Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Lunar New Year

Come celebrate the Lunar New Year in Seattle's International District! 

Have the opportunity to watch traditional dragon and lion dances, Japanese Taiko Drumming, martial arts and other cultural performances!

Also, don't forget about the 5th annual food walk! 

Saturday, February 21st from 11-4pm

Hing Hay Park

Monday, February 2, 2015

Getting Involved in Seattle

Ways to Get Involved
  • Volunteer your time
  • Go to IELP Activities
  • FIUTS activities
  • Attend events on UW Main Campus
  • Go to Information Sessions
  • Make friends outside the IELP
Why get involved?
  • It benefits others.
  • It benefits you. 
  • Good way to make friends
  • Practice your English
  • Can check out new places in Seattle
  • Builds your resume
  • Learn new skills
  • Do something you enjoy!
  • It's fun!
What are your goals?
  • Get good grades
  • Make friends
  • Get involved in Seattle
  • Learn English
  • Volunteer
Where can I find how to get involved?
  • IELP Information Sessions
  • UW website
    • Experimental College
    • Registered Student Organizations
    • FIUTS
    • Departmental Website
  • Google
  • Seattle Public Libraries
  • Seattle Parks & Recreation
What is volunteering? 
(Information from UW Carlson Center)
  • Volunteer work is service for an organization without pay, usually for the benefit of a community or natural environment.
  • Many organizations, such as non-profit organizations, depend on volunteers to assist with day-to-day operations and to carry out the mission of the organization. 
Most common opportunities in Seattle
  • Natural Restoration (Planting trees, cleaning parks, removing weeds)
  • Homeless Shelters/Food Banks (Serving meals, donation collections, holiday events)
  • Run/Walks (Supplies, event set-up, clean-up)
  • Libraries (Stocking shelves, reading to kids, sorting books)
Commitment: One-time vs. Long-Term
  • Some positions require an on-going commitment. Ex:
    • Serving meals at homeless organizations on weekends
    • Sorting and shelving books each week at the library
  • Others are on a one-time basis only. Ex:
    • Helping staff at an annual fundraising auction
    • Handing out water at a marathon
Choose what works best for you!

Applying to Colleges
  • Admission officers look for volunteer experience
  • Graduate schools look for relevant experiences in the field
  • Find opportunities specific to your future career or the graduate school program/research
  • A good way to get practical experience without having a job
Volunteering and F-1 Visas
  •  F-1 students can do volunteer work!
  • F-1 students can't receive compensation for their work
    • Compensation may include money, credit, awards, gifts
Volunteer Opportunities
  • There are many volunteer organizations that make it easy to search for volunteer opportunities online.
  • Examples:
    • United Way of King County
    • Seattle Works
    • City of Seattle
    • Earth Corps
    • One Brick
    • UW Carlson Center
If you volunteer....
  • Please tell us!
  • We want to hear from you!
  • Email Marissa, Suzy, Nicole or Ethan to tell us about your experience.
  • You can also choose if you want to give us permission to share your experiences with other students in future Volunteer Information Sessions or on our Facebook page and blog
Thank you to Suzy Cowgill, Nicole Minkoff, and Ethan DeCoster for compiling this information!

Friday, January 30, 2015

Super Bowl XLIX

The Super Bowl is the yearly championship game of the NFL (National Football League).

In America, Football is one of the most popular sports. The 2014 Super Bowl holds the record for most viewed American broadcast with a total of 111,500,000 viewers.

This year, the game will be played in Arizona. It will be the New England Patriots verse the Seattle Seahawks.

Living in Seattle, you may have noticed the 12th man flag hung in stores or houses. The Space Needle has recently been lit up with green and blue lights to show support for the Seahawks. Whether you watch football or not, the game becomes a city wide event that everyone talks about.

The game will be played this Sunday, February 1. Kick off is at 3:30 pm pacific time.


University Track and Applying to Graduate School

To complete the University Track, you must
get at least a 3.0 in these classes.

  •   Academic  Reading and Writing 5
  •   Academic Listening and Speaking 5
  •  Academic Listening and Writing 5
  • Academic Reading and Speaking 5 
  •  Applied Academic Skills
  • Two Level 5 electives

If the University is an IELP Partner-

  • Do not need to submit TOEFL/IELTS scores if you complete University Track with grades above 3.0 
  •   You will need to meet or exceed all requirements listed on the departmental website other than the English Language Proficiency requirement. This includes all grades, test scores (GRE or GMAT), and coursework.
  • Must apply to the program
American University System


Make certain to begin early! Graduate school applications take time and often must be submitted 9-12 months in advance of the program start.

Tips for Success
  • Keep a college calendar of all deadlines. 
  •   Register for tests: TOEFL, IELTS, GMAT, GRE 
  •   Look online  
  • Make a system for keeping track
  • Talk with people
  • Contact advisors. Build a relationship.
  • Look for what is important to you!
  •  Application deadline
  • Cost
  • Academics
  • Location
  • Size
  • Reputation
  • Clubs & activities
  • Support for International Students
Learning more- Visit a Department
  • Contact advisor
  • Develop a relationship with them
  • Ask to meet/talk with current students
  • Do class visits
  • Be polite. Be on time
  • Write thank you notes
Prepare for a Visit
  • Find a partner
  • Tell your partner about yourself
    •   Where you are from?
    •  What you are hoping to have at a graduate program
    • Why you chose the field you chose 
    •  What questions you have about applying to graduate school?
What are they looking for?
  •  Academics: Will you be a good student?
  • Career: Will you be a good colleague?
  • Communication Skills
  • Fit: does this person understand this program? Do you know what you are getting into?
Parts of the Application
  • Application Form
  • Resume
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Transcripts
  • Letters of Recommendation
  • Test Scores (TOEFL/IELTS and GRE/GMAT)
  • Make easy to read
  • Fit on one to two pages
  • All work and study experience since high school
  • Put in chronological order
  • Do not include:
    • Photos
    • Personal information such as: marital status, hobbies, religious affiliation, favorite foods
Statement of Purpose
  • Double space
  • Use capital and small letters: This is NOT texting.
  • Count words – be close!
  • Get feedback from other people & edit!

  • Course name
  • Grade earned
  • Number of credits 
  • GPA: cumulative AND last 2 years
  • Official & Translated

Test Scores
  • Prep Courses
  • Scores take time to be sent  (Take at least six weeks early!)
  • OK to take more than once
  • Address in an essay if weak score
  • Meet with admissions staff
Letters of Recommendation
  • Choose the teacher carefully
  • Choose people who know you. 
  • Ask the teacher directly
  • Give specific information
    • Provide a statement of purpose
    • Provide a resume
    • Short paragraph why you want to study this subject / at this institution

  • Ask at least two weeks in advance
Getting Help

Learn More

College & Graduate School Fair in the Tower! Friday, Feb. 6, 10:30-12:30 pm UW Tower M.
How to apply to UW Graduate School, Friday, February 13, 1:30-2:20om in UW Tower Floor 13

Friday, January 16, 2015

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Monday, January 19th is Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Many of you may have heard of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, if for no other reason than that there is no class that day! However, many are often unaware of who this man was and why we celebrate his birthday every year. 

Dr. King was a minister, activist, and leader of the Civil Rights Movement during the 1950s and 1960s. At that time in the U.S., African Americans were commonly treated as second class citizens. Dr. King was a leader in trying to gain equality for all people. He was famous for preaching non-violence, and his "I have a dream" speech remains one of the most recognizable speeches made in our history. To see and listen to the speech, click here:

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

New Year's Eve

New Year's Eve is celebrated in America on December 31. 

There are many ways people celebrate this holiday! One of the most common ways is to stay up till midnight to welcome in the New Year with friends and family. Fireworks are often lit off at midnight. 

Most people in America make New Year's resolutions. A resolution is a promise to yourself to work on something you have been meaning to fix. Common resolutions include  improving one's grades, eating healthier, or saving money.

Here’s some advice about how to succeed with your new year’s resolution:
1. Set reasonable goals. Be very specific about your resolution. Don't say: "I want to do better in class." Do say: "I will study every day for one hour for each class" or “I will talk with one person I don’t know every day.” Make realistic, measurable goals and write them down.
2.  Limit the number of resolutions you make. It's better to do one thing well than several things poorly (or not at all).
3.  Post your list in a visible place to serve as a reminder and encouragement to yourself. It will also allow other people to see your resolutions and provide support. If you want to keep your resolutions private, record them in a journal.
4.   Enlist the support of your friends and family. If you're lucky, they'll have similar goals and you can work on your resolutions together. Encourage people to be helpful and supportive.
5.  Take action immediately. Make important appointments with a doctor, dietitian, advisor or counselor. Sign up for a new activity. Make an appointment with someone you have not met before.
6.  Practice new behaviors that encourage success. If you want to stop smoking, don't hang out in smoke-filled bars or casinos. If you want to lose weight, don't bring desserts, junk food, candy or ice cream into the house. Limit your exposure to people who are likely to encourage resolution-breaking. Surround yourself with people who will encourage you.
7.   Set incremental (step-by-step) goals and reward yourself for partial successes. If you're working on studying more, for example, reward yourself with a small splurge after you do this for a week. Celebrate and go out for coffee or tea!
8.   Substitute a good habit for the bad one you want to break. If your goal is to eat less junk food, find a healthy food you love. If you want to spend more time studying, make a calendar with designated times to study (and to take a break!) on it.

Read more: How to Stick to Your New Year's Resolutions |

We hope everyone has a wonderful new year, and we look forward to seeing everyone on January 5!