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Benefits of studying abroad

Studying abroad gave me more than a foreign language, more than international relationships, and more than a bright spot on my resume. Living and studying abroad proved that I could be successful in a foreign country by overcoming language and cultural barriers. After my year abroad I was confident that I could live, work and be successful anywhere. It's easy in Madison to get caught up in our college bubble, and studying abroad is a great way to regain a sense of the world outside of this campus.

Julia Byers

Honors in Psychology, German, Certificate of European Studies
IAP Freiburg, Germany

About Us


International Academic Programs (IAP), in the International Division, serves as a comprehensive resource for academic experiences worldwide.

International Academic Programs collaborates with academic units to develop and deliver high-quality study abroad programs that foster students' academic, personal, & professional growth.


A variety of program options—over 200 programs in more than 60 countries—have been developed to address the diverse needs of students. Programs vary in length, level, academic focus, teaching format, language requirements, cost and degree of independence demanded of the participant. Each program is expected to meet the University's high academic standards and to integrate with the on-campus curriculum.

Currently, 1,300 students study abroad each year through our office, and around 150 students from our partner institutions abroad come to UW-Madison through exchange partnerships.

IAP's goal is to remove the financial barriers for UW-Madison students to study abroad and to make study abroad accessible to as many students as possible. As an auxiliary unit, IAP receives no additional funding from the state or university to administer its programs and operates its budget on a cost recovery basis. UW-Madison students studying abroad are exempt from paying UW-Madison tuition and academic fees as per UW system policies. IAP participants are assessed a fee which recovers the actual costs of the program which includes the program expenses, IAP administrative fee, and CISI health insurance coverage for the duration of the program.

Commitment to Diversity

International Academic Programs is committed to providing quality study abroad and domestic study away programs for every UW-Madison student. We work strategically to identify, address, and remove barriers that may prevent participation and to provide a welcoming and inclusive environment for students. Our staff actively engages with students, faculty, and staff from diverse backgrounds and prioritizes the continuous development of our knowledge and cultural competence. IAP also recognizes the importance of increasing access to study abroad for historically underrepresented student populations. We are committed to diversity and inclusion so that every student can engage with and understand their identity through a new lens and continue to develop and make progress on their personal, professional, and academic goals.

What We Do

IAP offers a full range of professional support services, in cooperation with academic and administrative units on and off campus, related to the delivery of study abroad opportunities, including:

How Do We Define Study Abroad

Study Abroad encompasses educational programs that take place outside the geographical boundaries of the U.S. that result in progress toward an academic degree. IAP has opportunities available for undergraduates, graduates, and professional students for durations including semester, year, summer, winter intersession, and spring break. Study abroad programs include academic international experiences such as:

All IAP approved programs are offered to complement on-campus academics at UW-Madison:

UW Signature Programs: Created specifically by UW-Madison, and may include courses taught by UW-Madison instructors. These programs may be prioritized for IAP scholarships.

Exchange & Affiliate Programs: Offered through partnerships with other universities or organizations.

Goals & Expectations for Study Abroad Participants

Because every IAP program has unique learning objectives, it's important for students to consider how each program can help meet individual goals. IAP's advising services, plus our Goals & Expectations for Study Abroad Participants, help students meet a core of personal, academic and professional goals.


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