Language & Culture Short Term English Program (STEP)


Language & Culture STEP focuses on real-life language activities. In class, you'll improve your vocabulary and conversational skills by conversing with classmates about topics of interest.

You will work on your English skills through a variety of assignments and projects. For example, you may be assigned to interview Seattle residents about a topic. You'll improve your listening skills by studying the language in an American film. You'll also have a chance to interact with Americans as you develop a final group presentation on a cultural topic.


You will take a placement exam on the first day of the program to determine your level. Students with similar English language ability will be grouped together.


STEP classes meet in the mornings for a total of 15 hours per week. Two afternoons a week, program staff and UW students lead optional Seattle-area sightseeing activities.

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 organizer's 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


"STEP was unforgettable, everybody was very nice! It was awesome to discover people from different parts of the world! It's a good idea to have class only the morning, so you can enjoy Seattle with your friends in the afternoon!"

— Florent Geelhand de Merxem, Belgium