students sit on lawn listening to music

Student Life – Pullman

Experience a classic American college town—a community built around the university and its students.

A town built for you

For more than 130 years, the town of Pullman and its university have grown and developed together to form a vibrant, student-centered community.

University students comprise 59% of the town’s 34,000 residents. Local professionals, WSU faculty and staff, and their families round out the population.

The downtown shopping district—with coffee shops, specialty retailers, and restaurants—is only a short walk away from campus. Convenient bus routes provide access to grocery stores, department stores, movie theaters, and more restaurants.

WSU students use Pullman’s excellent public transit system free of charge, and the university’s bike-sharing program gives you another easy way to get where you need to go.

View of Pullman main street lit at night

“Students are the most important thing at WSU. From the simplest to the largest necessities – food, housing, school supplies, and entertainment – everything is equipped to serve the student.”

Salwa al-Arimi, Oman


WSU, WSU Police, and Campus Safety Services are committed to protecting and enhancing the safety of students, faculty, staff, and visitors to the Pullman campus. 


The Princeton Review includes WSU in its list of 20 U.S. colleges that have remarkably positive relationships with the nonstudent communities around them.

Wide view of Pullman campus with rolling hills with green crops and pine trees in the back

A rural paradise

WSU nestles in a wide-open landscape of gently rolling hills that is one of North America’s most productive agricultural regions.

National Geographic Magazine considers it a national treasure, labeling it “a paradise called the Palouse.”

Four seasons, gentle weather


Average winter low


Average summer high


Average annual precipitation


Average annual snowfall

Students walk and mingle on a mall on campus

The International Center

The International Center helps all students have a cultural sharing experience on campus.

The International Center is your campus living room—a comfortable place where the international and local community come together for intercultural activities and programming or to simply relax, socialize, or study.

Conveniently located in the CUB (the student union building), right in the center of campus, it offers a variety of resources:

  • Computers and free printing
  • Free tea and coffee
  • Comfortable lounge with TV and kitchenette
  • Quiet study space

Academic support services, social events, and programming, in collaboration with the International Students’ Council help, highlight cultural customs and uniquely U.S. experiences while providing students help in succeeding at the University.

Coffee hours

No, you don’t have to drink coffee to enjoy these friendly, fascinating get-togethers.

Coffee hours are held Friday from 3-4 p.m. Topics vary and cover U.S. culture, international topics, WSU and Pullman resources, and more.

Becoming a Cougar series

New students can benefit from the Becoming A Cougar: American Life and Culture series. This program helps students navigate the university environment. It provides additional support by educating students about a variety of topics, including WSU Athletics, local travel and transportation, health insurance, and academic integrity.

Language conversation tables

The International Center hosts and supports various language tables. Each semester, 5-10 different tables cover languages such as French, Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, Korean, and more. International as well as domestic students can practice or share a language they know or are learning. These tables allow students to share their language and culture with others interested in learning.

International Peer Mentors

We want you to be happy here, and we know that beginning college in a foreign country can be a stressful experience. That’s where peer mentors come in.

The international peer mentors are a group of friendly volunteers—students like you—who are ready to help you get a good start at WSU and seize the opportunities of American college life.

You will meet them during orientation week, and they will be available to offer guidance throughout your first semester at WSU.

“Pullman is different. I didn’t feel like a stranger when I came here. There is a healthy connection between the students and the institution.”

Adel Yafi, Homs, Syria
Butch T. Cougar sits next to 2 students outside

A worldwide community

There is a strong sense of kinship that comes with attending WSU. In fact, it is one of our most distinctive traits.

Everyone who attends WSU is a Cougar—in short, a Coug—for life.

Being a Coug means having passion. When something excellent happens, we all take pride in it. When something tragic happens, we all feel sympathetic. We stand as a close community.”

Yuri Can, Touchet, Washington

Why “Cougs”?

Like many U.S. universities, WSU has a school nickname. Ours is the cougar—the largest feline predator in North America.

Butch T. Cougar (our costumed mascot) is a focal point for the friendship and loyalty that define the student experience. The university’s athletic teams compete under the Cougar name. Students and alumni proudly wear the school’s crimson and gray colors to identify themselves as WSU Cougars.

Whenever WSU alumni meet, “Go Cougs!” is a common greeting.

Cougar mascot in front of billboard

International students are welcome here

The rural setting and diverse student population of WSU Pullman create a powerful learning experience.

5.4% of WSU students Are international WSU
101 Countries Home to WSU students WSU International Programs
30% WSU students Identify as multicultural WSU Admissions
50 US states Home to WSU students WSU Admissions
10 students in life jackets sit in a large rubber raft in white, roiling water

An active campus

Whatever your interests may be, you can find people at WSU who are eager to share them with you.

International and domestic students participate together in more than 260 student clubs and organizations.

Sports and the outdoors

WSU students enjoy the university’s spacious, well-equipped student recreation center.

The university’s Outdoor Recreation Center offers equipment rentals and group trips, in which you can enjoy activities such as hiking, skiing, snowboarding, surfing, backpacking, and kayaking in locations throughout the western United States. There are also classes where you can learn new skills for the outdoors.

WSU has a robust intramural sports program. Students of all skill levels are welcome to join teams and participate in friendly competition with their fellow students.

Other WSU locations