Name of the University: University of Wisconsin - Madison
Exchange semester: Fall 2014
Before leaving Norway
- When and how did you receive information from the exchange university?
I got all the information around March.
- Any difficulties in preparing (application, housing, contact, courses, etc)?
Best experiences during preparation ever. I receive all materials need and instructions
from UW early in the middle of March. If you come up with any unclear things, just
go to international office, or email them, or email UW Madison representative, they
are really helpful.
I enrolled in all my courses in April. Some of the courses have pre-req, which means
that you have had to have another course at UW before taking that one. Often you can
send an email to the international office, referring to a similar course taken at BI. You
should consider which courses to choose earlier and be careful to enroll in class early
because classes get full quickly.
For housing, I chose to live in dormitory (you will receive an email early about
applying for living in dorm). I also searched for a lot of other options, i.e. apartments
not dorm which much cheaper price. But as an exchange student, living in dorm is the
best way to make friends and get used to American student life.
Applying for a visa (if applicable)
- How did you apply for your visa?
I got the information that I was accepted around March and started to apply for the
Visa immediately. Procedures are all on US embassy website. Be careful to book the
appointment as soon as you know you are accepted and also remember to pay for two
types of fees: SEVIS fee and visa fee. Interview questions are just simply asking about
your financing to go to US and when you will come back to Norway.
- What problems, if any, did you encounter?
No problems at all. But you should prepare for bank statement.
- How much did the visa cost?
The Visa cost around 1500 NOK.
- How did you travel to your destination? Any problems?
Just try to buy them as early as possible. Madison only has one small domestic airport,
so most of the time your flight will stop at Chicago or Minnesota airport, then you can
just take the bus to Madison (around 4 hours). But I took another flight from Chicago
to Madison because I had too much baggage those would be difficult for me to handle.
You should register for buddy program and your buddy will pick you up at the airport
to help you with all baggage.
- Was housing provided by the university, or did you have to find your own housing?
Housing was provided in the information package as mentioned earlier. I chose Sellery
because it is super close to Grainger Hall - School of Business (believe me, just cross
the street and then there you go! It's super helpful for you when the weather gets cold
and it is snowy). Sellery is so amazing. Living there is my best choice ever. People
just call Sellery party dorm, and that's so true. Residents of Sellery work hard and play
hard and are awesome friends to share with you not only the happy but also bad
moments. When I leave Madison soon after finish all exams (12nd December), my
friends gave me a great surprising when they organized a secret birthday for me (mine
was in July though, but they cannot attend it, so they make up a new birthday for me),
with a beautiful note from all my friends in Sellery. I was so moved by that. Is it so
What support did you receive from the school in locating housing?
No support needed. But you can ask any question by emailing.
Any special issues or good ideas for prospective students?
You really should live in Sellery!!!!!!!
- Approximately how much per month did you spend on rent, books, food,
transportation, and other personal expenses?
NOK 6000
NOK 2000
NOK 3000
NOK 2500
*Free busses
Culture and language
- Did you have any language problems with the faculty or other students?
No language problems, everyone speak English.
- How were the possibilities to experience the country and the culture?
Lots of happenings throughout the semester in Madison. The Farmers market every
Sunday is a good way to experience the fresh fruits and vegetables in Madison.
Homecoming is a parade to welcome all the former alumni, where all the student
organisations at the school build different floats and walk down the main street (State
Street) of the city center. Of course there is also the UW Badger football games that is
a must do in Madison. Football is huge in Madison. Every other week there is a home
game at Camp Randal which holds approximately 80.000 people. Every seat at the
home game is filled up. Be sure to get students tickets, it is an experience you will
never forget.
Cultural and social effects from the exchange experience
- How do you think the exchange experience will affect you from a cultural and social
point of view?
"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having
new eyes.”
How do you think the exchange experience influences your future career possibilities?
Please describe:
- The school and its surroundings
The campus of UW is huge! The campus is often rank in the top 10 of the national
campus rankings. The business school (Madison Business School – Grainer Hall)
itself is also very highly ranked, and is one of the top ranking schools in the US. UW
Madison is considered as a public Ivy League school. There are many libraries all
around campus, especially the College Library is a good place to study, with a great
view of Lake Mendota. Other great views to study: Bascom Hill, Union South,
Wisconsin Institution of Discovery.
Current faculty divisions and special areas
Current faculty: 2,054
Special areas: Business and engineering
Approx. number of students (graduate and undergraduate) and number of exchange
Postgraduates: 9,358
Undergraduates: 28,897
Exchange: 1,500
Study structure
Different from Norway. The level is the same as at BI, but the workload is spread out
throughout the semester. There are hand in’s every week, but don’t worry, the average
score on these assignments are very high. The assignments are not particular hard, but
it is a good way to use the theory we learn in practise.
Midterms in some courses, while class participation varies from class to class.
Course registration
- Were you able to register for courses before arrival?
Yes, through “student center” at site
- If not, when did you register? Any difficulties?
Some classes are specialized for specific program. Make sure to meet all pre-req
before registering.
- When and how long was the period for adding/dropping courses?
You can add and drop courses during first week of new semester.
Academic calendar
Nomination deadline
Application deadline
Arrival date:
Orientation session
First day of the semester:
Last day of classes:
Final exams
Any special events/holidays:
1 March 2014
15 March 2014
27th August
28th August
1. September
12. December
14-20 December
(maybe earlier for master student)
(You should check WSoB exchange student handbook for the most update information)
- Was the administration and faculty well-prepared for your arrival?
You should register for buddy program so that you can ask any questions or whatever
we needed during our arrivals (such as pick up at the airport etc.)
Did the school’s students participate in the reception of the exchange students?
Yes, there were many happenings during the first week. There was the orientation day
for international students. During this day we got information about the school,
courses and important information about obtaining our Visas etc. Later in the week
there were many social events with different student organizations we could sign up
and participate.
The International Office
- Is there an international office?
Yes, ISS – International Student Service. They helped us with anything we needed.
- As an exchange student, did you receive sufficient and relevant information? In
All questions were answered whenever we needed
Promoting BI and Norway
- What kind of activities were you involved in promoting exchange to Norway at your
exchange university?
I attended "International Programs Study Abroad Send-off" on December 11 to meet a
student who will be exchanged next semester and answer him questions related.
Social activities
- How was your relationship with native students?
Great. Americans are really easy to get to know. Just be sure to join many of the
happenings all over the campus during orientation week, you will get to know many
Is there a student organization, and if so, are the exchange students a part of it?
I was a member of AIESEC Madison. I chose AIESEC because of my global mindset, which is the main signature of AIESEC. There are 400 student organizations all
over the campus, so don't forget to go to the student org fair and find out an org suits
your interests.
Are there any special activities and gatherings for exchange students?
There are some, from ISS, International Programs or also many other organizations,
just keep your head up and notice these from UW Madison website and organization's
newsletter to know about all events happening.
In the classroom
- Describe the teaching style.
More discussion than in Norway.
- Language of instruction? Any problems?
Everyone speak English. No problems at all.
- How would you evaluate the level of study in relationship to the level at BI?
Most of BI courses have a big final with more than 50%, or maybe 100% of grade. But
in UW Madison, you have small quizzes, assignments to do every week, then exams
account for less. So more work every single week but quite relaxing and less stressful
for finals.
- Is the teaching primarily practical or theoretical?
Much focus on practical.
- Did professors use cases, group work or lectures (or a combination)?
All the above
Describe the relationship between professors and students.
They are awesome; remember all students' names in the class (I'm in Master program
with small classes, Undergrad program may differ). They are willing to answer all
your questions and are really inspirational.
Describe the relationship between the students in the classroom.
It was ok. Some classes are smaller than others, so of course it was easier to get to
know people in class. However since every lecture are 1hour 15 minute each time (two
times a week), at least the courses I had, and no breaks it may be hard to get to know
people. People tend to just come 5 min before class, and then leave once the lecture is
Course materials
- Describe the course materials used (books/literature, online articles, Powerpoint, etc).
Mixture of all. 2/4 of my course do not require purchasing any books. Articles and
hand-outs are helpful.
- In which language were the course materials?
- How do you estimate the level of the course materials in comparison to BI?
Book are usually expensive (100-200usd)
- Were materials used for detailed knowledge or a broad overview of a subject?
- Was the exam based on the course materials or on the lectures?
Both. We got very detailed information in regards to exactly what we could get on the
- How was the course evaluated (include all that apply)?
o Final exam (include form: written, oral, home assignment, presentation, etc.)
o Mid-term exam
o In-class quizzes throughout semester
o Small assignments and/or papers
o Presentations
o Group work
o Class attendance
o Class participation/debates
o Activities outside of the classroom
o Other – if other, describe.
Everything except for activities outside the classroom, class attendance and quizzes.
Library and technology
- Do students have easy access to the library and its resources?
Yes, Grainger Hall library is open to late at night, but closing earlier on Saturday and
Sundays. College library which is just one of the libraries on campus is opened all day
and night. There were many libraries around campus, each about 200 meters between
another (not even kidding)
- Were computers provided around campus/in the library?
Yes, feel free to use them.
- How is technology used in teaching or to distribute information?
Moodles. You will know it more from orientation or from each professor.
MBA LOUNGE ACCESS: only for Master student, with $50 in account for
printing!!!!! You should ask for it. Undergrads also have another lounge I think.
Description of courses
Please list below all the courses you took while on exchange, including as many details as
possible. Your comments are extremely useful for BI and for future exchange students,
include information on the level of difficulty, relevance to your studies, if the course was
practical/ theoretical, any enrolment issues, etc.
Course code
& name
FIN 635
3 hour
Approved as
ACC 603
1,5 hour
MKT 719
1 hour
and 15
min MC
Quiz and assignment every
single week. High workload
but the professor Belinda
Mucklow is awesome, and
the program is so great,
practical and interesting. But
it is also demanding at the
same time. Just take it if you
really want to work in an
investment bank in near
The professor John Wild is
really fun and inspirational.
Also assignment every single
week but grade is ok.
4 group projects all over the
semester and 1 concept
check. The grade is ok.
The course is practical with
lots of application and 4
guest lectures.
The professor Kevin Chung
was such an enthusiastic
My best class ever. We
simply do role-play games
for each single class (only 1
each week, but last for 3
hours). We have to prepare
and write journal after each
activity, but lots of fun and
learning at the same time.
These are really practical and
applicable to real life.
Any other experiences/comments about your exchange experience?:
My best semester ever. Great people, great professors, great friends, and such great
Please do not hesitate to contact us through international office if you have any question!