles, listen to music you like (don’t forget to pay attention to lyrics, as you can learn some new colloquial expressions from them), watch series and TV shows in English. These are effective ways to learn expressions that you may not find in textbooks. While practicing any of the activities above, try to guess the meaning of words from their context before looking them up in the dictionary.
  2. Think about language-learning as a gateway to new experiences. As a graduate student, learning a language has always been about focusing on the experiences that the new language would open up, from “visiting theme parks, to enjoying poetry and folk-rock festivals, to learning about photo-essay techniques.” In other words, I think of fun things that I want to do anyway, and make them into a language-learning opportunity. Many of my advisors shared this advice. Find one in the language you’re trying to learn for future careers. almaprok
  3. Make new friends. Interacting in the new language is key — it will teach you to intuitively express your thoughts, instead of mentally translating each sentence before you say it. Find native speakers near you. Search for an American native speaker or set up a language tandem online, where two volunteers help one another practice their respective languages.

almaprok friends

IELP Activities

This blog post was written by Mohammed Alsagoor, a former Campus IEP student and IBEP student.

Coming to the IELP was one of the best decisions I have made in my life. When I first came to the IELP, I thought it would be just like any other English language institution, where students learn in a typical way. But what I have experienced here is different than what I thought. When I think about the IELP, the first thing that comes to my mind is how much I enjoyed my time during the IELP activities, where we visited many places around the Seattle area. It is an effective way to learn English, practicing what we learn in class in real life. We also have the opportunity to meet new friends and hang out together, not to mention the chance to meet and talk with native speakers, which is a very important step of developing language skills.

Zoo Mohammed

The Woodland Park Zoo

Woodland Park Zoo was one of the best places I went to with the IELP. As a hobbyist photographer I loved being in the zoo, where I found different kinds of animals. It is a very large zoo with a lot of animals. Exploring the zoo with my camera and my friends was such a wonderful experience.

Lunar New year Mohammed

The Chinese Lunar New Year Festival

The Chinese Lunar New Year festival in Seattle was a great opportunity to see some of the Chinese traditions.

SAM mohammed

The Seattle Asian Art Museum

Visiting museums couldn’t be more fun!

Mohai Mohammed

The Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI)

MOHAI (Museum of History & Industry) is one of the best museums in Seattle, learning and enjoying the time with friends at the museum was a fun, enriching experience. The museum has many different sections, such as the Native Americans section, the Great Seattle Fire section, and many others.

Being a student at the IELP was a great chapter of my journey in the United States, and I am really satisfied with what I have experienced in this program. Through my three quarters in UW I’ve learned so much and I’ve met many wonderful people from around the world.

The IELP is not just an English school; and you can quote me on that.


A Week in the Life of an IELP Student

This blog post was written by Kota Washimi, an IELP Student.

Break Time

IELP students spend every day with friends from different countries. We not only can improve our English skills, but also learn about various cultures, which makes our lives in IELP so exciting. Though it depends on people and their time schedule, we also enjoy chatting with friends during break time.

In the Class

Of course, all of the classes are so exciting. Teachers are great, and kind enough to answer students’ questions anytime. You will learn what you wanted to in any class.

Culture Night

On the weekend, many kinds of activities are held. You can join many of them for free, and you can enjoy practicing speaking as wells as enjoy beautiful views in Seattle. Moreover, you’ll get your language partner, with whom you talk with in English and your own language.

Notes from the Editor:

Here are some fun activities you can do!

– Join FIUTS

-Join us on IEP Activities! Visit our Facebook page for more information about activities

-Check out some RSO (Registered Student Organizations) at UW here