STUDENT REPORT Name of the University: University of Wisconsin - Madison Exchange semester: Fall 2014 I. PRACTICAL INFORMATION 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. Travel - 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. Housing - 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 STUDENT REPORT - 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 amazing? 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!!!!!!! Costs - Approximately how much per month did you spend on rent, books, food, transportation, and other personal expenses? Rent Books Food *Transport Other NOK 6000 NOK 2000 NOK 3000 NOK 0 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? II. ABOUT THE SCHOOL STUDENT REPORT 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 students 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 wisc.edu 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: Other: 1 March 2014 15 March 2014 27th August 28th August 1. September 12. December 14-20 December (maybe earlier for master student) Thanksgiving (You should check WSoB exchange student handbook for the most update information) Arrival - 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.) STUDENT REPORT - 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 English? 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 people. - - 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. III. ACADEMICS 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)? STUDENT REPORT - - 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 over. 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? English - 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? Both Exams - 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 exams. - 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. STUDENT REPORT - 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 Master/ Bachelor Master Exam form 3 hour writing Prerequisit es Please check website Approved as Comments Elective ACC 603 Master 1,5 hour writing each Please check website Elective MKT 719 Master 1 hour and 15 min MC and short answers Please check website Elective MHR728 Master No Please exam, check just website journal and participa tion Elective 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 future. 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 person. 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 experiences. Please do not hesitate to contact us through international office if you have any question!