Are you an incoming, first-year Badger interested in starting your studies through an exciting summer study abroad program prior to the start of your fall semester? If so, a UW Study Abroad Summer Launch Program may be right for you!
What is a UW Study Abroad Summer Launch Program?
A UW Study Abroad Summer Launch Program (Study Abroad Launch) is an opportunity to explore intriguing topics in small, active learning environments, with your Badger peers, outside of the United States.
Designed to occur during the summer between high school graduation and the start of the UW-Madison school year, all UW Study Abroad Launch Programs include an on-campus pre-departure orientation, followed by group travel abroad with a UW-Madison instructor, and conclude with a specially designed UW Experience Seminar during your first fall semester on campus.
UW Study Abroad Summer Launch Programs are an exciting and unique way for you to start your educational career at UW-Madison! You have the opportunity to earn UW-Madison Residence Credits during your study abroad and additional credit in the UW fall Experience Seminar as you form lasting relationships with fellow students and a UW-Madison instructor and that will help you:
- Learn about historical and contemporary global issues;
- Gain familiarity with college-level academic expectations and skills;
- Improve critical thinking, writing, and reading skills;
- Develop personal and academic support networks, and
- Engage with peoples, places, and cultures around the world.
Interested in studying abroad for your first year? Explore the UW Global Launch in London program.
- Incoming Freshmen
- Open to full-time, UW-Madison degree-seeking students only
- Good academic and disciplinary standing
UW Signature Program
Summer prior to first semester of study on campus
Join our program mailing list to receive important updates-including application notices, scholarship information, and more!
UW Summer Launch in Ireland: Battles, Borders and Bogs
Explore Irish political history and political thought through the lens of controversies about land use, private interests and the public good.
UW Summer Launch in Japan: Supernatural and Surreal
Examine how supernaturally-themed Japanese texts, sites, and performances influence Japanese popular culture and response to national trauma.
UW Study Abroad Summer Launch Programs are like all UW-Madison study abroad offerings in that they are designed to help students meet core academic goals:
- Learn about and from the community in which you live and study
- Apply all you’ve learned abroad to your life at UW-Madison and beyond
- Serve as a cultural and academic ambassador of UW-Madison
UW Study Abroad Launch Programs have courses taught by UW-Madison instructors. Your location abroad will become your classroom as you explore topics relevant to and enhanced by your study location.
Additionally, participating on a UW Study Abroad Launch Program is an exciting and unique way to introduce you to scholarly and academic life and expectations at UW-Madison. It also allows you to make early connections with your fellow Badgers and to have a unique learning experience with a UW instructor.
The estimated program fee and costs for a UW Study Abroad Launch Program can be found on each Summer Launch Program web page.
Upon acceptance to your program, you will be provided with a confirmed cost sheet for your program. Program cost sheets list program fees and estimated additional expenses, as well as cancellation fees and policies, due dates, and payment information.
Program fees are billed through the UW-Bursar Office the same as UW-Madison tuition.
Sources of available funding for study abroad include scholarships, grants and loans. To increase your chances of receiving financial aid, International Academic Programs (IAP) recommends filling out your FAFSA to begin the financial planning process early.
For detailed information on financial resources click here.
Parents & Families
We invite you to learn about all the ways we support students and their families through these experiential learning opportunities abroad on our dedicated web page for Parents and Families.
If you have additional questions, please contact our Study Abroad Resource Center.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much do UW Study Abroad Summer Launch Programs Cost?
Program costs are dependent on the location and other factors specific to each summer launch program. You can find the specific billed and out of pocket expenses on the program web page for the summer launch program to which you are applying.
How Does Billing Work?
UW-Madison students are billed a Program Fee for study abroad programs. Program Fee billing is through the UW-Madison Bursar’s Office. Program Fees included different program expenses so it is important to review what is included in your Program Fee and what you are responsible for paying as an out of pocket expense.
Are there Scholarships?
Yes. Check the summer launch program web page for specific announcements on available scholarships and how you apply.
Will I have insurance?
Yes. All UW-Madison students who study abroad are enrolled in a health insurance policy through Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI).
How are flights arranged?
Your flight will be arranged by International Academic Programs and billed to you as part of your Program Fee. Students will travel to your destination on the same flight along with the Program Leader.
Is the pre-departure orientation mandatory?
Yes. You much attend the pre-departure orientation in Madison to participate on the program.
Can parents attend the pre-departure orientation?
Yes. Parents are welcome to attend.
Can I participate in a UW Study Abroad Summer Launch program as well as another early start program?
It may be possible if the dates of both summer launch programs do not overlap. You will need to check directly with both administering offices of the summer launch programs to ensure your ability to participate on both.
What if I decide not to attend UW-Madison?
Please notify International Academic Programs if you decide not to attend UW-Madison as you will then be ineligible to participate on your summer launch program.
Is there a waitlist?
Yes. You will be notified if you are on a waitlist for a program and you will be provided with a time-line when final confirmation of your participation will be verified.
Is SOAR included in the UW Study Abroad Summer Launch programs?
No. SOAR is separate. However, all Study Abroad Summer Launch participants are given designated SOAR dates that they must attend as your departure for your program is one day after the conclusion of your SOAR participation.
How will I find out if I’m accepted?
You will receive an email from International Academic Programs notifying you of your acceptance and the next steps you need to take in your MyStudyAbroad account to confirm your participation.
Do I need a passport?
Yes. Travel outside of the U.S. will require that you have a passport. If you do not already have a passport, apply for one immediately. If you have a passport, ensure that the passport will be valid at least 6 months after the time you plan to return from your program abroad.
I’m an international student, can I still apply?
It will depend on the specific summer launch program. Contact International Academic Programs to check on your option to apply.
Can I apply to more than one UW Study Abroad Summer Launch Program?
No. You must choose one program at the time that you apply.
Can I arrive late or depart early from the program?
No. Your flight cost is included in your billed Program Fee and so you must travel on the designated group flight for the program.
To be eligible for a UW Study Abroad Summer Launch Program, you must have graduated from high school and be a newly admitted full-time UW-Madison undergraduate.
Please note that if advanced placement (AP) and dual-enrollment credits (college classes taken while in high school) place you at sophomore or junior status, you’re still eligible to participate as long as you are a first-time, full-time student. If you are an international student contact our office about your eligibility to participate.
How To Apply
Applicants must complete the following steps:
- Set up your UW-Madison NetID.Your NetID and password are required to submit your application to a UW Study Abroad Summer Launch program. You will need to activate your NetID online after you have submitted your application for admission to the University of Wisconsin–Madison. To activate your NetID, will need your 10-digit Campus ID number which can be found on your application confirmation email or on your admission letter. If you have an issue with your NetID of password, contact DoIT Helpdesk
- Complete an online application for the UW Study Abroad Summer Launch Program of your choice.
The UW Study Abroad Launch Programs and scholarship applications will open by December the year prior to the summer program. To be notified when applications are available, please join our UW Study Abroad Summer Programs mailing list.
Application deadlines vary. Visit the specific UW Study Abroad Summer Launch program web page for application dates and details.
We encourage you to apply as early as possible!
Although not required to apply, a valid passport is required to travel internationally. Please be aware this process can take six (6) weeks or longer so it is highly recommended that you apply for your passport early if you do not already have one.
Students will receive an email notification from International Academic Programs about their acceptance status within two weeks following the program application deadline.
Accepted students will receive instructions about accessing your MyStudyAbroad portal which will include a pre-departure checklist and important program information.
You are given two weeks to complete the steps in your MyStudyAbroad account to confirm your acceptance and intent to participate on the UW Study Abroad Summer Launch Program.
All accepted students are required to submit a nonrefundable $300 acceptance deposit. This deposit must be submitted directly to International Academic Programs. Instructions on how to submit payment to International Academic Programs will be in your MyStudyAbroad checklist and Acceptance Deposit Task.