UW Global Gateway students in India (2019)

UW Global Gateway students in Botswana (2019)

UW Global Gateway students in Botswana (2019)

UW Global Gateway Initiative

Study abroad and away provides opportunities to advance your academic studies and develop global skills that will help you to stand out to potential employers, including increasing your confidence and expanding your worldview.

The Global Gateway Initiative makes study abroad and away accessible to students with demonstrated financial need through two different avenues:  Summer programs and Fellowships. All students participate in pre- and post-program engagements and onsite activities to integrate their time away with academics and professional development. We strive to embody the Wisconsin Idea by encouraging students to share their experiences and knowledge gained to positively impact the UW-Madison community, Wisconsin, and beyond.

UW Global Gateway Summer programs and Fellowships are provided in partnership with the Office of Student Financial Aid and the Institute for Regional and International Studies to increase access to study abroad and away experiences.

Global Gateway Initiative Values:

  • Global competency and experience necessary to succeed in today’s world.
  • Continued global learning throughout a student’s career at UW-Madison.
  • Reduction in financial barriers that prevent access to these opportunities.

Global Gateway Summer Programs

  • Full scholarship, including airfare, provided to every program participant
  • Highly-structured thematic programs led by UW-Madison faculty
  • Students take courses and earn in-residence credits
  • Designed for first- and second-year students from diverse backgrounds and academic fields
  • Preference given to students with demonstrated financial need (EFC under $12,000)

Global Gateway Fellowships

  • $10,000 fellowship to apply to program fees
  • For use on any UW-Madison approved semester or year-long study abroad program, including the UW Wisconsin in Washington, DC Internship Program
  • Open to all undergraduate students planning to study at UW-Madison for at least one semester following their program participation
  • Demonstrated financial need required (EFC under $12,000)
  • Learn more >>

Students can receive only one UW Global Gateway award. Those that have previously participated on a UW Global Gateway Summer program are not eligible to apply for the UW Global Gateway Fellowship and vice versa.

  • Open to UW-Madison full-time, degree seeking undergraduate students.
  • Good academic and disciplinary standing.
  • Consult program pages for GPA requirements.
  • FAFSA submitted; EFC $12,000 or lower preferred for Summer programs, required for the Fellowship.
  • UW Global Gateway Summer programs are limited to students who have completed one or two years of study at UW-Madison.
  • UW Global Gateway Fellowship recipients must be planning to return to UW-Madison for at least one semester following their program participation.
  • Students who have previously participated on a UW Global Gateway program or received a UW Global Gateway Fellowship are not eligible to be receive a second UW Global Gateway award.
Advising Location


Application Deadline(s)
Global Gateway Summer Programs Third Friday in January
Global Gateway Fellowships Check WISH for exact dates >>
Fall & Academic Year Programs January
Spring & Calendar Year Programs August

Summer Programs

Join a cohort of fellow Badgers to learn in unique locations around the world! Led by a UW-Madison faculty member, these experiential and interdisciplinary programs integrate the host country into the classroom. Through a combination of  cultural visits, expert guest lecturers, and engagement with the local community, you’ll be introduced to global issues that help to prepare you for an increasingly interconnected world. Visit the program pages below for more information on locations, themes, and courses.

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How to Apply

  1. All UW Global Gateway applicants must submit a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).
    Preference will be given to students with an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of $12,000 or less.
  2. Visit the UW Global Gateway Summer program pages to review eligibility and program details.
  3. Choose the program that best fits your academic, personal, and professional goals.
    NOTE: Students may only apply for one UW Global Gateway Summer program per term.
  4. Follow the steps to apply through the specific program page by clicking apply.
    We recommend starting your application well before the deadline to allow extra time for writing.

Summer 2021 Programs

Photo of capitol building reflected in water at night

Washington, DC

Investigate the intersection of race and politics across a range of issues, including immigration, criminal justice, and health care.

Get Started


Looking to study abroad for longer than 5-weeks?

The UW Global Gateway Fellowship provides $10,000 to participate on any approved UW-Madison semester or year-long program. Even better, students of all academic levels and majors are eligible to apply!

Explore programs ar0und the world, many of which also offer opportunities to engage in fieldwork, research, or an internship abroad.

Review deadline, eligibility requirements and application details on the Wisconsin Scholarship Hub (WiSH)

Note: The Fellowship application deadline is earlier than most program application deadlines. This allows recipients to know whether they have received the UW Global Gateway Fellowship BEFORE committing to a program.

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How to Apply

  1. All UW Global Gateway applicants must submit a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).
    To apply, students must have an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of $12,000 or less.
  2. Choose and apply to a semester or yearlong UW-Madison approved study abroad program. You must have an application for a program in progress at the time of applying for the UW Global Gateway Fellowship.
    How to get started
    Review academic information
    Program Search
  3. Choose the program that best fits your academic, personal, and professional goals.
  4. Review details of and apply for the UW Global Gateway Fellowship
    In the Wisconsin Scholarship Hub (WiSH) through your student center.

NOTE: Students who have previously participated on a UW Global Gateway Program or received a UW Global Gateway Fellowship are not eligible to be receive a second UW Global Gateway award.


The UW Global Gateway Initiative engages all students before, during, and after their program experiences to:

  • Support the Wisconsin Idea by helping students bring their experiences back to campus and the greater Wisconsin community, including the international student community.
  • Maximize students’ connection to international activity on campus and to integrate their experience abroad with their academic careers at UW-Madison and their professional development.

To achieve these goals, UW Global Gateway Summer program participants or UW Global Gateway Fellowship recipients will be required to complete specially designed pre- and post-program engagements and on-site activities as follows:

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  1. Attend a program specific pre-departure orientation.
  2. Attend a UW Global Gateway Initiative pre-departure dinner with return students, faculty and staff.


  1. Contribute to the program blog, to help reflect on your experience and to explore issues of global importance from a comparative lens.
  2. Produce optional digital media that illustrates the student experience while on the program, including but not limited to video blogs, photography, or social media posts which could be featured on the study abroad website or social channels.


  1. Submit a narrative of your program experience.
  2. Participate in one K-12 related outreach activity (on-campus, around the Madison community, or in your hometown).
  3. Attend a UW Global Gateway outreach event with students, faculty and staff.
  4. Pursue opportunities for student positions in international-related offices on campus, the Bridge Mentor Program, and activities, events, and courses offered by the Area Studies Centers.

Program Impact

“The Global Gateway program gave me confidence to pursue difficult classes, and apply for competitive programs and scholarships.”

For over 50% of Global Gateway students this is their first time away. Read more about the benefits they identify from participating in Global Gateway Summer and Fellowship programs.


“Global Gateway introduced me to communities and groups of people that I would never have met otherwise. The diversity of the group was wonderful, and I continue to be friends with the people on my program to this day.”

“[The summer programs are] a perfect opportunity for first time study abroad students. Studying abroad alone for an entire semester can be very intimidating. It was a really great opportunity meeting and becoming close with the 14 other students on this program. It also provided for a strong support system while studying abroad.”


“Global Gateway has helped make me more prepared for potential employers. Having Global Gateway on my resume helps employers know that I value diversity and an inclusive environment…During my time abroad, I gained leadership skills, lessons in cultural competency, and a new global perspective. Moreover, I am very willing to work abroad while before I think I would have been hesitant to accept a career outside the US.”

“This experience has fueled my desire to work in the health care field and work towards closing the health disparities seen in America and the world.”

“I feel more prepared to take my career to different regions of the world and beyond that, I feel that I now have a more encompassing view of the world and the people in it, how individuals from different areas communicate and understand each other. With my new interpretations and views of the world, I feel like I am better prepared to work in my field no matter where it takes me or with whom I have to work with/for.”


“My professor and my peers also created an environment where we were able to have quality and in-depth conversations over prominent issues in Brazil and in the United States like race, poverty, and oppression. These conversations added to my learning experience by hearing what others think and how these issues affect different communities and people.”

“Every activity, lesson and excursion provided opportunities to discuss and expand on conversations, opening new dialogue in a diverse group of students from almost every discipline offered at UW. The group was comprised of students from pre-health areas, wildlife ecology, business, fashion design, political science, journalism, etc. As a cohort in Botswana we were all learning about similar topics, but the perspectives that each individual student brought to the conversation enlightened the rest of our peers and definitely elevated the classroom experience.

“While I was in China, I felt empowered – the experience gave me the tools and the drive to pursue something I felt extremely passionate about. This is what led me to choose a Psychology double major, and it has influenced my academic career ever since.”

“The Global Gateway program gave me confidence to pursue difficult classes, and apply for competitive programs and scholarships.”

“Throughout the course I sought to provide students with an understanding not just of what to think about the history, cultures, and politics of southern Africa but also how to think about this part of the world. The course operated under the assumption that interaction with a place and its people are essential for understanding it… As such, I designed assignments in a way that sought to integrate student experiences and group excursions with academic study of the region.”

  • Neil Kodesh, Faculty Director, 2019 Botswana, Department of History

“Our reflections turned into conversations about how the things we were learning and observing in India could positively impact and help us to improve our and others’ lives back in Madison and wherever else we might be going after the program ends.”

  •  Anthony Cerulli, Faculty Director, 2019 India, Asian Languages and Cultures

“Throughout the month there were constant bridges between the readings, class discussions, the excursions and the student assignments.”

  • Kathryn Sanchez, Faculty Director, 2018 & 2016 Brazil, Department of Spanish and Portuguese

“Unusually perceptive about the stark social (as well as racial) divides defining Brazilian society, this group remained consistently respectful of everyone they interacted with (from the CIEE staff, community residents, store and restaurant employees, hotel staff, to street people. They were mindful of the complex situations and contexts in which these interactions occurred. Perhaps most importantly, this group of students was deeply committed to enhancing their knowledge of Brazilian culture, history and society.

This has been, without a doubt, one of the most rewarding experiences I have had as a teacher, and I have been at this “game” for about three decades.”

  • Luis Madureira, Faculty Director, 2017 Brazil, Department of Spanish and Portuguese

“The students learned a lot about China, themselves, and matured as competent and thoughtful global citizens.”

  • Joe Dennis, Faculty Director, 2014 China, Department of History

Watch videos about the program.

Student Video: Alyssa Hui, 2018 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil >>

Allison Streckenbach (Global Gateway Brazil 2017) Stories from Abroad

Deshawn McKinney (Global Gateway China 2015) Wisconsin Experience feature

Two time study abroad participant Alondra Avitia (Global Gateway Brazil and Bologna, Italy) receives the 2020 Global Citizenship Bucky Award.

Gateway participant Shiloah Coley recognized as one of the UW-Madison 2019-20 student employees of the year.

2019 International Division Scholarship Award Ceremony

Global Gateway Program Expands to Botswana and India

Deshawn McKinney (Global Gateway China 2015) receives prestigious Truman Scholarship;  Read Deshawn’s Wisconsin Experience story

Jamie Dawson (Global Gateway Brazil 2016) Announced as 2018 Commencement Speaker

Read Jamie Dawson’s (Global Gateway Brazil 2016) Wisconsin Experience story

2018 UW Student Presents Art Exhibits in South Africa and the Met through Internship

Tammy Tian (Global Gateway China 2015) Aims to Build Chinese-American Bridges Among UW Students

2014 Global Gateway Opens up World for UW Students

2013 UW Global Gateway Offers Funded, Short-Term Study Abroad Opportunities

2014-2015: China (Shanghai)

2016-2018: Brazil (Rio de Janeiro)

2019: Botswana (Gaborone) and India (Delhi)

2020: Botswana (Gaborone), India (Delhi), and Peru (Cusco). The 2020 programs were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

2021:  USA (Washington, DC)*

We are excited to add a domestic option to the Global Gateway Portfolio. Similar to the international programs, the domestic program will engage students in critical issues of global importance through experiential learning. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 and the impact to our partners abroad, we are unable to offer other locations for summer 2021. We hope to be back to a variety of locations in 2022.

*Though on-site programming is currently not allowed due to the campus travel ban and other travel restrictions, we are opening the application process for the Global Gateway Washington, DC program scheduled for August 2021 with the hope that conditions will improve in time for the program to run. We will update applicants on the status of this program as circumstances develop.