Exchange – Online Orientation

Now that you are in the final stages of preparing for your time in Madison, we wanted to remind you about some of the most important information to pay attention to before you arrive.

Review the orientation topics on this page and consult relevant links for additional information. Your on-site orientation will build on this information, and we expect that you will have read these pages and watched the videos prior to your arrival.

Course Load: As an exchange student, you will be required to be enrolled full-time. Full-time enrollment depends on whether you were nominated as and applied as an undergraduate exchange or graduate exchange student. J-1 exchange students must take traditional on-campus courses. You may take one online course per semester and have it count towards your full-time enrollment.

  • Undergraduate: 12-18 credits
  • Graduate/Postgraduate: 8-15 credits

Dates & Deadlines: Consult this link to confirm add/drop course deadlines and other important dates during your semester(s) at UW-Madison.

Attendance & Final Exams: You need to attend all of your classes- do not take two classes that overlap. Class participation may also be a part of your grade. Confirm that you do not have two final exams that overlap.

Homework: In general, we hear that students are surprised at the amount of work that is necessary to complete during the semester. You will probably have a variety of assignments and exams throughout the semester.

Disability Support: If you have a documented disability from your home institution, you are eligible to receive accommodations through McBurney Disability Resource Center. You are strongly encouraged to contact McBurney as early as possible in order to arrange services.

Health Insurance: You are required to enroll in the Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) or file a qualifying waiver by the deadline listed on the SHIP website.

ISS Check-In & International Student Orientation: You must also complete the International Student Services (ISS) Check-In and the International Student Orientation (ISO), which will be in your TerraDotta student portal. You can complete many of these tasks prior to your arrival in Madison. These tasks are required and must be completed by the deadlines provided by ISS.

Your on-site program handbook also has helpful information for you. Read this prior to arrival. Some students find it helpful to print it and bring a copy with them.

Exchange Student Handbook