A World-Class University in One of the World's Most Livable Cities

Your semester in Wisconsin will be spent in a remarkable city. Madison offers an urban setting with a friendly neighborhood atmosphere. More than 220,000 people living within Madison’s borders and half a million in the metro area enjoy the amenities of a bustling city— with the warmth and relaxed atmosphere of a much smaller town. Nestled in between two lakes, Wisconsin’s vibrant capital city is renowned for its beauty. A total of five area lakes and more than 200 parks provide year-round outdoor activities.

Things to Do

Madison offers an amazing array of options: farmers’ markets, cultural festivals of all kinds, local races and triathlons, exercise trails, ethnic restaurants in every flavor imaginable, Big Ten sports, entertainment, and dozens of family-friendly special events. Excellent public transportation and bike paths make it easy to get around. Downtown Madison adjoins campus and is one of the most dynamic neighborhoods in the country, packed with more than 200 unique stores in addition to more than 100 restaurants and bars. When it comes to cultural offerings, each week offers music, drama, and fine arts events.


Madison is located in a temperate climate zone and has four distinct seasons—spring, summer, fall and winter. During the warmest months of June, July, and August, high temperatures average 80 degrees Fahrenheit (27 Celsius). Winters are cold with moderate snowfall. In the middle of winter, high temperatures average 25 degrees Fahrenheit (−4 Celsius) though temperatures can fall below 0 degrees Fahrenheit (−18 Celsius). Average annual snowfall is 35 inches (89 cm).


Located in the mid-western region of the U.S., Madison is the capital of the state of Wisconsin and home to the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The city is uniquely positioned on an isthmus between lakes Monona and Mendota. The university is located in the center of the city, the campus spreading out along Lake Mendota, encompassing wooded hills, friendly shores, and lively city streets.

Madison—the state's second largest city—is one of the fastest-growing in Wisconsin. It offers a combination of natural beauty, stimulating cultural offerings, outdoor recreation, distinctive restaurants, unique shops, and vibrant nightlife. Madison routinely wins awards as a great place to live and study.

The university’s location in south central Wisconsin makes for convenient access to Milwaukee (80 miles), Chicago (150 miles), and Minneapolis (270 miles). Daily buses serve all three cities.

Madison is served by the Dane County Regional Airport (airport code MSN). More than 85 commercial flights depart and arrive daily. There is also frequent shuttle bus service from Chicago's O'Hare (ORD) and Milwaukee (MKE) airports (and also from downtown Chicago and downtown Milwaukee, respectively).