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 International Summer University
As highlighted in the Chronicle of Higher Education

Kassel / Frankfurt / Fulda / Giessen / Marburg

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 Hessen Summer International University (ISU) is a summer study program which offers seminars and lectures (in German and English) on current European and German political, economic, and cultural topics, German language courses, and an extensive culture and excursion program.  The ISU is a joint project of Hessen's universities and universities of applied sciences with support from the Hessen Ministry for Science and Fine Arts.

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.

You can attend the 4-week Hessen ISU in Kassel, Frankfurt, Fulda, Giessen, or Marburg, or combine two programs to equal an 8-week program.

The University of Kassel is a young and modern academic institution. The new campus of the university is considered to be one of the most attractive in Germany. Everything you need is on campus and within easy walking distance. Kassel is a lively city of about 200,000 inhabitants, located in the center of Germany, offering a wide range of cultural and leisure activities, cinemas, theatre, sports facilities and the Kurhessen Thermal Baths complex. During your stay in Kassel you will live with German families carefully selected by the ISU.

ISU-Frankfurt am Main is a joint program of Goethe University and the University of Applied Science Frankfurt am Main. Frankfurt has been a flourishing trade center for more than 750 years and continues to attract millions of visitors annually. With just under 650,000 inhabitants, Frankfurt is Germany's financial capital and one of the most important commercial and industrial centers in the world. The ISU ~ Frankfurt am Main takes advantage of the location by focusing on European perspectives of economics, business and finance. Excursions will include visits to the European Central Bank, Deutsche Bundesbank and Frankfurt Stock Exchange, and two private banks.

European Studies German-American Intensive Summer University
Since 2006, the Frankfurt Goethe University in Germany has been organizing a four week Intensive Summer University, focusing on European Studies, in which the political and economic challenges for the member countries will be dealt with.  As a tandem project between Germans and Americans, students will work together in groups and will choose a topic pertaining to European integration and the European-American partnership.

American students will be attending seminar lectures taught in English by internationally oriented professors from the US, France and Germany.  For these seminars, German students are invited to take part with the expectation to foster German-American cultural and academic exchange.  During the afternoon, an intensive German language course will be taught by a highly qualified teacher from the Goethe Institute.  Weekends and evenings, students will have the possibility to travel around the region and explore the city of Frankfurt to experience its cultural treasures as well as its nightlife.

NOTE: The application deadline for this program is December 1st!

Please note this is a separate program from the Frankfurt-ISU summer program.  Refer to the Dates and Program Fees websites for more details.

The ISU is hosted by Fulda University of Applied Sciences (FH), a modern university (founded 1975) with an international focus. Particularly attractive for international students are the bi-lingual master programs in the Social Sciences, Economics, and Information Sciences. The study program encompasses seminars in the fields of Social Studies and Applied Life Sciences taught in German or English. Seminars provide hands-on insights, analytical tools, and a vision for the future. Workshops and study trips complement the study program.

The program offered by the University of Giessen is designed for postgraduates, undergraduates with some basic knowledge in the area of biotechnology, and young professionals, who want to learn about Europe's way of dealing with the challenges of a new and developing industry such as biotechnology, and who want to get some first-hand experience with the German language as well as with German and European culture.

Phillips University of Marburg is located in the heart of Germany. Marburg an der Lahn is a lively medieval town with a long university tradition. The romantic and picturesque old city with castle, cafes, pubs, boutiques, theatres, and museums all within walking distance. Weekend trips, evening events and special lectures provide you with a diverse program and complement your classroom studies. Housing is in single rooms equipped with a sink in a residence hall. On each floor you will find bathrooms, showers and a kitchen. Bed sheets are provided, but you should bring your own towels. You will receive your room assignment on the day of arrival at ISU. Meals are not included in the cost of the program; a cafeteria on campus provides low cost meals.

Each ISU offers an academic program unique to its location and institutional specialties. A 36-hour intensive German course is offered at sites. For a complete description of the courses offered visit the following websites:

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. 

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.

The program fee includes the following:

  • Tuition
  • University and Administrative Fees
  • Housing (excluding meals)
  • Cultural Activities and Excursions
  • Study Abroad Health Insurance (mandated by UW System)
  • International Student Identity Card (ISIC)
  • Study Abroad Graduation Sash

Airfare is not included in the program fee.

Financial aid is applicable.
Refer to Program Fees for the most current program fee.

All program fees subject to change. Valid for undergraduate Wisconsin residents only; out-of-state students pay Minnesota reciprocity or a non-resident surcharge.


  • 2.5 minimum GPA
  • The desire to experience the world and receive academic credit for doing it!

All students will be required to attend a pre-departure orientation. The orientation will help you prepare for international travel in general, and for the experience of visiting Germany. Program alumni will be on hand to answer your questions.

Hessen-Wisconsin Exchange

Hessen ISUs
Check out Marburg's ISU Video!
Tips and Advice from Program Alumni


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

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