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Who can my student contact with questions?
The International Student Services (ISS) office helps students navigate visa and immigration issues, federal laws and regulations, and more. The office also administers UW–Madison’s federal tracking system, provides orientation programming, offers advising, and hosts workshops to help international students adjust to life in the United States. Visit the ISS website for more information about ISS programs and services. Additionally, Campus and Visitor Relations can assist your student with general questions about the campus and the community.
How does my student maintain full-time enrollment?
To maintain status, F–1 and J–1 students must register and complete a full-time course load during fall and spring semesters. All courses carry a specified number of credit hours. Most courses are worth three or four credits. International undergraduate students must complete a minimum of 12 credits per semester. Undergraduate students generally will complete 12 to 18 credits per semester.
What can my student expect in the classroom?
International students are sometimes surprised by the behavior of other students in class. American students are likely to dress casually, may bring drinks or snacks to class, and may speak to the instructor in an informal manner. Students are expected to contribute to, and are often evaluated on, their participation in class. It is not disrespectful to question or engage the professor; it is considered a sign of interest and original thought. Some instructors run a more formal classroom than others. The best thing for a student to do is observe and adapt to the degree that the student is comfortable. Academic integrity is also an important concept for students to familiarize themselves with. All forms of cheating, plagiarism, and fraud are taken very seriously by UW–Madison. If your student has questions about what constitutes academic misconduct, encourage your student to speak with professors, teaching assistants, or the staff at International Student Services.
Madison’s climate is subject to great temperature variations. During the summer (June–September), temperatures are often above 26.6° Celsius (80° Fahrenheit) and occasionally above 32° C (90° F). During the winter (December–March), many days may be -18° C (0° F) and even lower. Both very light and very heavy clothing will be needed. Normal attire is usually casual rather than formal.
I am planning to visit Wisconsin. What are my transportation options?
There are four major airports near Madison. Several airlines fly into the Dane County Regional Airport in Madison. The closest international airports are in Chicago, Illinois, at O’Hare and Midway Airports. General Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is the largest airport in Wisconsin, and is only an hour and a half away from campus. Taxi, limousine, and city bus service to the UW–Madison campus are available at the Dane County Regional Airport, and bus service is available from Milwaukee and Chicago to Madison.
Van Galder Bus Company provides service directly to campus from Chicago’s O’Hare Airport. The Van Galder buses stop outside the UW’s Memorial Union.
Badger Coaches offers daily express service from General Mitchell International Airport airport in Milwaukee to Madison.
I am planning to visit the U.S. and need a tourist visa. How does my student obtain an invitation letter?
International Student Services can assist your student with this process. They also provide detailed information about obtaining an invitation letter.
How does my student obtain a Social Security Number?
When a student initially arrives at UW–Madison, the student will not be able to immediately obtain a Social Security Number. The orientation program with International Student Services will include information on the process to obtain a Social Security Number. Students who have attended orientation and who have been offered employment may begin the process of obtaining a Social Security Number after the start of classes. For more information visit the U.S. Social Security Administration website or have your student contact International Student Services.
Where can my student find scholarships specifically for international students?
International Student Services has listed a number of search engines that enable international students to research scholarships, grants, and tuition waivers. For more information, your student should see an advisor at the ISS office or visit its website.
Other than International Student Services, what are some resources specifically for international students?
This volunteer program places international students and their family members in schools, campus venues, and community organizations for short presentations on their countries, cultures, and current global issues.
What is the best way to make a tuition payment?
UW–Madison and Western Union are working together to provide a simple and reliable way for students and their authorized payers to pay tuition using the Foreign Currency electronic payment. Please refer to detailed Foreign Currency ePayment instructions and also view a list of participating countries and available currencies on the Office of the Bursar website. Advantages of using the Foreign Currency electronic payment include:
Paying with the currency of your choice, which is then converted to U.S. dollars.
Easy payment initiation by choosing the ‘Pay with Foreign Currency’ ePayment method on the Tuition eBill/ePayment site.
The exchange rate quote is locked for 72 hours after initiating the transaction.
Exchange rates are competitive compared to most bank retail rates.
No transaction fee is charged by the UW–Madison or Western Union. Your bank may charge a fee for the transfer of funds within your country.
Electronic funds transmission to UW–Madison, which includes reference information to ensure timely posting to the student’s tuition account.
How will my student have access to health care/insurance?
The Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP), offered through University Health Services (UHS), provides international students with a comprehensive, accessible health insurance plan. All international students and their visa dependents are required to have health insurance coverage approved by UW–Madison. International students must either be enrolled in SHIP or waived for enrollment based on qualifying insurance coverage. Most services provided by UHS are fully covered for SHIP members with no out-of-pocket expense. However, not every health care need can be met through UHS. UHS does not provide services such as hospitalization, emergency room services, and medical care for dependent children. As the health care system in the U.S. can be difficult to navigate, SHIP is available to assist students with questions related to their insurance coverage, including what health care needs are covered and using medical services both within and beyond UHS. Visit SHIP for more information.