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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


What are the deadlines for applying? When will I hear if I was accepted? For the majority of our programs:

  • Applications for Spring semester and Winter Intersession (J-term) programs are due by October 1st.
  • Applications for Summer, Fall, and Academic year are due by March 1st.
  • Check the respective web site for your program in case there is a different due date.

Note: Some programs fill quickly and acceptance is on a first come first serve basis. The sooner you apply, the better your chances. Once we have received your complete application packet, it will be reviewed and you will be emailed notification of acceptance.

Reminder: If you pursue a non-UWL sponsored program, you will not be registered for UWL classes for the term(s) abroad. This means you will have to go through the re-entry process. The Admissions Office has re-entry information and procedure available on their website (http://www.uwlax.edu/Admissions/Re-entry-student/).

Do I have to know (or speak) a foreign language to study abroad?

NO, not necessarily. Though some of our programs may require that students know the host language prior to their arrival, there are many programs which offer courses taught in English. If you are interested in learning a language; many of our study abroad partner programs offer introductory language courses as well.

Do Spanish majors and minors need to take a Spanish course upon re-entry?

YES! Majors and minors are required to take a three-credit course at UWL after re-entry. Students may apply to have this requirement waived. Waiver forms are available in the Modern Languages Department (315 GMH). Faculty will review the proposal and determine if the waiver will be issued, or if the student must still complete an additional course.

How will I get credit for my courses?

Upon acceptance to your program you will receive a variety of forms (via your online study abroad account) that will need to be completed within three weeks of acceptance. One of these items is the "Academic Plan."

What is the Academic Plan?

The Academic Plan is a document that becomes available to students once they commit their participation on a study abroad program. This document is where students will list potential international courses and their equivalencies here at UWL. To complete the Academic Plan, all students are required to meet with their Academic Advisor and then with appropriate Academic Department Chairs for course approval.

Students should meet with their Academic Advisor to ensure that the course work they intend to take while abroad, will still fit in with the student's academic plan and keep the student on track for graduation. Students are strongly encouraged to have courses pre-approved prior to their departure. In some cases, students may not be able to get courses approved prior to their departure. In these instances, students should work with International Education & Engagement as well as the appropriate academic departments to ensure that courses are approved accordingly. The academic plan will allow the IEE Staff to complete the course transfers for a student's study abroad program once his/her program has been completed and official transcripts received in our office from the host institution.

A list of course equivalencies that have been previously approved are available via our course equivalency database/spreadsheet. This list is not comprehensive nor does it take the place of meeting with your Academic Advisor, or the appropriate Academic Department for final approval! These lists are meant as a guide to give you a sense of what courses may be appropriate for your studies while abroad.

Can a class that was failed at UW-La Crosse be retaken while abroad?

No. A student cannot retake a failed course abroad. The failed course must be repeated on campus.

What happens to my elective credits at UWL?

Unless the department evaluates the courses as satisfying a Gen-Ed course/category they do not count in Gen-Ed. If the course comes in with a 000L or 000U at the end, it does not fall into any of the Gen-Ed categories. “L” stands for lower division elective; “U” stands for upper division elective. Other letters of the alphabet at the end of an elective course determine where it could fall on the SNAP in the Gen-Ed categories. If the elective courses are not used in a major or minor, they will fall in the elective box at the end of the SNAP.

General elective courses do count toward the 120 credits needed to graduate. The number of electives a student has room for depends on their major/program. Some students have room for 10-20 credits of electives. Others have so many requirements that elective credit does not serve them well. Students are not "penalized” for taking electives (unless they go over the 165 credit rule for Wisconsin public institution credit).

Do I have a GPA?

Grades have always been posted to students’ transcripts for credits earned abroad and a GPA was calculated for that term, which appeared on the UWL transcript. There has never been a policy of pass/fail unless the course abroad awarded a grade in that manner. The previous transcripts that UWL issued contained only one GPA and transfer credits were not included in its calculation, although the GPA for the term abroad did appear. Currently UWL transcripts have three GPAs:

  1. A cumulative GPA which serves as the official GPA and includes grades earned on campus or otherwise in residency.
  2. A transfer GPA which includes courses taken at other campuses including study abroad programs.
  3. A combined GPA which calculates the cumulative and transfer GPAs together. There has been no change in policy, but rather additional information is now included on a UWL transcript.

A student’s OFFICIAL GPA will be the first GPA that appears on their transcript, or the cumulative GPA.

How can I complete the International & Multicultural Studies category in my Gen Ed?

You may satisfy the International and Multicultural Studies General Education requirement by completing the INS 252 (re-entry) taken the semester you return. Once completed, contact your Academic Advisor to confirm the category has been satisfied on your Advisement report. This option is only available to students who are participating on a semester or academic year-long program.

What is the deadline for pre-departure checklist I receive upon acceptance?

Some follow-up application items must be completed within two to three weeks of the application deadline. These include applications to provider programs or direct/exchange universities. Students applying for direct-enroll or exchange programs through UWL will have follow-up items or materials to complete for their specific host university. More information will be provided to you, via your online student checklist, post acceptance. For Academic Year, Fall and Summer programs, the priority deadline for all other items is March 31st. For Spring and J-term programs, it is October 31st.

Where can I find a flight?

Since students are not required to purchase their flights through any one specific agency, students are able to utilize any airline or travel agency which they prefer. These are some of the recommendations that previous students have made with regards to purchasing airfare: STA Travel, Student Universe, Priceline, or Kayak.

Students who are participating in faculty-led programs where flights have been configured into the budget are required to use the provider that the UW System is contracted through: Fox Travel. Students will receive more information regarding flight arrangements through Fox Travel if this applies to their specific faculty led program.

What is the study abroad sash?

The study abroad sash is a sash/stole to be worn at graduation. It shows the flag of the country in which you studied. You will receive this at the pre-departure orientation session prior to your departure. The cost for this is included in the program fees for most study abroad programs. *If your program fee does not have a line item for graduation sash, you will not receive one, as it may not have been configured into your specific program budget; i.e., certain faculty led programs.

Students who need replacement sashes, or would like to purchase a sash individually, can do so via our sash provider, Vision Wear. You can access their product listings here.

What is the study abroad orientation session?

The orientation must be attended by all students who are studying abroad. It consists of three hours on a designated Saturday and includes coverage of the following: UWL procedures and policies, health & safety information, and travel tips.. At the end of the session, program alumni who have studied at your abroad university will be available for a program specific Q&A session.

What if I already have insurance for international travel?

UW System has established a mandate that, in order to ensure that all students have the standard level of coverage, the CISI insurance is mandatory for UW System students engaged in study abroad or exchange programs, regardless of what other insurance coverage the student may have. Please refer to UW System's website for additional information regarding the insurance requirement.

What about programs that require students to buy insurance coverage through the host country? Can I get a waiver from the UW insurance requirement?

Some countries require the purchase of country insurance in order to secure an international student visa, and so purchase of the UW System insurance may seem unnecessary. However, there are some important differences between the two types of coverage. Country insurance generally provides no benefit for medical evacuation and repatriation. Country insurance is specific to the host country, and will not provide coverage for participants who travel to other countries while abroad. For these reasons, the UW System insurance requirement will not be waived in these circumstances.

Note: Some foreign consulates may issue student visas without requiring purchase of the country insurance if the participant can provide proof of coverage under a valid group plan. The sponsoring UW System institution and CISI will work with participants to provide proof of coverage letters for submission to consulates. Source: UW System's Insurance Requirement Website

What additional fees can I expect?

Students may also be required to pay additional application fees, confirmation deposits, and/or housing/security deposits directly to host institution or provider program in order to secure their placements within the program. Students should consider these, and other out-of-pocket expenses, when creating a budget for their study abroad program.

Will I have a bill for a Winter Intersession program?

Yes, students do receive a separate bill for Winter Intersession. It is sent to students the first Monday in January and is due February 1. Be sure to check your student account while on program! Spring payments are usually due around March 1. The tie-in with Spring fees occurs if a student receives aid for Spring that is applied before the Winter Intersession bill is due. If they receive enough aid to pay both Winter Intersession and Spring, their financial aid will cover both bills. For additional information, please consult the Tuition/Fee Schedule on the Cashier's website.

Will my financial aid apply to my study abroad program?

YES!! On your application, make sure to indicate that you qualify for, or are considering, applying financial aid towards your program. Once you are accepted into your study abroad program, a Study Abroad budget will be given to the Financial Aid Office indicating the program and your out-of-pocket expenses for the term(s) you are studying abroad. The Financial Aid Office will use this budget to determine your award. The Financial Aid Office has prepared a useful reference brochure to answer many of your questions about applying financial aid to study abroad programs.

Are there any scholarships I can apply for?

There are several scholarships available to UWL students for study abroad programs. You can check the Financial Aid Office's Scholarship Website for scholarship information. For scholarships that are specific to UWL, please check our scholarships page:Scholarship Information

What is the I-Engage Scholarship?

The I-Engage Scholarship for International Education is a student funded program to facilitate a higher quality academic experience at UWL. Stipends for UWL students may be awarded in exchange for getting involved on-campus activities and by promoting international awareness and international education. The I-Engage Scholarship is only available to UWL students who are participating on UWL approved or sponsored programs and eligible international students. You can find more information here: I-Engage Scholarship Information

I'm a non-UWL student; how do I become registered?

Students desiring to audit or take selected courses for credit, but who do not expect to earn a degree at this university, may be enrolled as special non-degree student. This process may be done on-line at: Admissions>Special Non-Degree Student

Non-UWL students will receive detailed information in their online profile.

I'm a non-UWL student; what's my pin number?

The Personal Identification Number is a 4-digit number used for accessing the WINGS system. For first-time users, the PIN is the month and day of your birth (i.e., birth date = May 12, PIN is 0512). You will be required to change your PIN on your first entry. The new number cannot be the same four numbers (e.g. 9999) or the original PIN number. If you have forgotten your PIN, call the registration help line at (608) 785-8951.

I’m a non-UWL student. How do I access my UWL e-mail?

All students participating in a UWL sponsored study abroad program will be issued a UWL e-mail account. You will need to set up your account and check it periodically as this is where all billing information will be sent. Your UWL e-mail address will be the first eight letters of your last name; then “dot;” then the first four letters of your first name followed by "@uwlax.edu" (example: smith.davi@uwlax.edu). In order to set up your e-mail account (referred to as EagleApps) follow these instructions:

 

  1. Set your EagleApps Password
    • Your EagleApps username is the first eight letters of your last name; then “dot;” then the first four letters of your first name (example: David Smith=smith.davi). This is referred to as your NetID. Before you can log into EagleApps you must set your EagleApps password. To set your EagleApps password, visit https://secure.uwlax.edu/eapassword and follow the on-screen instructions.
  2. Login to EagleApps
    • You can login to EagleApps with your EagleApps username and password. Your EagleApps username is your 8.4 (now referred to as your UW-L NetID). The password you use to login to EagleApps will be the password you set in step 1.
    • You can login to your EagleApps e-mail at www.uwlax.edu/eagleapps by clicking the Mail icon or going directly to e-mail.uwlax.edu Your EagleApps password must be at least 8 characters long.

I'm a non-UWL student; how will I receive billing statements?

Your student bill will be e-mailed to your UWL student email account once the appropriate term begins. Billing will follow the deadlines that have been determined by UWL. Once notified via e-mail, students can view their billing details through their WINGS account. You should have received log-in details for both your UWL e-mail and WINGS account shortly after you submitted your special, non-degree application to UW-L. If you have issues locating or accessing your log-in details, please contact the UWL ITS or Eagle Center Help Desk at:helpdesk@uwlax.edu or (608) 785-8774.