VISP Student Stories

Xuefei from China

Studying abroad at UW-Madison was not my first time of being far away from home, but it was really unique experience. I did many things I have never did before: making new friends from different cultural backgrounds, studying in a second language, attending football and baseball games, researching with a professor, watching the NCAA final four and screaming for the Badgers, and experiencing a long, cold winter. I joined a public speaking club and met many new friends.

I like many aspects of the city of Madison. It has beautiful scenery. The most enjoyable moment of my days was to jog along lake Mendota and watch the sunset. The city is also very safe. Before coming to US there were a lot of warnings about not go out alone at night and so forth, but Madison is really a secure place with a good atmosphere for studying.

But my favorite part of Madison is the people. The VISP staff are always helpful and supportive; they were always there whenever I needed help. The professors are very nice and approachable; even if I asked a silly question they responded clearly and patiently. The friends I met were very interesting. Since we all come from different backgrounds, I can always learn something new from them. People are my favorite aspect of this University and this town, and they will surely be the part I miss most after I leave. 

All of these make me believe in this year in Madison will be a big step in my personal growth. Making many new friends makes me become more confident and outgoing, being far away from home makes me more independent and strong. Experiencing new things brings me to a wider world I had never imagined. With no exaggeration, my time in Madison was a life-changing experience.

If I could give only one suggestion to the incoming VISP student I would say, "be PROACTIVE." The best experiences came from being proactive, while all the regrets came from not being proactive enough. So if you would like to do something, just go for it!

Darlan from Brazil


Can you imagine a University that ranks among the best ones in the whole world, that gives you all the support you need and that really makes you feel at home? That’s UW-Madison.

It can be scary living and studying in another country with a whole different culture. I was scared before I arrived, but since my first day at UW I felt like I belonged there. The professors are really open to answer your questions and they really care about your learning process. The campus also has a lot of resources to their international students. Madison is not a big city, but it definitely has everything you look for with a huge bonus: one of the prettiest views you have ever seen.

It won’t take too long until you get in love with Lake Mendota, Bascom Hill and with the afternoons at Memorial Union by the lake shore with your friends. The city also has a lot of things to do, including healthy activities and nightlife. The study abroad experience will change you a lot. Now, I feel more mature and prepared to deal with life challenges. You’ll also meet people from the entire world and get in touch with different cultures. This will open your mind to a whole set of new possibilities and opportunities.

Get ready to have one of the most amazing experiences of your life at one of the best universities in the world. On Wisconsin!

Arthur from Brazil


I chose the University of Wisconsin-Madison because I think it is the best university in the world. Professors are supportive and help us with everything we need. They treat foreign students as if we were Americans, with no distinctions.

UW-Madison has also wonderful students organizations in which you can participate during the year, having fun and learning at the same time. I never thought that I would be able to learn how to use a bow and arrow until I joined the Archery Club. It was fantastic.

Though people say that Wisconsin is too cold, it is easy to have fun. Usually in snowy days, I went outside with my friends for a snowball fight, or to make an angel or a snowman, or to go ice-skating in the Shell at Camp Randall. After that we went for a drink in a coffee shop.

I can say that I changed for having lived in Madison. I think I am more focused; I am more accurate in decision-making; and I got a spirit of leadership. Also, I know how to see the world in a different manner since I lived with people from different cultures. I stayed in touch with my family every 3 or 4 days via Skype. When speaking with then I always said: There is no place better and safer to live in America than Madison.

Raissa from Brazil

As an international student, leaving my parent's home for the first time in my life, I was very worried about feeling displaced or lost in the U.S.. But thanks to all of the support I received from UW-Madison and the VISP coordinator, I felt like I belonged there since the day I arrived!

I thought the courses I took at UW were more difficult and required more dedication than what I was used to. But, on the other hand, the classes were better, and the teachers were very concerned to provide all necessary resources for you to do well. The professors had office hours every week too: a time where you could find them in their room, and talk about whatever you want relative to their subject. It was very useful.

The time I spent in Madison was the best of my life, and I remember it dearly. If you have the opportunity to study there, I would advise to don't even think twice, just go. You won't regret it at all. I am, and will always be, a proud Badger!

Check back soon for more VISP student stories!