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Most Memorable Moment

One of the most memorable experiences from my time abroad in Sweden took place as part of my Sami history course at Umea University. Some other international students and I assisted the Sami people (indigenous peoples of Sweden) with their winter reindeer herding in northern Sweden. To see thousands upon thousands of reindeer was a striking example of both the beauty and the fury of nature and an experience that I will never forget.

Noah Mergendahl

Linguistics & Scandinavian Studies, European Studies certificate
IAP Umeƅ, Sweden

Academic Planning-Before you go

Choose the right program

Choosing the program that's right for you can be difficult. You should think about programs that fit into your academic goals and your personal interests. Start by consulting IAP's Goals and Expectations for Study Abroad Participants, covering the personal, academic and professional aspects of study abroad.

Continue to search our website or come to the Study Abroad Resource Center (3rd Floor Red Gym) to speak with a Peer Advisor who will help you narrow down your choices and explain the academic and non-academic components of the programs that interest you. Then, make an appointment with your Academic Advisor in your major department (or your potential major department) to discuss how study abroad can fit into your academic plan.

You can also view Study Abroad 101 to begin planning a successful study abroad experience!

Know your DARS (Degree Audit Reporting System)

Knowing where you are in your academic career is essential to choosing the study abroad program that's right for you. UW-Madison students can request a DARS through "My UW". A DARS report is a record of an undergraduate student's progress toward a degree or certificate program. It shows which requirements have been completed and which requirements still remain to be completed. If you have not yet declared your major, you can run a "what-if" DARS that will show how far you are to completing your degree and intended major.

Major Specific Resources

Academic Degree Resources

It's important to find a program that fits your academic needs. IAP collaborates with academic departments across campus to identify what's important for you to know about studying abroad in your chosen major or certificate. The following Major Advising Pages (MAPs) are a joint effort between IAP and your academic department.

MAPs are a guide to your major's (or certificate's) academic requirements in relation to study abroad. They suggest times for students in your major or certificate to study abroad, questions to ask your advisors, and provide a list of recommended programs based on your major or certificate. The program list is not exhaustive, but can give you a place to begin your search.

MAPs are in progress for a variety of majors and certificates. If a MAP is not listed for your major or certificate, you can still study abroad. Contact the IAP Study Abroad Resource Center to learn more about how to choose a program that fits your academic needs.

Major and Certificate Advising Pages
African Languages and Literature
Classical & Ancient Near Eastern Studies
Communication Arts
Conservation Biology
Environmental Sciences
Gender & Women's Studies and LGBTQ+ Studies
International Studies
Jewish Studies
Legal Studies/Criminal Justice
Political Science
Scandinavian Studies

College of Engineering and Wisconsin School of Business Programs

While IAP programs are open to student of all majors, the College of Engineering and the Wisconsin School of Business also offer their own programs for their students. Search these programs:
College of Engineering programs
Wisconsin School of Business programs


Once you are ready, you will apply online.

Pre-departure Advising

Once you have been accepted, you will need to speak with your Academic Advisor(s) to go over your progress towards your major(s). Before meeting with your advisor, review your DARS report in conjunction with your study abroad program handbook and course equivalent list to determine what type of courses you might want to take abroad. Pay attention to your degree requirements and "credit-rules". Each school on the UW campus has its own policies. The Undergraduate Catalogue is a great place to begin checking your requirements for your degree and major(s).

Bring the following items to the meeting with your Academic Advisor:

Remember, it is also a good idea to stay in contact with your Academic Advisor especially when you are choosing courses while abroad.


The more you prepare for your program abroad, the more you will benefit in terms of academic progress, cultural knowledge, and personal growth. Before going abroad, IAP will provide orientation sessions and materials to help prepare you for your experience abroad. Please take the time to learn as much as you can about your program and its location.