Study Abroad

Escape Program

Application Deadline: October 1
Apply early!  Space is limited!

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UW-L has a cooperative arrangement with the ESCAPE program, through which you can participate in their Winter Intersession program and remain a UW-L student.  Financial Aid*, billing of program fees, registration and credit transfer are coordinated through the UW-L Office of International Education.

UW-L students should apply directly to the ESCAPE Program and submit an application fee of $200 along with your application to ESCAPE.  To apply, contact the ESCAPE office for an application:

In addition, UW-L students are required to submit the completed Study Abroad/International Exchange Application and a $50 application deposit to the Office of International Education.  This program is open to UWL students only.

This specially designed travel-study program takes advantage of the delightful summer conditions existing "down under" during the months of December and January. The program travels through both New Zealand and Australia, sampling the cultural and environmental pleasures, amidst a potpourri of carefully planned adventure activities. Backpacking, rock climbing, skydiving, white water rafting, mountain biking, horse riding, snorkeling, and much more! All this in beautiful mountain, desert, and beach environments.

During the 28-day (4 week) program, students will be introduced to a wealth of information regarding the historical, cultural, and environmental aspects of Australia and New Zealand. Seminars and information sessions from University faculty, National Park personnel, and local business people will form much of the learning environment. Numerous geographical excursions, incidental learning experiences, and in-house study sessions will complement the educational structure of the program. Each trips' numbers are kept to a manageable level, (approximately 18 participants and two leaders) to develop sound group dynamics and effective trip planning.

New Zealand and Australia have been selected for this trip because of their wonderfully temperate climate, their amazing scenery and their unique cultural highlights. Tourism in the South Pacific is growing dramatically and plays a major role in each country's economic sustainability. Eco tourism is becoming an enlightening treat. Traveling in a manner, which environmentally, socially and economically sensitive, is of increasing significance. Essentially, the time is right and the local knowledge is available to take part in this once in a lifetime experience.

For those students who would like to incorporate this amazing educational experience with academic credit, up to 3 credits of college credits are attainable on an arranged basis. Please note that credit is optional and incidental to this adventure travel experience, however students must take the program for credit in order to qualify for financial aid.

Each year faculty from participating universities and colleges join the adventure en route to assist with the facilitation of the travel study coursework. A selection of courses will be offered, generally in the areas of environmental studies, group dynamics, international tourism and marketing studies, cultural comparisons, wilderness ethics and safety, and outdoor leadership.

The following is the course offered for 2011.

Course Credits UW-L Equivalent
Department Number Credits
PER 240 Outdoor Pursuits II 3 REC 375 3

Independent Study
Students can arrange for independent study credit with a faculty advisor at UW-L. Independent study must be arranged prior to departure and can earn 1-6 credits depending on the department. Contact the Office of International Education for details.

Internships for UW-L credit provide practical work experience in your major field in variety of areas to meet your interests. Contact the Office of International Education for details.

The course equivalencies spreadsheets have been compiled from past approved Academic Plan forms.  They show when the course was last approved and how it transferred back to La Crosse.  You may notice that some classes satisfied several UWL options.

This list is not comprehensive nor does it take the place of  meeting with your advisor for final approval!  They are meant to be a guide of what courses may be appropriate for your studies abroad.

These meetings are mandatory for students enrolled in the ESCAPE Program.  Additional information regarding these meetings will be sent to you via e-mail closer to the dates. 

Accommodations throughout comprise a range of standards; consisting of native dwellings, youth hostels, mountain huts, tents, and beach side apartments. Food (except lunches) is included.

Group flights are arranged departing from and returning to Los Angeles. A "boomerang pass" is also available through most travel agents, offering students the chance to extend their travels within Australia at a minimal cost. The Airfare portion of the program fee includes the international flight and also includes Australia/New Zealand connections. Students must make their own arrangements to meet the group in Los Angeles.

Before you travel abroad, you will need to obtain a passport, which will serve as proof of your U.S. citizenship. A passport may allow you to gain entry to (and exit from) other countries. Depending on the country to which you're traveling, a visa may be required as well. Entry requirements vary from one country to another. The U.S. State Department issues travel warnings specific to certain countries, and offers tips and publications relevant to travel abroad generally. Well in advance of your departure, you should also familiarize yourself with international travel health issues, and health recommendations specific to your destination.

2.0 GPA minimum, 2.5+ GPA preferred
Sophomore standing (30 credits minimum)
No prior experience necessary
Students in all majors can participate
Open to UW-L students ONLY; students from other universities should contact ESCAPE directly at
Apply early - limited space available

UW participants add an OIE administrative fee.  These fees do not include tuition costs.

UW-L students are required to pay the ESCAPE $200 application fee, and UWL $50 application and $250 confirmation deposits for the program.  The remaining program fee will be billed to your student account.

The program fee consists of the following:

  1. Roundtrip airfare from Los Angeles with Australia/New Zealand connections
  2. Land Costs
  3. Pre-departure orientation meetings
  4. UW-L Administrative Fee

The UW-L Administrative Fee includes the following:

  • Pre-payment of Airfare, Land Cost, and Tuition on your behalf
  • Preparation of Financial Aid budgets
  • Registration while abroad in INS 300: Foreign Study to maintain your registration at UW-L
  • Transfer of Credit Processing
  • Study Abroad Health Insurance (required by UW System)
  • International Student Identity Card (ISIC)
  • Study Abroad Graduation Sash

Contact the Escape Program Coordinator for the most current Airfare and Land Costs.

*Financial aid is not applicable unless this program is taken for credit.  Tuition must be added to the program price.

Escape Manual
Click here for the Australian government website on studying in Australia.

Office of International Education
1209 Centennial Hall
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse
1725 State Street
La Crosse, WI 54601 USA

Telephone: 608-785-8016 Fax: 608-785-8923 E-Mail: