Use this checklist to guide you through your participation in the Visiting International Student Program (VISP).

Application and Pre-Arrival in the US

  • If you are currently a student at another institution abroad, check with your school to find out if you need special permission from them to participate in VISP.
  • APPLY - There are a limited number of spots available each semester. Applications will be taken on a rolling basis after the priority deadline for each term has passed. Please contact the VISP coordinator for more information. Visit How to Apply as a Visiting International Student to start your application today. 

    Academic Term   Priority Deadlines
     Fall Semester (September - December)  May 1; application accepted on a rolling basis after deadline has passed.
    Spring Semester (January - May)  September 1; applications accepted on a rolling basis after deadline has passed.
     Summer (Different sessions offered between May - August)  February 1; applications accepted on a rolling basis after deadline has passed.

  • Receive 10-digit campus ID by email and activate your online My UW account.
  • Wait for admission review and decision (communication via email).
  • Make sure you have a valid passport that will not expire while you are in the United States. It is best for it to be valid a minimum of 6 months past the end date of your program in the US.
  • VISA DOCUMENTS - Receive paper admission letter and I-20 or DS-2019 from ACSSS via express or regular mail.
  • HOUSING - Research housing possibilities and perhaps sign contract or lease before you arrive, or arrange for temporary housing if needed.
  • INSURANCE - Understand mandatory health insurance requirements. You may purchase SHIP or file a waiver before or after arrival but you must be enrolled in classes to do so.
  • ARRIVAL PLANS - Research the airports, orientation date, and arrival information by visiting the Visa and Arrival Information page. Do not book your plane tickets until you consult this resource!
  • After consulting the Visa and Arrival Information page and proceeding with your visa application, purchase your plane tickets. 
  • Carry your passport and immigration documents with you while you travel--do not pack them in your checked baggage.

After your Arrival in Madison

  • ARRIVAL - Attend the Exchange and Visiting Student Orientation (fall and spring students) or contact the VISP coordinator (summer students). Orientation information is located on the Visa and Arrival Information page.
  • Pick up Wiscard Photo ID once you have enrolled in at least one class.
  • Open a free UW Credit Union (location in Union South) or other bank account to facilitate tuition payment.
  • HOUSING - Finalize your permanent housing for your time in Madison. 
  • Purchase Renter's Insurance to protect your personal property against theft or other incidents.
  • Pay your tuition bill by the deadline. There are several methods of payment including a new option for paying your tuition with foreign currency. See your Student Center for more information. 

Before you Leave Madison

  • Understand when you must leave the U.S. (typically 60 days after the end of your semester for those on F-1 visas and 30 days for those on J-1 visas).
  • Contact the VISP coordinator in ACSSS and ISS if you plan to extend your academic stay or transfer into another academic program at UW-Madison or elsewhere in the U.S.
  • Pay any outstanding tuition fees in your Student Center, which may block the release of your transcript.
  • Close your bank account, notify any utility companies (Madison Gas & Electric, cell phone providers, cable/internet etc.) of your departure and pay any outstanding bills. 
  • Update your mailing address in your Student Center. 
  • Pick up or order your official transcript once grades for the semester are recorded. You also may request a transcript with a credit card once you are home.