Academic Skills
Short Term English Program (STEP)

In Academic Skills STEP, you will practice language skills and learn about American academic expectations at the university level.

During the mornings you will be in the classroom, improving your English skills. On Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, you will attend different activities outside of the classroom. These will give you more opportunities to practice your English.


Before classes begin, you will take a placement test to evaluate your English writing, listening and speaking abilities. If your performance is too low for Academic Skills STEP, we will recommend you switch to the Language & Culture Short Term English Program (STEP).

Course Activities

In this course you will work on the following areas:

  • Speaking and listening
  • Vocabulary-building tools
  • Reading strategies
  • Academic writing
  • Becoming familiar with the Seattle area

Field Trips

Field trips are an important and enjoyable part of STEP. During their time in the program, students will have the opportunity to go on a campus tour, enjoy group sports activities, visit various UW attractions and tour some of Seattle's many interesting neighborhoods.


The cost of transportation during the optional afternoon activities is not included in STEP tuition. We strongly recommend that students consider purchasing an ORCA bus card or a student U-PASS (bus pass) before the start of the program. Students who choose not to purchase an ORCA card or bus pass must carry exact change for their bus fare, as bus drivers will not provide change.

Health Insurance

Visits to hospitals and medical clinics are expensive in the United States. Since STEP is a short-term course for non-F1 visa students, students are not eligible to purchase health insurance through the UW. We strongly recommend that all STEP students purchase medical/travel insurance in your home country that will provide coverage for the duration of your stay in Seattle. For more information, see the Health Insurance & Immunizations section of this site.

Refund Policy

Our refund policy is as follows:

  • 100 percent tuition refund if you withdraw by 5 p.m. of the second business day of the program
  • 50 percent tuition refund if you withdraw by 5 p.m. of the third business day of the program
  • No tuition refund if you withdraw after 5 p.m. of the third business day of the program

Note that all application, registration and deposit fees are nonrefundable. Refunds are restricted to individual online applicants. Wire transfer refunds will not be offered after payment. If a group wire transfer payment has been made and a student in the group cannot attend STEP, an alternate student may be substituted at the group organizerís discretion prior to the start of the program.


Tuition: $1,575
Nonrefundable registration fee: $45
Room and board: (estimated) $1,025
TOTAL $2,645

Note: Fees subject to change