Living abroad

Housing arrangements

Depending on the institution and program, you may live in dorms, share an on- or off-campus apartment with other students, or even live with a host family. All these can be rich experiences. However, not all options are available in all sites so you should consider your preferences while researching options.

Health insurance

UW-Madison requires all students studying abroad on official UW-Madison programs to carry CISI health insurance, with no exception. In addition, some sites may require additional insurance coverage according to their rules for exchange students. More information is available on program-specific pages.

Health and safety

Traveling abroad is no more dangerous than traveling to New York, Chicago, or Boston -- any large, or unfamiliar city. Study abroad sites are carefully selected and regularly monitored. Safety is a key consideration and pre-departure and on-site orientations include sections on safety. As you prepare yourself for your study abroad, consult travel resources specific to your destination.

IESP provides you with information to prepare you for keeping in good health while you travel abroad and also provides local health-care and emergency contacts. A staff member is always on call in the U.S. in case of an overseas emergency.

Disability and study abroad

IESP encourages the participation of all students in its programs. Disability need not prevent you from studying abroad. Please speak with someone at IESP if you have questions about this issue and accommodations that are available overseas.

Cultural concerns

Experiencing and negotiating cultural difference is an essential part of the education you will receive while studying abroad. While culture shock can be a challenge, you will learn about what to expect and how to prepare for cultural differences. You should also begin to learn about the language and culture of the region where you are interested in studying abroad. Detailed information on culture shock will help you understand the process of cultural adjustment.