Frequently Asked Questions

IEP Online

Each quarter teachers will work with students to find live video class times that work best for everyone. If time zones are very different, teachers may hold two live sessions at different times of the day, or may record live video classes to support each student’s learning.

Some classes will have more live video hours than others, but all classes will try for at least 30% live. Most classes are 5 hours per week, so at least 1.5-2 hours would be on live video. The other class hours will be spent on activities to prepare for class and working with other students on projects.

*Homework hours are separate, and will be spent working on individual assignments like essays or presentations.

Each class will be about 5 hours per week. Most students have four classes, which would be about 20 hours per week. These hours may change a little depending on your level. Remember, this number does not include homework! Teachers expect that students will spend at least 8 hours per week on homework for each class.

The IEP recommends that students use a laptop or computer for class. A smartphone can work for the video classes if your laptop/computer does not have a camera, but it will be difficult to complete the course using only a smartphone.

It is very important that students have access to good internet. If possible, the IEP recommends plugging your device into wired internet, rather than using WiFi. It will be faster, especially during your video classes.

All other technology, including the Canvas online class platform, is free to download and use on both computers and smartphones.

Most teachers will use the video platform Zoom for live video classes. Advisors will help you set up an account and learn how to use this tool during your online orientation.

The best way to communicate with teachers is through email, but many teachers also use messaging apps like WhatsApp, LINE, or WeChat. It is important to keep good communication with your teachers, especially if you will be late to a live video class. You will learn more about communication during the online orientation.

Intensive English Program

If the deadline has passed, it is too late to apply for that term. We will accept your application for the next term. It is important to have enough time to get a student visa and make travel arrangements.

See the current costs on the Tuition and Scholarships page

After registering and the first week of classes, you can pay for tuition and fees in the Student Business Office in Old Main (OM) 110. We generally recommend that students open checking accounts from an American bank after they arrive at Western.

Must be paid after IEP Registration:
IEP Payment Methods Cash Debit (Visa or MasterCard) Credit Card (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or Discover)
Tuition and Fees Pay in OM 110 with no additional fees. Pay in OM 110 with no additional fees. Pay online or in SBO kiosk, but pay an additional 2.75% transaction fee (approx. $70)

On Monday and Tuesday of the first week, we administer placement tests to all new students. We examine your reading, writing, vocabulary, grammar, listening, and speaking. Registration for new students is on Wednesday afternoon; at that time, we will meet with you to discuss your level, your English Support classes, your class schedule, and which textbooks you will need to purchase.

Yes. There are apartments and houses near the university and downtown. Information about apartments and living off-campus can be found on the IEP website and in the Student Handbook, which is also posted on our website.


The IEP Office can issue an I-20 Form about 3 days after we receive your complete application form and all required supporting documents. We will send your acceptance materials (including I-20) by Fed-Ex. You should receive your acceptance package 2-3 weeks after the IEP office receives your complete application.

F-2 and J-2 visa holders may be able to take some IEP courses under certain circumstances, but there are specific rules about how many classes F-2 or J-2 visa holders can take. Please check with the IEP office for more information.

The Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) is a national database used to maintain information on international students and exchange visitors in the United States. SEVIS allows only one institution to access an individual's immigration record at any given time.

You can contact the Designated School Official (DSO) with specific questions regarding your F-1 visa.

There are limited work opportunities for IEP students. IEP students should not plan to work their first quarter in IEP due to the high academic expectations for students. If you would like more information about working on-campus while studying in IEP, please email the IEP office.

The DSO will create your new I-20 as soon as the IEP office receives your completed transfer paperwork. Please complete your transfer paperwork with your current DSO or Student Advisor. If you are not planning on leaving the United States before attending the IEP, the DSO will keep your I-20 and give it to you the first day of orientation.

If you are planning on leaving the United States before attending the IEP, or would prefer to receive your I-20 sooner, please email the DSO.

A financial guarantee is from your bank, your family's bank or from your sponsor and confirms that you have enough funds for your tuition, fees, and living expense, available to you for EACH QUARTER you will study with us.

If you want to travel internationally over the break, to your home country, Canada or somewhere else outside of the U.S., you must complete the International Travel Authorization form. You must complete this form at least 2 weeks before you travel in order to ensure your immigration documents are current and to ensure you can re-enter the U.S. You may also make an appoint with the DSO if you have questions about leaving the U.S. during your time as an IEP student.

Western Washington University

Yes. Tests are available in Bellingham and the surrounding area. Please visit the TOEFL website.

International FAQ's

Minimum TOEFL and IELTS score requirements
Undergraduate: Graduate:


There are limited scholarships for international students studying at Western, but not for students in the IEP. Contact the Scholarship Center at (360) 650-3471 for further information.

No, not automatically. To apply for admission to Western, you must submit a separate Western application.

To be fully admitted and eligible to enroll in academic classes at Western students must submit proof of English language proficiency. Western Washington University offers conditional admission to undergraduate and post-baccalaureate applicants who have not submitted proof of English language proficiency.

Students who have not met Western’s language proficiency requirement can enroll in courses in the IEP. Students in the IEP can meet Western’s language proficiency requirement by completing the final level of IEP with a GPA of 3.0 or higher or submitting the required TOEFL, IELTS score. The IEP Student Academic Advisor will work with students on their transition to Western Washington University.


Western Washington University offers over 175 different majors. For a list of departments or programs and the requirements, you can check the Western website.

A separate application is needed to apply to Western, even if you have already been accepted in the IEP.