Welcome to the Exchange Program. This is the Information Sheet for the Academic Year 2010-2011

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Official Exchange Period:

  • Fall Semester 2010-2011
    • Official Arrival Date: August 27-29, 2010
    • Last Day of Exams: December 22, 2010
  • Spring Semester 2010-2011
    • Official Arrival Date: January 16-17, 2011
    • Last Day of Exams: May 13, 2011
  • Summer session: Summer programs are available for special contract student groups. Please contact Sandra Sieber at: ssieber@uwlax.edu regarding summer group program information.

Academic Calendar

Summer 2014
Application Deadline:
Housing Deadline:
ESL Test Date:
Classes Begin:
Last day of Class:
April 1
May 1
May 20
May 21
May 21-22
May 27
July 18
Fall Semester 2014
Application Deadline:
Housing Deadline:
ESL Test Date:
Math Exam Date:
Classes begin:
Spring Registration begins:
Vacation period:
Last Day of Exams:
April 1
August 1
August 25-28
September 2
Mid November
November 26-30 (Thanksgiving Recess)
December 17
Spring Semester 2015
Application Deadline:
Housing Deadline:
ESL Test Date:
Math Test Date:
Classes begin:
Vacation Period:
Fall Registration begins:
Last Day of Exams:
November 15
December 16
January 19-22
January 26
March 13-22 (Spring Break)
Mid April
May 16

English Language Requirements for Exchange Students

  • TOEFL score of 550/73 (paper based/internet based) OR an official IELTS score of at least 6.0 with at least a 5.5 in all subscores is required for all academic fields.
  • Students with TOEFL less than 550/73 (paper based/internet based) or without TOEFL score will be required to take an English Placement Test upon arrival which will determine if English language study is required. For those whose English language level is below the minimum requirement for regular academic courses, ESL study is mandatory.
  • No TOEFL is required for students whose native language is English or students who come to UW-L for ESL study only.

Registration Information

  • ESL Study
    Students admitted only for ESL study will be registered by the ESL Institute after the English Placement Test during the orientation week.
  • Undergraduate Students
    As an exchange student, you will need to use the online registration system. Please visit the UW-L website for the undergraduate catalog and course descriptions, and the timetable to find out the courses offered for the next available semester.  It is recommended that you may choose six to eight specific courses so that you have several options when planning your schedule.

Exchange students do not pay the $100 registration deposit—the exchange program will cover this fee. Exchange students should register for their classes prior to arriving at UW-L.

In order to register online for courses, Exchange students will need to first look for an e-mail from UW-L Admissions with information on how to access their WINGS account. Follow the instructions provided in this e-mail. Once this account has been activated, students can then register online for their own courses. Feel free to e-mail the assigned advisor (listed below) if you need assistance with course selection, but advisors are not able to register you for courses. If you have difficulty registering, please contact Diane Sasaki.

Please Note: If students wish to wait and choose courses after they arrive at UW-L, they will need to make an appointment with an advisor during orientation week. Students will need to arrange the appointment around mandatory orientation activities/sessions. Additionally, if students wait to register until this time, many courses, including several higher level ones, will already be filled and available courses will be limited. Advanced registration is highly recommended.

For students whose major is: Art, Communication Studies, Economics, English (with Literature or Rhetoric and Writing), Modern Languages (French, German, Spanish), Music, Philosophy, Psychology, Theatre, please contact: Tim Walls

For students whose minor is: Anthropology, Environmental Studies, please contact: Tim Walls

For students whose major is: Archaeology, Education (Early-Middle Childhood, Middle Childhood-Early Adolescences, Early Childhood-Adolescence), History, Political Science, Public Administration, Sociology, and Women's Studies, please contact: Peter Stovall

For students whose major is: Accounting, Business Administration, Economics, Finance, Information System, International Business, Management and Marketing, please contact: Amelia Dittman

For students whose major is: Athletic Training, Biochemistry, Biology, Chemistry, Community Health, Computer Science, Earth Science, Exercise and Sports Science, Geography, Math, Microbiology, Physics, Recreation Management, please contact: Guy Herling

Please note: many business related courses have prerequisite requirements. You have to fulfill the prerequisite requirement before you may be registered for a high level course. Most classes are filled very fast; early registration is highly recommended.

General course description is on our website under the “course catalog”. If you need a detailed course syllabus, you have to contact the specific faculty member directly by e-mail.  All faculty e-mails are listed under the specific department. You may click on “colleges and academics” from the UW-L home page to find the department.

*UW-L has a textbook rental service for undergraduate courses and for the ESL institute.  That means that most textbooks are provided at no cost, although some courses may require you to purchase some additional materials.  Textbooks for graduate courses have to be purchased.

Travel & Arrival Information

Five (5) days before your departure, students must submit the OIE Arrival Form with the exact date and time of arrival. For information regarding the arrival process, please refer to our Arrival Page. In making travel plans, you should allow enough time for both air travel and ground transportation in order to arrive at UW-L campus during regular office hours.

Note: you will be responsible for your own lodging and transportation if you arrive outside of the arrival date(s) indicated above.

  • The nearest airport exchange students could fly to:
    • La Crosse Airport (airport code: LSE)
  • The airlines that fly to the La Crosse airport:
    • American Airlines
    • Delta Airlines/KLM Airlines
  • The distance from the La Crosse airport, Amtrak Train, and Greyhound Bus Station to the university campus: The nearest airport exchange students could fly to:
    • La Crosse Airport: Less than 10 miles
    • La Crosse Amtrak Station: 5 miles
    • La Crosse Greyhound Bus Station: 1 mile
  • The distance from Chicago and Minneapolis to La Crosse:

For participants who cannot avoid arriving before the program starts, please try to arrive on campus during the office hours. The office of International Education is located at: 1209 Centennial Hall, 1725 State Street.

Hotel and Taxi Information:

For more information visit: www.explorelacrosse.com.

A brief description about the Orientation Program

There is an Orientation Fee of $150, this fee includes: some meals during the week and other various activities.

Please note most exchange programs do not cover the orientation fee. Please see your advisor at your home institute for other fee information.

Housing and Meal Plan

All new first year undergraduate students, exchange students and some contract students are required to live on campus. All housing contracts are for a full academic year, unless you are on a one semester exchange/contract program.

If you are required to live in campus housing or wish to apply to live on campus, you must apply online at the website listed below. Please note: International Students DO NOT need to pay the enrollment deposit in order to apply for campus housing.

For a list of estimated housing costs please visit the Office of Residence Life's website.

NOTE: Early arrivals will be charged a fee to stay in campus housing. Additional information regarding housing is available online from the Office of Residence Life.

NOTE: Early arrivals will be charged $35 per night to stay in campus housing, pending availability.

Meal Plans

University policy mandates all students living university residence halls are required to purchase a meal plan. Meal Plan Options are available on-line at: Meal Plan Options.

Housing and Meals for Vacation Periods:

Students may stay in the residence hall during vacation periods for an additional fee. There is no food service in the university cafeteria, but there are several restaurants in walking distance.

Academic Notes:

Your home institution sets policies regarding the award of credit for coursework completed on an exchange program. You are responsible for knowing your home institution's policies and procedures regarding this matter. All exchange students are required to take a minimum of 12 credits per semester at the UW-L.

  • Exchange students with TOEFL 550/73 iBT or above may take up to 18 credits for each semester.
  • Exchange students whose TOEFL score is less than 550/73 iBT will have to take partial academic and partial ESL courses.  The total credits covered under the exchange agreements are 12 for each semester.  Additional credits are $316USD per credit that will not be covered by the exchange programs.
  • Exchange students who are taking ESL classes only may take up to 16 credits per semester.
  • Class Grading Scales:

A=4.0, AB=3.5, B=3.0, BC=2.5, C=2.0, CD=1.5, D=1.0, F=Fail

Most ESL courses will only receive P=Pass or F=Fail.

NOTE: The number "4" shown on the UW-L official transcript for ESL classes mean four credits. It is not a grade.

All classes require attendance. Missing class may cause a failing grade.

Medical Insurance and Health Services:

All exchange students* are required to take the UW-L International Student Health Insurance. The estimated cost is $552/semester. The health insurance will cover your entire program period, even during the winter and spring breaks when you travel outside the La Crosse area. However, the UW-L international health insurance will NOT cover your travel outside of the U.S. Additionally; there is a waiting period for pre-existing conditions.

Please, do NOT purchase health insurance from your own country.

*In some cases, exchange students from Denmark, France, Germany and Sweden, can use an extension of their existing government health insurance while they are abroad. If this health insurance meets the requirements set forth by the U.S. government for all J-1 visa holders, students from the above mentioned countries may use their government insurance instead of purchasing OIE’s International Student Insurance. Travel insurance through a private company is not accepted! Students will need to provide documentation (in English) of their government insurance and coverage of all requirements in order to be exempt from OIE’s health insurance.

J-1 Health Insurance Requirements:

Minimum coverage shall provide:

  • Medical benefits of at least $50,000 per accident or illness;
  • Repatriation of remains in the amount of $7,500;
  • Expenses associated with the medical evacuation of the exchange visitor to his or her home country in the amount of $10,000; and
  • A deductible not to exceed $500 per accident or illness.

An insurance policy secured to fulfill the requirements of this section:

  • May require a waiting period for pre-existing conditions which is reasonable as determined by current industry standards;
  • May include provision for co-insurance under the terms of which the exchange visitor may be required to pay up to 25% of the covered benefits per accident or illness; and
  • Shall not unreasonably exclude coverage for perils inherent to the activities of the exchange program in which the exchange visitor participates.

Any policy, plan, or contract secured to fulfill the above requirements must, at a minimum, be:

  • Underwritten by an insurance corporation having an A. M. Best rating of "A-" or above, an Insurance Solvency International, Ltd. (ISI) rating of "A-" or above, a Standard & Poor's Claims-paying Ability rating of "A" or above, a Weiss Research, Inc rating of B+ or above, or such other rating as the Agency may from time to time specify; or
  •  Backed by the full faith and credit of the government of the exchange visitor's home country; or
  • Part of a health benefits program offered on a group basis to employees or enrolled students by a designated sponsor; or
  • Offered through or underwritten by a federally qualified Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) or eligible Competitive Medical Plan (CMP) as determined by the Health Care Financing Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

(Quoted from the Federal Register, March 19, 1993, page 15201, revised July 7, 1994, page 34761)

Medical requirements for registration:

Health Exam Form with TB test within one (1) year. The form is included in the application packet.

Application Deadlines:

  • April 1 for the fall semester
  • November 1 for the spring semester

Late applications will be considered if there is space available.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our Assistant Director.

Sandra Sieber, Assistant Director
Office of International Education
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse
1209 Centennial Hall
La Crosse, WI 54601 USA
(608) 785-8016 (office)
(608) 785-8923 (fax)