A group of 25 first-year international students list to Gail Ibele, associate director of the English as a Second Language (ESL) program, talks during an International Student Summer Institute class session at the University of Wisconsin-Madison on Aug. 4, 2017. The new program lets first-year international students arrive several weeks ahead of the fall semester and take an academic reading and writing class for non-native English speakers. The students also participate in a wide array of campus and community activities and meet current domestic and international students, all with the goal of helping them acclimate to U.S. life.

Thematic VISP Track: English as a Second Language (ESL)

Are you wanting a short, immersive English as a Second Language (ESL) program this summer at a top U.S. university? Or would you like to strengthen your English skills before starting regular academic classes through the Visiting International Student Program (VISP) for the fall 2020? Consider joining the VISP Thematic Track in ESL this summer!

Program Overview

Our ESL Thematic Track VISP participants will spend four weeks focusing on improving their speaking, reading, writing, and listening skills in an intensive academic program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Participants will receive personalized attention from the English as a Second Language (ESL) instructors while enjoying all that Madison has to offer in the summertime.

Program Dates

July 13 – August 7, 2020

Student Support

From the time you apply to the end of your stay, the VISP staff is here to assist you. As a VISP participant, you have complete access to all of UW-Madison’s academic and student support services, such as libraries, computer labs, clubs, and sports facilities. You may also participate in VISP-sponsored social and cultural events. Upon completion of the program you will receive an official UW-Madison transcript.

Academics & Course Offerings

Thematic track students will enroll in English as a Second Language (ESL) 328: Academic Skills Workshop for 3 UW-Madison credits. This course will help you improve your speaking, reading, writing, and listening skills. The class meets Monday through Friday, for two hours each day. You will listen to faculty lectures, build note-taking skills, learn to be an active participant in discussion sections, and grow comfortable in the atmosphere of an American classroom. It is a rigorous course and you will be required to study and complete homework every day. The ESL office will also have optional social events and activities scheduled in the afternoons that students can take part in to further improve their English and broaden their experience here in Madison.

Program Eligibility

Students must have a TOEFL score of 75 and meet the other VISP eligibility criteria for admission into this program.

Cost of Attendance

Estimated Tuition & fees for 3-credit class: $4,888
Estimated living expenses during the summer course: $1,761
Total: $6,649*

*Living expenses includes mandatory Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP), housing with utilities, food, books & supplies, and incidentals. In addition to the tuition and segregated fees, students will be charged a $100 International Student Services (ISS) fee each term of enrollment and a one-time official document fee of $65 to cover future official transcript requests and other documents. These fees are not factored into our fee estimates above. We do not offer scholarships for this program.

If you are planning to stay at UW for the fall semester after this summer program, please refer to our estimated cost of attendance website for comprehensive cost information.

Application Instructions

Submit your VISP application and in your essay please include: “I am applying for the summer ESL thematic program.”

Questions? Please contact the VISP coordinators.