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COVID-19 Questions

Information about COVID-19 and study abroad at UW can be found here:

General Questions

We offer programs during the fall, spring, and summer. Consider how the term and specific program dates could impact on-campus recruiting and internship plans when making your decision about when to study abroad.

Most students who study abroad through the School of Business are admitted business students or Certificate in Business students. If you are not yet admitted to the business school, you can apply to study abroad before/while you submit your business school application.
Nonbusiness students may be eligible to apply to our programs if there is a solid academic rationale and they meet the minimum eligibility requirements.

Choosing a program may seem overwhelming. To get started, ask yourself a couple questions. Are there any specific components you are looking for such as internship opportunities, language requirements, or the ability to take certain courses? Do you want to live with a host family? Are program dates a factor? Feel free to visit Global Programs drop-in advising in 3150 Grainger Hall to explore your options.

It is possible to study abroad in your last year of college, but it requires flexibility and careful planning. This is because:

  • You have fewer degree requirements to fulfill in order to graduate
  • No particular course is absolutely guaranteed to be available abroad

If you are unable to get a required class abroad in your next-to-last semester, in most cases, you can take this class when you return to Madison for your final semester. If you are not able to get a required class abroad in your final semester, however, your degree would not be conferred until you complete the requirement. In most cases this would mean your BBA would be conferred in August, but you could still “walk” in the spring graduation ceremony. This may or may not pose a problem for employers.

Flexibility means a requirement can be fulfilled by taking any number of different courses. The business breadth requirement, for example, can be met with any business course* outside your majors that is not otherwise required for your degree.

You still have to meet any prerequisites for the course you want to take. Some majors allow one or more business courses numbered 365 (Contemporary Topics) to fulfill major requirements. Any degree requirement that can be met with only one specific course (especially an upper-level course) isn’t guaranteed to be available during your semester abroad.

In addition to breadth courses and Topics courses, more flexible degree requirements include:

  • Degree credits—any elective credits still needed to reach the minimum of 120
  • Nonbusiness/economics credits—any still needed to reach the minimum of 52 (not all WSB study abroad and exchange programs may have these available)
  • Business/economics credits—any still needed to reach the minimum of 52
  • Liberal studies requirements—may be met with courses abroad equated with a UW course designated as humanities, literature or social science (not all WSB study abroad and exchange programs may have these available).

*Except general business courses which do not apply to the breadth requirement

Applying for a Study Abroad Program

The deadline for summer study abroad applications varies by program. See the program pages for details. March 1 is the deadline for fall programs and the priority deadline for spring programs. After the priority deadline, you can submit applications for spring programs with space available. These applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the final deadline or until the program fills. More details about the application deadlines, including specific dates and available spaces, can be found on the Apply to Study Abroad webpage.

Within one application you can rank up to four programs. We will offer you a place in the highest-ranked program possible based on the following:

  • the number of spots available in each program
  • the demand for the programs you list
  • the overall quality of your application compared to others in the applicant pool

There are limited spaces available with our partner institutions, and admission may be competitive. Applications are reviewed for the academic preparedness, rationale, intellectual curiosity, personal maturity, and social flexibility necessary for a successful study abroad experience. The primary selection criteria is demonstrated interest and rationale for the top choice program, involvement, and academics.


The majority of Global Programs’ study abroad options offer coursework in English.

Different programs require different levels of proficiency, and may allow you to take some courses in the foreign language or require you to take all your courses in the foreign language.

Students studying abroad with WSB’s Global Programs are required to take at least half of their courses in a business field. This being said, courses offered vary widely from program to program. Our partner schools may change their course offerings from year to year, and sometimes at the last minute. You can review the course offerings by visiting the websites of our partner schools, then consult UW–Madison’s detailed study abroad program page to see if courses that interest you have already been equated to a UW–Madison course.

Yes. While abroad with Global Programs, you are considered “in residence” at UW–Madison. This means that you earn residence credit and grades for courses taken abroad. The grades will appear on your UW–Madison transcript.

Yes. Careful academic planning is important. Talk to your academic advisor and start planning early.

This depends on the program. You may register for specific classes before you depart, or you may register for specific classes after you arrive abroad. In both cases, flexibility and preparation are important.


The cost of studying abroad can vary from program to program and from student to student. Depending on the program location, the cost of living may be comparable to Madison, but in some cases it may be more or less expensive. Most additional costs will come in travel expenses, so this also varies considerably.

This being said, the majority of programs are exchange programs, which means you would pay tuition at the UW–Madison rate. Non-exchange programs will have a different program fee. More details can be found on program-specific pages.

Financial aid is applicable to study abroad programs. If you already receive financial aid through UW–Madison, in most cases you will be able to use this toward your term abroad with Global Programs. For more information, contact the Office of Student Financial Aid.

Any scholarship you currently have through UW–Madison can be used to cover the expenses of studying abroad. Additionally, there are other scholarships specifically for studying abroad. Visit our scholarships and financial aid page for more information.

Financial aid funds will be credited to your tuition account. If you have more than enough aid to cover this, you will be mailed a refund check to the address you list as your mailing address in MyUW. Students who are on a non-exchange program will have a UW–Madison tuition bill of $0, so the entire award will be disbursed to the student to pay for tuition and other expenses.

This depends on the host institution, but most of our partners offer some sort of orientation program.

A passport is necessary to enter a foreign country. Passport information and application forms can be found on the U.S. Department of State website.

In many cases, students will need a visa to study abroad. Visit Travel.State.Gov and the website of the host country’s embassy or consulate for information concerning specific requirements. This process of obtaining a visa can be complicated, so review the requirements carefully.

Passports and visas should be arranged as soon as possible, because documents can take up to three months to process. Your passport should be valid at least six months beyond the end date of your program. If your passport expires before then, you should apply to renew your passport immediately.

While all countries require a passport, not all countries require a visa. Check the website for your host country’s embassy or consulate in the U.S.

No. 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, to look at options for buying tickets that are refundable or that have flexible return dates.

Most students live in on-campus housing provided by the university or in off-campus apartments with other students (either local students or other exchange students). Alternatively, some of our programs offer home-stays, where students live with a native host family.

Students are responsible for coordinating their own housing arrangements while abroad. This being said, both Global Programs and the host institutions will help with the process. To learn what housing options are available for a specific program, visit its program-specific webpage.