Admitted international student

Congratulations and Welcome to UW-La Crosse!

The university, campus community and the International Education & Engagement Office look forward to welcoming you to our campus.

  • If you have been admitted for the Fall 2019 semester, submit your arrival information here. Please wait until after you receive your visa to book your flight!
  • We strongly encourage all admitted international students to visit their local EducationUSA office and attend a pre-departure orientation.

Below you will find helpful information for your journey to UWL. If you are transferring from another institution in the US, scroll down to the next section. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.

Visa/Immigration Process

Obtaining a visa & entering the U.S.

Visa Interview: When preparing for your visa interview, you will need to remember the following:

  1. Pay the SEVIS I-901 fee at least 3 days before your visa interview and bring the receipt with you to your appointment.
  2. Complete the Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application (Form DS-160).
  3. Pay the visa application fee.  See your local embassy or consulate website for more information
Prepare the following documents for your interview:
  • Valid passport
  • Receipt of SEVIS I-901 fee payment
  • I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1) Student Status) or DS-2019(Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status)
  • Proof of funding
  • UWL admission letter
  • Two 2x2 inch (5x5 cm) passport size photographs
  • Information showing strong ties to your home country (family, job prospects, etc.)
  • Check your local embassy or consulate website for any additional information they may require.
To obtain a student visa, you must demonstrate the following to the consular officer:
  • You are a student with an educational plan
  • You have the financial resources to study in the U.S. for at least one year
  • You have strong ties to your home country
  • You plan to return to your home country after you have completed your studies

Port of Entry & Customs

Port of Entry: International Students on an F-1 or J-1 visa can enter the U.S. no earlier than 30 days before the program start date listed on their I-20 or DS-2019.

When you arrive in the U.S., your first stop will be Customs and Border Protection (CBP).  Make sure to carry these items with you for inspection. Do not pack them in your checked luggage!

  • Passport: Must be valid six months into the future
  • F-1 or J-1 student visa: Must not be expired
  • Proof of Funding
  • I-20 or DS-2019
  • UWL admission letter
CustomsAfter you complete the CBP immigration inspection, you must go through customs.  At this time you will be asked to declare what you have brought into the U.S.  There are prohibited and restricted items which may not be allowed into the U.S. or items which are only allowed in limited quantities.  This includes alcohol, cigarettes, food, and medicine.  Please check the Customs and Border Protection website for current restrictions and limitations.  If you are carrying over $10,000 in any currency or travelers' checks, you must declare it on your customs declaration form!

Students Transferring from Institutions in the U.S.

If you are transferring from an institution in the United States and already have a valid F-1 visayou must do the following in order to ensure that your immigration record is transferred.

  • Complete the UW-La Crosse SEVIS Transfer-In Form.  Bring this form along with your UW-La Crosse acceptance letter to your current international student adviser (the person who signed your I-20).  This will allow them to transfer your immigration record to our university.

How do I get to La Crosse?

UWL US and Wisconsin Maps

La Crosse Regional Airport (LSE) is served by two airlines: Delta Airlines and American Airlines.  The International Education & Engagement Office recommends arriving at La Crosse Regional Airport, as it is the closest airport to UWL.  Many flights arrive at the La Crosse Regional Airport daily, making it the most convenient choice.

Students who arrive during the designated arrival times will have the option of being picked up by the International Education & Engagement Office from the La Crosse Airport.  If you arrive outside of the designated arrival dates you must arrange your own transportation to campus.  Please be sure to submit your arrival information after you book your flight to La Crosse! Please click the appropriate link at the top of this page to submit your arrival information.

Weather in Wisconsin

Wisconsin's climate has four distinct seasons: fall, winter, spring and summer.  Weather ranges from hot and humid conditions in the summer (70 to 90 F or 21 to 32 C) to cold, freezing and snowy weather in the winter (below 0 to 35 F or -18 to 0 C).  Summer conditions require hydration while winter weather conditions require appropriate warm clothing.

Visit the International Education and Engagement website for information about your orientation.

All new freshmen, exchange students and some contract students are required to live in campus housing. 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. 

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

Residence Hall Options

  • Eagle Hall - Triple rooms are available in a shared suite setting.
  • Reuter Hall - Only single rooms are available in a shared apartment setting.  This hall is generally for students older than 20.

Follow these instructions to begin your housing application:

  • To reserve a place in our residence halls go to and click on the Apply for Housing tab on the left.

  • Follow each step which includes accessing the Housing Portal, paying the $150 housing deposit, and completing the housing application. Due to the demand for on-campus housing, you are encouraged to reserve a place as soon as possible.

  • Review and agree to the housing contract terms and conditions

  • Review your application summary for accuracy

This is a legally binding contract that cannot be cancelled without penalty after May 1, 2019 if you attend UW-La Crosse during the academic year 2019-2020.

If you cancel after May 1, you forfeit the $150 housing deposit.

Off-Campus Housing

Living off-campus is not recommended for ESL students and freshmen/first year students. If you prefer to live off-campus, you should make arrangements prior to your arrival in La Crosse. Finding off-campus housing may take time and fills quickly as many other students are also searching or already have made arrangements for cheap and convenient rentals. To assist you with the process of finding off-campus accommodations, UWL has developed a guide to renting off-campus

The online Undergraduate and Graduate Catalogs provide descriptions of all courses offered at UW-La Crosse, as well as current academic policies, program descriptions, and degree requirements.  You can use the Timetable to search for classes and times offered for each term.

When you applied, you received an email from the UWL Admissions Office with information regarding how to access your WINGS account, including your student ID number.  With the information provided in this email, you will be able to register for courses using your WINGS account after your enrollment appointment.  Feel free to email your assigned adviser if you need assistance with course selection.  Advisers are not able to register you for your courses.  If you are having difficulty logging in to WINGS, please contact the Eagle Help Desk.

Graduate Students

Please contact your program advisor for information about course registration. Their contact information can be found on your admission letter.

Undergraduate Students

In your WINGS Student Center, you will notice an Enrollment Appointment. After the date of your enrollment appointment, you will be able to register for courses using your Student Center. If you need help selecting courses, please let us know.
Courses may fill up quickly, so register early!

ESL Students

You will be registered for courses by the ESL Institute after you take the La Crosse Battery of Exams.

Exchange Students

Below is the contact information of the academic advisors in each college.  If you plan to take courses with prerequisites, you must contact the appropriate academic advisor.

College of Business Administration

  • Nicole Vidden - - Accountancy, economics, finance, information systems, international business, management, marketing

College of Liberal Studies

  • Peter Stovall - - Archaeology, early childhood-middle childhood education, economics, adolescence education, history, philosophy, political science, public administration, social studies, sociology, women's studies, pre-teacher education

  • Sandy Keller - - Art, early childhood-middle childhood education, middle childhood-early adolescence education, English, French, German studies, social studies, music, Spanish, theatre

School of Health and Science

  • Guy Herling - Athletic training, community health education, exercise and sport science, ess-fitness, ess-physical education,ess-sport management, recreation management, school health education, therapeutic recreation
  • Carla Burkhardt - - Biology, chemistry, clinical laboratory science, computer science, geography/earth science,microbiology, nuclear medicine technology, occupational therapy, physical therapy, physician assistant studies, physics, pre-professional programs, radiation therapy, pre-early adolescence-adolescence education [science, mathematics]

You are strongly encouraged to register for your classes before arriving at UWL.  Please contact Diane Sasaki if you have difficulty registering for courses.

Courses may fill up quickly, so register early!

Vice Chancellor's Scholarship for New International Students

The Admissions Office is pleased to offer the Vice Chancellor's Scholarship for New International Students.  This merit-based scholarship is awarded each semester to new international students with excellent academic records. A separate application for the scholarship is not required. 

Eligibility Requirements*

  • Degree-seeking student at UWL
  • Satisfy the English proficiency requirement
  • 3.0 GPA (out of 4)

*Fulfilling these requirements does not guarantee an award. Awards are granted based on availability. Students who apply early will have a better chance of being awarded a scholarship.

Other Opportunities

  • Visit the UWL Foundation for information on campus UWL Foundation scholarships and various external scholarships.
  • Graduate students - Contact your program director about non-resident tuition waiver and/or graduate assistantship opportunities.

Course descriptions must be submitted before you begin your studies at UW-La Crosse.

Additional information may be requested on a case-by-case basis.

How will your credits transfer?

An official credit evaluation is performed after admittance to the university.

Please review the Transfer Credit Policy for guidance on how your credits might transfer to UW-La Crosse, including information about Advanced Placement (AP), College Level Exam Program (CLEP), and International Baccalaureate (IB) credits. For questions about scheduling and academic advising, please consult the Academic Advising Center's list of frequently asked questions.

Credit is generally awarded for college-level course work completed at institutions accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).  Foreign institutions must be recognized by the appropriate authority in that country, such as the Ministry of Education. Courses must be similar in nature, level, and content to a course in our undergraduate curriculum and applicable to one of our academic programs.  Continuing education courses, graduate-level courses, and courses that are remedial, technical, vocational, or doctrinal in nature are not transferable.

International Coursework: Course descriptions from all university-level courses are required. If detailed course descriptions are not provided, transfer credit will not be awarded.  Please note that English language courses are not transferable to UW-La Crosse, as they are not offered at university-level in the United States.