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Most Memorable Experience

I volunteered at a nursing home in Aix, and meeting my 98-year-old friend Ferdinand was easily one of the best things I did.

Allison Mack

French and English, with a certificate in European Studies
IAP Aix-en-Provence, France

The Importance of Studying Abroad

Parent Perspectives

Interested in what other parents have to say about their student's study abroad experience? Take some time to read through our Parent Profiles!

Today's competitive job market

During students' undergraduate careers, they have the unique opportunity to explore the world through UW-Madison International Academic Programs (IAP). IAP offers opportunities to study in more than 200 different programs and in a variety of languages, including numerous options in English. The University of Wisconsin-Madison campus is not limited only to Madison; rather it extends across borders and around the globe.

In today's global economy, study abroad can be a defining element to every student's undergraduate degree. Many companies increasingly desire leaders with the ability to live successfully in a variety of countries and work with people of various cultural backgrounds. Study abroad can provide the structure for students to build these skills and give them an edge over the competition. The distinction of having studied in a foreign country for a session, semester, or year can be invaluable to your student's future career in today's competitive job market.


During a student's time abroad, he/she will undoubtedly encounter unexpected situations that will allow them to develop self-sufficiency and independence. The more times your student successfully navigates such situations, the more confident they will become in their ability to fend for themselves. Opportunities to take weekend trips to different cities, traveling before or after the program, and even daily life will teach valuable lessons. By the end of the program, most families notice a definite change in how independent and responsible their student has become.

It is also important for students to learn what it means to be a member of their native culture. They may find themselves challenging their own long-held beliefs. They will discover many surprising differences and similarities between their native culture and that of the program site. Students should be prepared to encounter questions or criticism of their personal identity, and consider what their response will be.

IAP hopes you are proud of your student for exploring the opportunity to study abroad during their undergraduate career. It will be a time of challenge, growth and adventure that they will remember for a lifetime.