How to Choose a Program


The Center for International Education believes that all students should have the opportunity to study abroad. But CIE also understand that one of the outlying questions that students wonder “Can I really study abroad?” CIE believes that there is a study abroad program for all students that wish to go abroad and will utilize all resources available. But the first step begins with the student. Here are some things to consider:

  • Studying abroad is a great resume-builder and may even open up new opportunities for graduate school, or give you an edge over other job candidates.
  • With increasing globalization, it is important to have second/foreign language skills, problem-solving skills, and international knowledge with a global perspective.
  • You can earn credits toward graduation through an EA program, and with some detailed planning, it will not delay your graduation date.
  • As a student, you are eligible for scholarships and financial aid to assist with payment of your program.

How Do I Choose?

Think about the type of experience you are looking to get out of studying abroad.

  • Are you looking to master your fluency in another language? Learn a new one?
  • Do you need to take classes in your major or earn credits towards your degree?  Do you have electives that you have sitting around and want to use by exploring courses outside of your major?
  • Do you want to experience a new country or go somewhere less commonly traveled?

Determine what you want to get out of studying abroad by determining your goals. It’ll help clear up the clutter on so many different programs and help you focus on what best fits you and your interests.

Where Do I Start?

  • Meet with your academic advisor to help plan out your academic priorities and plan.
    • Knowing what you want to get out of your study abroad experience is important and can help you with your decision.
  • Start researching financial options
    • Check with your school or college to see if there scholarships or additional funding for students that are studying abroad.
    • The Center for International Education has compiled some basic scholarships from around campus and from program providers. —> CIE’s Financial Planning Page
  • Learn about the various study abroad programs that are available
  • Meet with the Study Abroad staff
    • Our Study Abroad Coordinators are experts on CIE’s study abroad programs. There are also student staff that you can talk to, including some who may have already studied abroad or who are currently studying abroad in the U.S.!
  • Attend a Study Abroad Fair
    • This is the best place to check out all of the study abroad programs and see other upcoming options.
    • There is a Study Abroad Fair each fall and spring semester.
  • Apply for a study abroad program
    • Go to your desired program page, and review all the information.
    • Click the “Apply Now” button.
Application Materials & Deadlines

Application Deadlines:

  • Spring & UWinteriM terms: October 1
  • Fall, Academic Year, Summer terms: March 1

Application Materials:

  • $100 application fee
  • Academic Recommendation
  • Online E-signature documents
  • Material Submissions
  • Mandatory application questionnaires & quiz

Types of Programs

Faculty-led Programs

For this type of program, you travel abroad with a UWM faculty member who teaches a course in a particular subject area. On most faculty-led programs, you will be with the same group of students all of the time, and much of the planning of events will be decided by the professor. This makes faculty-led programs a good choice for students who may be apprehensive about going abroad for the first time.

Exchange Programs

UWM has entered into agreements with universities all over the world where we exchange students with one another. On an exchange program, students attend a foreign university and choose and attend classes just as they would at UWM. The chief difference is that instead of paying tuition to the foreign institution, the student pays tuition to UWM.

Study Abroad Programs

UWM has entered into agreements with several study abroad providers for a short-term, semester or academic year. These providers serve as an in-country resource. The main difference between these programs and exchange programs is that you pay a comprehensive program fee in lieu of tuition.

Non-UWM Sponsored Program

A non-UWM program is a study abroad program that is found through a different program provider or a different university. If you are interested in a study abroad program that is not offered by UWM, please see below for more information.

  • Application & Fees
    • Students are responsible for submitting the application, fees, orientation, visa procurement and any additional documentation needed for their specific program.
  • Enrollment
    • Students will be enrolled in a study abroad placeholder by the Center for International Education. (i.e. Exmural 099 or Exmural 799)
  • Transfer Credit
    • The student is responsible for making sure that their transcripts are forwarded to the Center for International Education to be processed. Make sure to meet with a Study Abroad Coordinator to get more details.
  • Financial Aid
    • It is recommended that students meet with a financial aid advisor for all options available for study abroad.

Please note: UWM-affiliated program providers require a separate application in addition to the one required by the UWM CIE Study Abroad Office. More information about these requirements will be provided during the application process.