Why study abroad
Study abroad offers you valuable cross-cultural experience. You can improve your language skills, learn to live and work in culturally diverse surroundings, and improve your value on the job market. You can travel, make new friends, and broaden your horizons.
As a UW Engineering student, you can choose from more than 20 programs in the Americas, Asia and the Pacific, and Europe.
Study in a foreign language, or in English!
You can choose a program that will develop your language skills or one that offers instruction in English, so language need not be a barrier to your studying abroad. For programs that require foreign-language proficiency, you will need four semesters of the target language in order to study abroad in these locations.
Study abroad for a summer, a semester or a year
Most programs offer you the flexibility to study abroad for a semester or a year. IESP also offers summer programs that you can participate in any time after your freshman year.
If you plan ahead, study abroad programs can fit with your current academic timeline, which means that you can study abroad and graduate at the same time as students who do not choose to study abroad. IESP's international partner universities offer courses that can count toward UW students' engineering majors and graduation requirements.
Remain enrolled at UW-Madison
While on IESP programs, you are considered "in residence" at UW-Madison, which means that you maintain your student status, earn residence credit for courses taken abroad, and qualify for UW financial aid. The majority of programs are exchange programs, which means you would pay tuition at the UW-Madison rate.
Choose courses toward your major, or branch out!
The courses you complete abroad can help you make progress toward your engineering degree or allow you to explore additional academic areas.
While abroad, you are required to enroll in the equivalent of 12 to 18 UW-Madison credits. You can take engineering courses that count toward your major and non-engineering courses. You can fulfill major and graduation requirements abroad or elective requirements. Taking electives abroad gives you maximum flexibility when choosing courses.
Courses taken abroad that count toward an engineering major are posted to your UW transcript with pass/fail grades. The number of credits is determined through a scale developed for each institution.
Plan for the costs of studying abroad and find ways to fund it
Tuition for the majority of the study abroad programs costs the same as studying at the UW. You can also apply for scholarships, and you may be eligible for additional financial aid to cover the cost of living abroad.
Information on tuition, available scholarships and estimated budgets is available on our website. Information on estimated budgets is available on program-specific pages on our website. Information on scholarships can be found on IESP's scholarship information page.
Build your resume with a Certificate in International Engineering
Courses in language, culture and other local subjects taken abroad (as well as in Madison) can count toward a Certificate in International Engineering, which demonstrates your knowledge of a specific country or region. This credential appears on your transcript, strengthens your resume, and testifies to your preparation for an international career.
To obtain the certificate, you must meet minimum course requirements in language and/or area studies, have an international study or work experience (for which a study-abroad program would count), and take a course focusing on international engineering. Detailed information on requirements is available on the certificate web page.
Know the requirements
For most programs, the requirement is a cumulative GPA of 3.0. The requirement for the China summer program is a cumulative GPA of 2.5. This varies somewhat by program; check with IESP for particular program requirements.
You must be in good academic standing and making satisfactory academic progress to study abroad.
Deadlines for application
Spring programs: October 1
China summer program: Mid-December
Fall, summer or full academic year programs: March 1
Choose a program
As you think about studying abroad, you may want to consider what language or region interests you, the kinds of courses you might want or need to take, the length of programs, and the timing of study abroad in relation to your academic career. For more information on choosing and applying to study abroad, consult the list of programs.