Once you have been nominated by your home institution, you will receive an email from our office inviting you to submit the following application materials to International Programs in the Wisconsin School of Business.
Unless stated otherwise, faxed or emailed documents are not acceptable. You must submit originals with appropriate signatures in order for us to issue you the paperwork necessary for you to obtain a visa.
1. Online Application
You must apply online before sending materials to our office. You will apply through the University of Wisconsin System admission application. Use the name that is on your passport and do not use any accents, umlauts, or other diacritics. Follow the Instructions for the Special Student Electronic Application.
2. Scanned Copy of Your Passport
Email a scanned copy of your passport’s demographic information page to firstname.lastname@example.org.
3. Official University Transcript
Your official transcript must:
- List all undergraduate and graduate courses you have taken and the grades you received.
- Have an official university stamp or seal (handwritten forms and photocopies not accepted).
- Be accompanied with an English translation if it is not issued in English.
4. TOEFL Score Report
The Wisconsin School of Business requires students for whom English is not their first language to submit a TOEFL test result. A minimum TOEFL score of 100 on the Internet-based test or 600 on the paper test is required. Check with your international office about this requirement to see if it is required for students from your institution. Photocopies of an official score report are accepted if they are stamped and signed by a school official at your home institution.
5. Certificate of Financial Support
Exchange students to the University of Wisconsin-Madison requesting a J-1 visa are required by federal regulations to demonstrate proof of sufficient funds on deposit. Exchange students to the Wisconsin School of Business must demonstrate financial support of at least $9,000 USD per semester ($18,000 USD for an academic year).
In addition to the Certificate of Financial Support, students must submit an original bank statement or have a signature of a bank official verifying the funds on deposit. Copies or faxes are not acceptable; please send originals. Note that a specific amount must be stated in U.S. dollars or with an exchange rate provided by the bank.
We recommend you obtain two original copies of any bank statements. Send one to International Programs with your application and keep one for your visit to the United States Embassy or Consulate to apply for your visa.
6. Application for Student DS-2019 (visa request)
7. Housing Preference Request Form
8. Buddy Request Form
9. Transcript Release Form
After being nominated by your home institution, you should submit all materials by:
- March 15 for fall semester (begins in September). Deadline may be extended by request.
- September 1 for spring semester (begins in January). Deadline may be extended by request.
You will then receive an email from our office inviting you to apply online and your documents should follow as quickly as possible.
Mail all materials to:
Wisconsin School of Business
3164 Grainger Hall
975 University Avenue
Madison, WI 53706
Direct any questions to the International Programs project assistant.
Just like degree-seeking students, international exchange students can enroll in courses during the semester directly preceding their stay in Madison. This means that exchange students planning to study at the university in the fall will be able to enroll in courses as early as April, and students coming for the spring semester will enroll in November.
Enrolling for Wisconsin School of Business courses is a relatively simple procedure that you can do on the Internet from anywhere in the world. All you need is your online MyUW student account and your enrollment date and you are ready to enroll in courses!
Instructions for selecting courses, activating your MyUW account, and enrolling online are listed below.
Activate Your MyUW Account
Before enrolling, you must activate your MyUW student account. The MyUW web portal is your personalized gateway to the campus services most important to you. Activation is easy and requires only access to the Internet and a University of Wisconsin-Madison campus identification number, which will be provided by International Programs after your application has been processed. Please follow the step-by-step instructions for activating this account.
You will be able to activate your MyUW account beginning in March or April for fall students and early November for spring students. International Programs will send an email with the necessary information.
Activating your MyUW account establishes your university email account. Please email the International Programs project assistant with your new UW-Madison email address. All university communications will go to this address, so check it regularly.
Understand UW-Madison’s Course Numbering System
In many cases, instead of using a department number, an abbreviation will be used along with the three-digit course number. For example, MHR 403 is the course ID for Global Issues in Management, offered through the department of Management and Human Resources.
The three-digit course number indicates the level of study. It is very important that you choose courses appropriate to your level.
- Courses numbered 100-299 are open to undergraduate students only.
- 100-200 level courses are typically first- or second-year undergraduate courses.
- Courses numbered 300-699 are open to all students.
- 300-400 level courses are typically third- or fourth-year undergraduate courses.
- 500-600 level courses are advanced courses open to both undergraduates and graduate students.
- Courses numbered 700 and higher are open only to graduate students.
Note that business courses with a number of 300 or 700 are most often introductory classes. Therefore, if you have already taken a course in that field at home, you should not choose a course numbered 300 or 700. For example, a student interested in finance who has already had an introductory finance course should not take Finance 300 or Finance 700.
Consult the Course Guide or Class Search
The Course Guide is a catalog of all courses offered at UW-Madison. Class Search is an online listing of course sections offered each term. Information is continuously updated and shows the meeting time for a course, how many spaces are available, who is teaching, what prerequisites are needed, and whether or not the course is full and therefore closed to enrollment. It also includes the scheduled time of the final exam. If a course is not listed in your Class Search, it is not offered that semester and you must choose a different course.
Both can be accessed through a student’s MyUW Student Center. To learn how to navigate these tools, view Class Search and other enrollment-related demos. Individuals who do not have a MyUW account can access the Course Guide and Class Search through the Registrar’s Course Guide Access webpage.
Review Course Descriptions
You can review online course descriptions of undergraduate-level business courses and MBA-level courses.
Remember that UW-Madison requires undergraduate students to carry a minimum of 12 credits and graduate students a minimum of eight (8) credits per semester in order to be considered full-time students.
Check for Restrictions
Certain business courses may be restricted, meaning international exchange students are not allowed to enroll in them. If you do manage to enroll online, International Programs will contact you and you will be required to drop the course.
The list of restricted business courses includes:
- Accounting: 600, 601, 700, 740
- Finance: 535, 536, 700, 726, 727, 750 (unless you have had 726 or its equivalent) 835, 836, and all ACFIN courses (850, 851)
- General Business: 300, 450, 700, 710, 765
- International Business: 462 (This course is cross-listed and the Wisconsin School of Business does not have control over its enrollment. If you have enrollment problems, contact the cross-listed department directly.)
- Information Systems: All courses have required prerequisites. Students must be able to show these subjects on a transcript. Contact International Programs for assistance.
- Management and Human Resources: 701, 702, 704, 722, 723, 727.
- Marketing: 700, 805
- OTM: 705, 730, 732, 750
- Real Estate: You will not be able to web enroll in real estate courses. If space is available the first day, attend class and obtain the instructor’s permission to enroll. Most grad courses are restricted to those students seeking to earn a Wisconsin MBA in Real Estate.
Please do not email business professors about restricted courses; our office will help you with enrollment problems. Additionally, if a course has filled, please contact International Programs.
You may take no more than three courses in the same department during a semester.
Upper-level courses have prerequisites you must satisfy in order to enroll. We will check your transcript to see if you satisfy all prerequisites.
You are welcome to enroll in courses outside the business school if you have the necessary prerequisites. In the case where you are blocked from enrolling in a course outside the business school, email the International Programs project assistant, stating the course you wish to take and evidence of the necessary course prerequisites.
Make (and Check) Your Course Selections
Once you decide on the courses you will take, ask yourself the following questions before you enroll:
- Did you check Class Search and then make a wish list in your MyUW to be sure all the courses you selected are offered the semester you will attend UW-Madison?
- Did you check the list of restrictions?
- Is there space available in the course?
- If you’re an undergraduate student, did you select courses number 699 or lower?
- Did you avoid courses that meet at the same times?
- Did you check the exam date and time?
- Have you avoided scheduling courses with exams at the same time? (You must stay in Madison until after your last exam. No exceptions will be made.)
After your MyUW account is activated, you are ready to enroll online in UW-Madison courses on the designated enrollment date and time that will be provided you by the International Programs project assistant. Students enrolling for fall courses will be allowed to enroll as early as April, and students enrolling in spring courses will be allowed to enroll in November.
Online demos and tutorials will help you understand how to search for classes, add classes, swap classes, and work the waitlist. If you encounter closed courses, contact our office, not the professor. Please remember we can never guarantee that a course you need will be available to you; be prepared to be flexible with your course choices.
If you have any questions at all about this process, please contact the International Programs project assistant for assistance.
While you are ultimately responsible for securing your own housing, International Programs can assist you. Housing in Madison can be in short supply; therefore, we suggest you consider one of the options below.
Once you sign a contract for whichever housing option you choose, the agreement is binding and you will be responsible for payment.
Some of the more popular housing options for business exchange students include:
- University Housing: On-campus residence halls are mostly for first- and second-year undergraduates; however, all undergraduates are able to apply to live here. They provide a distinct opportunity to integrate into campus life. There are learning communities (including entrepreneurial and international) that speak to students’ unique interests. If you decide to live in University Housing, submit the University Residence Halls Application for Exchange Students to University Housing no later than March 15. Please note that University Housing contracts are binding and will not be cancelled unless you withdraw from the university.
- Steve Brown Apartments: Steve Brown Apartments is a company that owns many private apartment buildings in Madison, some of which are very close to campus. Please visit their website for more information about rental rates and available apartments.
You may also consider the following options and arrange your own housing. UW-Madison’s Off-Campus Housing Service lists hundreds of rentals in Madison for apartments, roommate openings, rooms in private homes, and more.
Once you have made your selection, complete the Housing Request Form (available on the Application Guidelines page). You can submit the form and housing documents (for The Saxony or University Housing) with your application materials.
Review the following resources for temporary housing for you or guests:
In your acceptance packet, you received your DS-2019 form, which you need to take to the United States Embassy or Consulate in your country to apply for a J-1 visa stamp. Be prepared to take documentation of your financial support, including the letter of support from International Academic Programs (enclosed with the DS 2019), and an original bank statement accompanied by a letter of financial support from parents or other sponsors. Also, be certain that your passport is valid six months into the future at the time of application for the J-1 visa stamp.
En route to the United States, you will receive a small white card on the airplane, which is called an “I-94 card.” This document is an official immigration document, and should remain in your passport for the duration of your stay in the United States. The I-94 card in combination with the United States visa stamp and a valid passport secure your entry into the United States. You must have all of these documents with you when you arrive in the United States.
When you enter the United States, an immigration official at the airport will process your papers and return the DS 2019 form to you. Keep your passport, I-94 card, and the copy of your DS 2019 form together in a safe place once you arrive in the United States. These documents are proof of your immigration status.
After your arrival in Madison, please make photocopies of the following documents:
- I-94 arrival/departure card
- Passport identity and expiry pages
- J-1 visa stamp
Bring these copies to the visa portion of the Exchange Orientation.
More information on how to apply for a visa can be found on the International Student Services (ISS) Visa Information webpage.
ISS has also created an online Guide for International Students that will provide you with many of the basic things you will need to know as an international student at UW-Madison.
Health insurance is mandatory for all students who are registered for class at UW-Madison. All international students must enroll in the UW-Madison Student Health Insurance Plan or file a qualifying waiver by September 15 for fall students or February 15 for spring/summer.
Waivers will only be approved if you meet the criteria listed on the SHIP Waiver Application. Read the form carefully before you purchase other health insurance. If you do not qualify for a waiver, you are required to enroll in SHIP.
Students are expected to arrive no later than one day before the Exchange Orientation.
International Student Services has created an online Guide for International Students that will help you explore many of the basic things you will need to know as an international student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Students generally choose one of two options for arriving in Madison.
- You may fly directly to Madison, into the Dane County Regional Airport.
- You may fly into Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport and take the Van Galder bus to UW-Madison’s Memorial Union. Schedules and prices for the bus from Chicago to Madison are listed at the Van Galder Bus website.
To get from the airport or Memorial Union to your accommodation, either take a taxi or ask your buddy to meet you upon your arrival.
Upon your arrival, it is important to receive your Wiscard and your bus pass.
- Wiscard is the official UW-Madison identification card. It will give you access to libraries, recreation facilities, and other campus services. You must present some form of personal photo identification, such as a passport. Hours of operation can be found on the Wiscard website.
- Bus passes are available for pick up at various locations across campus at the beginning of the semester. You must be registered for courses and present a valid Wiscard to receive a bus pass. If you have a new WisCard, you must wait overnight for your records to be updated before you can receive your bus pass.
Cell phones are an important way to stay connected. Although International Programs does not recommend any specific provider, past exchange students have recommended AT&T, Straight Talk, and AirFire cellular phone plans because they do not necessarily require a long-term contract.
Before you arrive, you might like to apply for the BRIDGE Program through the International Student Services (ISS) office. The BRIDGE Program is available for new international students who are interested in being paired up with a U.S. student during the first semester of your studies at UW-Madison. This would be in addition to the Business Buddy program open to Wisconsin School of Business exchange students.
Because the Wisconsin School of Business firmly believes that orientation provides an essential foundation for your time at UW-Madison, we require that you arrive in time to attend the orientation session. If you cannot attend the orientation session, you should defer your participation to another semester. Social events are optional, but they are a good way to meet other students and see the campus.
Orientation dates for the 2013-2014 academic year are:
Fall 2013: August 29, 2013
Spring 2014: January 16, 2014
The orientation sessions will start in the morning and last all day. More details and an agenda will be sent to incoming students.
Once the semester begins, we encourage you to get involved on campus. The following resources provide you with ideas of how to find activities and meet other students.