University of Wisconsin–Madison
Group photo of the 2017 ISSI cohort

International Student Summer Institute

At UW–Madison, we want to ease your transition to American university life. The International Student Summer Institute allows you to come to UW–Madison several weeks ahead of the fall semester and take a class with other international students experiencing campus life for the first time.

Your course

English as a Second Language 113: Academic Reading and Writing will help you improve your speaking, reading, writing, and listening skills that are essential to your academic success at UW–Madison. The three-credit class meets Monday through Friday, for two hours each day. You will listen to faculty lectures, build note-taking skills, learn to be an active participant in discussion sections, and grow comfortable in the atmosphere of an American classroom. It is a rigorous course and you will be required to study and complete homework every day.

Your instructors

UW–Madison’s highly qualified instructors have many years of experience in the United States and abroad.

Your community

While attending the institute, you will become familiar with campus resources, participate in group activities outside of the classroom, meet new friends, and begin to adjust to life in the United States. You and the other participants will experience typical American activities such as baseball games, bonfires and cookouts, outdoor recreation, and visits to local attractions. You can also enjoy the UW–Madison’s athletic facilities as well as attend art, theatre, and music events offered all summer long—and many of them are free.

Top Reasons to Attend


Advance your English communication skills.


Adjust to American academic culture.


Become familiar with campus resources and choose your favorites.


Meet new people, make new friends.

ISSI students are welcomed to UW-Madison

Application and Admission

Thank you for your interest in the International Student Summer Institute. The Institute is open to international freshmen who have been offered fall admission at UW–Madison. Space is limited.

Application now closed. In the application, you are required to provide a brief statement explaining why you want to participate in the Institute. You must also accept your offer of admission to UW–Madison before submitting your Institute application.

We will notify you about the status of your application within two weeks of receiving it.

NOTE: International Student Summer Institute participants will complete all placement testing, including mathematics, English as a Second Language (ESLAT), and foreign language, on campus this summer.


Dejope hall

Housing and Dining

You will live in Dejope Hall, a modern residence hall located along the UW–Madison lakeshore. Rooms are fully furnished and sheets, pillows, and towels are provided.

Your roommate will be an Institute participant. You can move in beginning on Friday, July 28. University Housing staff will greet you at the Dejope Hall front desk and help you through the move-in process.

Food money ($580) is included as part of the Institute costs. Upon arrival at UW–Madison, you will receive a dining card with funds on it for food. You may purchase food at several different locations across campus.

In the last week of classes, you will move from Dejope Hall into your assigned University Housing location for the 2017-2018 academic year, before most other students arrive. Institute participants are required to sign a contract to live in University Housing for the 2017-2018 academic year.


Expenses to participate in the International Student Summer Institute include tuition and fees, housing, dining, health insurance, and classroom materials. Your individual expenses will depend on how much you choose to spend on food, as well as your personal spending money.

2017 International Student Summer Institute Estimated Costs

Costs are subject to change in 2018

  • Tuition and Fees: $4,370
  • Housing and Dining: $1,355
  • SHIP Health Insurance: $110
  • Classroom materials: $40
  • Placement Testing: $0
TOTAL: $5,875

As an Institute student, your summer experience will include attending a two-day Student Orientation, Advising, and Registration (SOAR) program and completing your mandatory check-in with International Student Services. Students will also complete their placement tests on campus this summer. More information about these programs will be given to you when you are accepted into the program.

UW–Madison and U.S. immigration requirements mandate adequate health insurance for all international students and their dependents. The Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) provides comprehensive health coverage for medical issues, mental health counseling, and prescriptions beyond the services provided by UHS. SHIP enrollees have access to a network of hospitals across the United States to provide coverage in case of travel during your time at UW–Madison.

Learn more about the importance of SHIP Insurance and how to meet their requirements in this video.

Important 2017 Dates

2018 dates subject to change

July 28-30:

 Move-in days

July 31:

 First day of summer course

August 23:

 Participants move from Dejope Hall to their academic year University Housing location

August 25:

 Last day of summer course

August 28-29 or August 29-30:

 Attend Student Orientation, Advising, and Registration (SOAR) for first-year students

August 29-October 15:

 Wisconsin Welcome Activities and Events

September 6:

 First day of fall courses