Once you have been selected to study abroad by International Programs, there are still more steps to take. In addition to the information below, there will be specific tasks and information related to your study abroad program. International Programs will email a program-specific handbook to you, which you should read and understand thoroughly.
Study Abroad Handbook
The Study Abroad Handbook includes important information on study abroad policies for all students studying abroad through International Programs. The handbook can be found in the Forms section of the Study Abroad Participants website. Important information and recommendations are included for planning and logistics, health and safety, academics, financial matters, cultural adjustment and more. All selected students should read the handbook thoroughly.
Resources about studying abroad (destinations, cross-cultural communication, program brochures, etc) are available on campus. A list of these resources is available in the Forms section of the Study Abroad Participants website. This list is not exhaustive; use it as a starting point for your own study abroad research!
All students studying abroad with International Programs are required to take a one credit pre-departure course called International Perspectives (INTL BUS 365). Admitted study abroad students will receive information about enrolling for the course after they have been admitted.
- Spring 2016 Study Abroad Participants: Students studying abroad spring 2016 will receive more information in the fall about the course, which is scheduled to be held Tuesdays 10/27, 11/3, 11/10, 11/17, 12/1 and 12/8/2015 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Study abroad participants who will be enrolled in 18 credits during the fall 2015 semester should contact International Programs.
Health and Safety
Check with the University Health Services Travel Clinic for any recommended health precautions or immunizations. The Travel Clinic gets very busy, so make your appointment early. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Travelers’ Health page offers information for travel outside the United States. More information can be found on our Health and Safety Abroad and Cultural Adjustment webpages.
If you will be bringing medication or prescriptions, it can be helpful to pack your them in your carry-on luggage. If possible, take enough with you for the entire time abroad, and leave them in their original containers. Take a written prescription or information about your dosage with you in case you need refills abroad. Since you may not be able to obtain specific medications abroad, take with you all over-the-counter and prescription medications you use regularly or might need at your site. If it is helpful, International Programs is able to provide a letter to your doctor and/or insurance company explaining that you will be studying overseas for an extended period.
The University of Texas at Austin has produced a helpful video, Culture of Safety: A Practical Guide to Studying Abroad, that covers a few simple steps you can take to have a safe and healthy study abroad experience. The video focuses on four key areas: cultural differences, situational and locational awareness, the value of local knowledge, and using good judgment with alcohol.
The University of Wisconsin System requires all students who study abroad to purchase mandatory international and emergency medical insurance. More information on this mandatory plan offered by Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI) and the latest brochure are available on the Risk Management Study Abroad web page. Admitted study abroad students will receive an invoice from International Programs.
International students: You may file to waive the Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) for the time you are abroad. Contact SHIP for more information. Waiver requests must be submitted before you study abroad.
Information from the U.S. State Department
Visit the State Department’s Students Abroad website. Read the consular information sheet for the country you are visiting. All study abroad students must register with the State Department in case of a local emergency.
Additional information is available from the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs. You can also review Background Notes on countries, which include facts about the land, people, history, government, political conditions, economy, and foreign relations.
When you register for courses abroad depends on the program. You may register for specific classes before or after you arrive abroad. In both cases, flexibility and preparation are important.
Once the host university announces its timetable, reference the course equivalency database to determine how courses count at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Also be aware that credit values may be different abroad, and students should check the grade and credit conversion tables found on the program-specific pre-departure page (below) to see how credit values may vary from the host institution to UW-Madison.
We highly recommend you check your DARS Report and make a one-on-one advising appointment for a discussion of your courses. Students will be given a study abroad planner that their academic advisor must sign.
Please note that this is a business exchange, and we require that all students on a semester exchange take at least six (6) credits of business classes.
Students are responsible for arranging travel to and from their host country. It is important to verify dates carefully. Many past participants recommend working with a travel agent, such as STA Travel or Student Universe, to look at options for buying tickets that are refundable or that have flexible return dates. Another travel resource is Badger Student Travel.
Information on Subletting
Finding a subletter, or finding housing when you return from study abroad, can be a concern for many students. The UW-Madison Campus Area Housing Listing Service is a great resource for posting and searching subletting options.
Read your program-specific handbook for details specific to your program. Included in the handbook is information on: dates, contacts, key websites, application deadlines, application procedures, academics, financial information, and life abroad. If you have any questions about your program, contact your Study Abroad Advisor.