Learn about the application process and timeline for your program. Review the program webpage, including any information in the “Apply Now” tab, and note the application deadline. Use your resources (as outlined below).
When the application for your chosen program and duration is open, start your application as early as you can.
When you start the application and select your program, you will see full instructions for what you need to enter, upload or submit.
By starting the application early, you give yourself more time to prepare your materials. You also give yourself more time to ask questions, if any come up.
Explain Yourself and Your Program Choice
Use every opportunity in the application to communicate your rationale for applying.
A good place to do this is in your essays or personal statements, particularly when the prompt asks you about your goals. Review each prompt carefully, and address all parts of the prompt directly in your response. Be specific to you, and the program you have chosen.
Successful applicants explain how their chosen program will help them achieve their study abroad goals. Why is this program uniquely suited to help you achieve your academic, professional, and personal goals?
Present a strong rationale for why this specific program is the best fit for you–and why you are the best student for this program.
Demonstrate Your Preparation
Use every opportunity in the application to show how your background and experiences have prepared you to be successful on your chosen program.
Be mindful of the eligibility requirements for the program (listed on the program webpage), and use your application essays and supporting documents to show how you meet or exceed the requirements.
Successful applicants demonstrate how their leadership and involvement have prepared them for a productive study abroad experience.
Describe how you plan to engage with and contribute to your community abroad. Successful applicants exhibit academic preparedness, strong decision-making skills, and an ability to contribute to their community abroad.
Use Your Resources
Connect with the Enrollment Specialist Advisor: Enrollment Specialist Advisors can advise on the application process and required materials. Note: Our staff cannot provide feedback on application materials (such as essays or personal statements) before the official application review. It would not be fair to do so for one student, when we cannot do so for all students. However, we are available to help with any questions about what is required and what a reviewer will be looking for.
For help with essays, we highly recommend The Writing Center.
For help with resumes and cover letters, check out resources from SuccessWorks.
If you are a non-Letters and Science major, check your own school or college’s career center, as they often provide guidance on resumes, cover letters, letters of recommendation and more.
For a letter of recommendation, identify an individual you would like to ask for your recommendation and first ask them if they would feel comfortable doing so. It is generally helpful to ask someone who knows you well. Be sure to ask well in advance of your program application deadline, to give your recommender as much time as possible to write their letter. You may want to share a copy of your resume with them, and discuss why you are applying for your chosen program and what you plan to achieve. That information may help them to write a strong letter on your behalf.
Connect with past program participants via the Returned Student Network, to learn from their first-hand experience. Note: There may have been updates to the application process since they applied, so be sure to connect with the program Enrollment Specialist Advisor if you have questions about what you need to complete.
Finish By (or Before) the Deadline
To ensure consideration, be sure to complete and submit your application by the deadline. Meeting the deadline is critical. Only complete and submitted applications are reviewed. If you are applying to a competitive program, your application will not be considered if it is submitted after the deadline.
Remember, you should apply by the UW-Madison study abroad application deadline, even if you are applying to a program where the partner or provider has a later deadline.
Applications are reviewed following the application deadline, unless stated otherwise on the program webpage.
When applications are reviewed following the deadline, there is not necessarily an advantage to applying before the deadline. However, completing and submitting your application early may give you peace of mind. It may help you avoid any last-minute challenges – for instance, if you are sick on the day of the deadline.
If the program you are applying to has a rolling review process (if so, it will be noted on the program webpage), you are encouraged to apply as soon as possible and before the deadline. Applying early may help you secure a place on the program before it fills.
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