In addition to our freshman and transfer checklists, international students should familiarize themselves with these next steps.
APPLY FOR YOUR I-20
All I-20 or DS-2019 requests must be submitted through the Terra Dotta portal via your MyUW Student Center., which will be your student immigration portal during your time as an F-1 or J-1 student at UW-Madison. You must accept your offer of admission before you can set up your Terra Dotta account.
Keep in mind that visa processing can take a long time, so plan ahead.
Please read through our FAQs about the I-20 process. International Student Services also provides a Guide for International Students with more information about next steps to secure your visa.
ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE TEST (ESLAT)
All incoming students are required to take an English Placement Test. International students will be required to take the ESLAT if a TOEFL or IELTS was required to complete your application. Other students will take the UW System English Placement test.
The ESLAT is used to assess students’ English language skills required for academic work and to place students in appropriate ESL courses.
SIGN UP FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENT ORIENTATION, ADVISING, AND REGISTRATION (SOAR)
Students admitted for the summer and fall will receive information in April regarding the SOAR sessions held in summer. Details about the dates and registration will be sent by email, and students need to confirm their enrollment before signing up. It is advantageous to have your final grades when attending SOAR. Please note that we offer a specific SOAR for students on an F-1 or J-1 Visa sponsored by UW–Madison only in late August.
OBTAIN HEALTH INSURANCE
UW–Madison requires that all international students on nonimmigrant visas have adequate medical insurance during all periods of enrollment. International students who do not have insurance that is pre-approved for a waiver by the university must purchase the UW–Madison Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP). For more information about SHIP, including enrollment options, premium rates, and waiver requirements, visit the Student Health Insurance Plan site.