Preparing to study abroad requires time, planning, and organizational skills. 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.
After you are selected by International Programs, you will gain access to an online study abroad pre-departure portal called MyStudyAbroad. Through MyStudyAbroad, you will confirm your participation, review the study abroad and program handbooks, view program dates, submit course equivalency requests, among other features. Pay close attention to due dates and tasks to ensure you complete requirements on time.
Study Abroad Handbook
The Study Abroad Handbook includes important information on study abroad policies for all students studying abroad through International Programs. Selected study abroad students will be able to access the handbook through their MyStudyAbroad account. 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.
2018-2019 Study Abroad Handbook
2019-2020 Study Abroad Handbook
Resources about studying abroad (destinations, cross-cultural communication, program brochures, etc) are available on campus. International Programs has compiled a reference list to help you identify some of these available resources. This list is not exhaustive; use it as a starting point for your own study abroad research!
On-Campus Resources for Study Abroad
Health and Safety
You are required to attend a Health and Safety orientation or webinar. Details including the dates, times, and how to register can be found in your MyStudyAbroad Acceptance Tasks list the semester prior to studying abroad.
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 carry mandatory international and emergency medical insurance. Insurance through Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI) is included in your program fee, and International Programs enrolls all participants in the plan. More information on this mandatory plan is available on the Risk Management Study Abroad web page.
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 lists available on the Academics tab of the program pages to determine for which course the foreign course counts for 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 in the program-specific handbooks (available in MyStudyAbroad) 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 can utilize the Study Abroad Course Planner to prepare for their academic advising appointment.
Please note that these are business study abroad programs 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.