Study Abroad

Exchange Program

Exchange Program fees are set based on UW-L tuition, fees, housing, and meal plan charges.  Fee inclusion varies by program.  Please refer to the Fees link on this website for more information.

Hessen-Wisconsin Student Exchange Program
As highlighted in the Chronicle of Higher Education

The Hessen-Wisconsin Exchange is an initiative capitalizing on the long-standing sister state relationship between the State of Wisconsin and the State of Hessen. The goal is to increase student mobility and enhance mutual cooperation among higher education institutions. The participating institutions in urban and rural settings offer a wide variety of courses. These may include total immersion in German classes, courses in various disciplines taught in English, and language and culture programs for students with limited German language skills. Special summer programs are also available. Internships are also available for qualified students.

The Justus Liebig University in Giessen and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee coordinates the exchange centrally. Each UW System School screens and selects their own students before sending their applications to UW-Milwaukee.

Hessen is located in central Germany, bordering the states of former East Germany. The landscape varies from the picturesque, medieval city of Marburg to the financial capital of modern Europe, Frankfurt am Main. The State of Hessen also includes the cities of Giessen, Kassel, Wiesbaden, Darmstadt, and Fulda. In the heart of Germany, rail connections make it possible to explore many parts of Germany in just a few hours.

There are three types of institutions available for study in Hessen:

Universities in Hessen are not merely institutions that provide education and training, but are also places at which pure and applied research is pursued. Theory-based courses in a broad range of disciplines emphasize independent study. Many universities have significant libraries and archives that support student coursework and research.

Fachhochschule (Universities of Applied Sciences) attracts students because of their practice-focused coursework. The high academic and scientific standards are reinforced by lectures and applications-based research. The range of subjects is directed towards the needs of professionals requiring a practical, technical and academic education, notably in health sciences, business administration, and the social services. Many of the Fachhochschule offer courses taught in English and will arrange internships for students with German proficiency.

Specialty Institutions provide education and training in the arts and music to qualify students in careers in applied art as teachers or as professional artists.

A full description of each Hessen institution and links to their academic programs is available on the Hessen-Wisconsin Student Exchange website maintained by UW-Milwaukee:

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.

Housing arrangements are made for participants of the Hessen-Wisconsin exchange by the host institution but not included in the program fee. Housing may be in dormitories, shared apartments, or private homes depending on the availability of housing at each Hessen institution.

American-style food services are not available in Germany. German students share cooking facilities in the dormitories or kitchens in private homes. A cafeteria at the university is where warm food is available during the noon hour Monday through Friday for a very low cost.

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.

Academic Year: mid-September to late-July
Spring Semester: mid-March to late-July
Due to the academic calendar at most German universities, a fall-only program is not possible.
For more precise dates refer to the Program Dates.

2.5 GPA minimum, 2.75+ GPA preferred
Second-semester sophomore standing (45 credits minimum), Junior standing preferred
4 semesters college-level German minimum; some programs may require less
Open to students from other universities; students at UW System institutions should contact their local coordinators

The program fee includes the following:

  • Tuition (12-15 credits) and Administrative Fees
  • Orientation to Study Abroad Class
  • Study Abroad Health Insurance (required by UW System)
  • International Student Identity Card (ISIC)
  • Study Abroad Graduation Sash

Financial Aid is applicable to program fees

Refer to Program Fees for the most current program fee

Other costs not included in program fee:

  • Airfare
  • Housing
  • Meals
  • German Student Services Fee


Tips and Advice from Program Alumni


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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: