Academic Services

International University (IU) Contacts

Prior to a contact with an IU, what information needs to be known?

A comparison of the international university (IU) to UW-L is a good start.  Programs should be similar to UW-L so that partner development is facilitated.  Other questions would include, but are not limited to: national recognition and rankings, and is the institution accredited and by which organization.  Another critical point is logistics: how accessible is the campus/city in relation to air travel?  If the site is a potential exchange site, consideration should be taken for students traveling to that destination.

When making the contact with an IU what information is needed?

Faculty are welcomed to investigate the possibility of developing a partnership with an international university.  Contacts may be made through conferences, research, professional developments, etc.  However, keep in mind that not every contact will produce a partnership.

  • Research international university
    • Programs aligned with UW-L’s undergraduate and graduate programs
    • Rankings
    • Location should be based off of recruitment strategy for the year
      • Markets where UW-L already has a strong presence
      • Limit new markets
  • Establish clear plan of with whom to meet
  • Need to identify institutions that meet UW-L needs
    • Advising: both university and program
    • Visa preparation
    • Follow-up throughout investigation process
    • Marketing strategies
  • Key Questions to ask/consider:
    • Who are they currently partnered with?
    • How will they market UW-L’s programs or partnership?
    • How will they recruit students to UW-L?
    • How will they invest in the relationship?
    • What services do they provide to inbound UW-L students, if an exchange program?
  • The Next Step:
    • Seek approval to move forward from Department/College
    • When approved to proceed, begin following the MOU Timeline (if a new partnership is being sought)
      • If developing a program with an existing international partner, begin following the Addendum Timeline


Q: What’s the difference between an MOU, a Contract and an Addendum?
A: An MOU is the initial agreement to begin a dialogue between UW-L and the IU.  A Contract is the formal document for the partnership and an Addendum is the document that establishes the specific programming relationship between UW-L and an established partner university.  This document details specific curriculum and budget information.  Several of our partner institutions provide various programs.  For example, Wuhan University in China has an MOU and Contract, and Addendums for Software Engineering and a 2+2 English Rhetoric Program.


Sandra Sieber, Assistant Director

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

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