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).
- ENROLL - Start reviewing the course offerings in your UW Student Center. If your enrollment time has not yet passed, you should add courses to your Wish List and validate your selections. Once your enrollment time has passed, enroll in enough courses to be at full-time status (What is the full-time status requirement?) You can watch online tutorials of the course search process on the Registrar's website.
For more information about registration, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page.
- Understand enrollment deadlines, academic policies, refund policies, and fees.
- 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.
- Research the visa application process on our Visa and Arrival page. Please note, however, that visa rules can change frequently, so you should be sure to check with your local American embassy or consulate if you have questions.
- Pay your SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System) Fee.
- Schedule an appointment with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
- 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.
- Pick up free Bus Pass.
- Understand safety and transportation issues in Madison.
- 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.
- Update your mailing address in your My UW Student Center once you locate housing.
- Stay healthy with UW Health Services and the Student Health Insurance Plan.
- FINALIZE COURSE ENROLLMENT - Attend and ask for permission to enroll in any courses with limited access that you are interested in taking.
- Add, swap or drop courses so that you are enrolled in your minimum credit load. See deadlines for adding, swapping or dropping classes.
- Buy your textbooks for your courses.
- 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.
- Maintain your visa status by working with advisors in Adult Career and Special Student Services (ACSSS) and International Student Services (ISS).
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.
- Join the Wisconsin Alumni Association (WAA). You’re a Wisconsin Badger now!