Center for International Education

1701 Wright Street
Madison WI 53704 

Hours: Monday - Friday: 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

International Admissions
Email / (608) 243-4108

International Student Services
Email / (608) 243-4108

Study Abroad
Email / (608) 243-4108

CIE Main Office
Call: (608) 246-6201 
Fax: (608) 243-4445

Downtown D112
211 North Carroll Street
Madison WI 53703

Call: (608) 243-4108

Hours: Limited staffing on Wednesday and Friday, please call first.

Next Steps for New International Students

To get started as a new international student at Madison College, please carefully review and complete the next steps below. It is important to complete these tasks before the semester begins.

  • Attend International Orientation

    Attendance is mandatory

    You must attend International Orientation to maintain visa status. International Orientation is typically held about two weeks before the first day of the semester.

    Upcoming International Orientations


    PLACEMENT TESTING required before January 13, 2019

    • Monday, January 14:  11 a.m. - 5 p.m.
      Truax Campus: International Exchange Center, Room C1430
      Lunch provided.
    • Tuesday, January 15: 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.
      Truax Campus: Room C2402
      No lunch provided, but food available for purchase on campus until 2 p.m.

    If you will be arriving from abroad, please arrive in Madison at least two full days before International Orientation to allow for unexpected travel delays and adjustment with travel fatigue and jet lag.

    A $50 orientation fee will be charged upon admission. An additional $200.00 will be charged to any student who misses any part of either orientation day without prior approval from the Center for International Education.

    What to Expect

    Topics covered include, but are not limited to:

    • A welcome reception to meet current students, faculty, staff and administrators
    • How to maintain legal F-1 visa status
    • How to be successful in a U.S. classroom
    • How to get involved in activities on campus
    • Aspects of U.S. culture and cultural adjustment
    • Campus resources such as tutoring, academic advising, cafeteria options, the bookstore, etc.
    • Class registration assistance from academic advisors
    • How to use the required F-1 student group health insurance plan

    Additional Orientation Events for All Students

    We strongly encourage you to participate in these new student events as well.

    Advising and Registration (A&R)
    Here you will meet with your academic advisors, plan your academic career, receive personalized assistance with enrolling in classes and begin to meet students and instructors in your program of study. 

    • Your invitation to register for an A&R session will be sent to you by email. 
    • We recommend attending an A&R session as soon as possible, since the advisors will assist with course selection and the best choice of classes will be available the earlier you register for classes. For students currently abroad, a special A&R session will be held as part of International Orientation, but you should still begin course enrollment now for the best selection of courses. The advisors can then review and suggest modifications to your class schedule during an A&R. 

    WolfPack Welcome
    New students will learn about:

    • getting your student ID card
    • parking permit/bus pass
    • getting your textbooks
    • tutoring services
    • library services
    • how to meet with your instructors and more!
  • Activate Your Student Account

    You must create a student account at Madison College before registering for classes.

  • Register for Course Placement Testing

    The course placement test will determine your placement for math, English and other courses. You will need certain scores to meet the requirements for some courses.

    Currently in the U.S.? Take the placement test as soon as possible so you are ready to enroll!

    Currently abroad? Register now to schedule a time to take the course placement test once you arrive and before the start of International Orientation and attending an Advising and Registration session. 

    Register online

    1. Visit Course Placement Testing
    2. Select the date and time of any course placement test offered in Madison
    3. Select the “register” icon in the upper right to register for the selected exam time
    4. Prepare for the exam - resources found on the "Preparation" tab
    5. Bring your passport or other photo identification to the exam and provide them with your student ID number upon checking in

    Note: If you have sent ACT scores to Madison College, the ACT scores may be used in place of course placement scores for class placement purposes.


  • Enroll in Classes

    Do not wait until arriving on campus to enroll in classes! Classes fill very quickly, so enroll now in at least 12 credits of classes. At least 9 of the 12 credits must meet in person with the instructor, not online. When you arrive to Madison, you will be able to meet with an academic advisor to modify your schedule, as necessary.

    To view the required curriculum for your degree program, follow these steps or watch the video tutorial:

    1. Log in to your myMadisonCollege student account
    2. Click on Academic Record on the left navigation menu 
    3. Click on Degree Progress which will show a listing of course options for your first semester
    4. When you select the course, you will see a list of class section options

    For instructions on how to register for classes watch a video tutorial.

    Carefully consider these details when selecting class options:

    • A prerequisite is a requirement for enrollment into a course, such as a previously completed course or placement test score.
      Note: If you are abroad and a prerequisite is blocking your enrollment into a class, you may email the course name and 5-digit class number to International Student Services and we will give you permission to temporarily enroll in that class until you can show that you can meet the prerequisite.
    • Please select only classes located at the Downtown, South or Truax campuses, which are the campuses located within the city of Madison. You may attend classes at the other campuses, but you must be prepared to travel for up to one hour outside of Madison to attend each class session.
    • Please be sure you are looking at the correct Semester or Term to make certain the class is offered during the semester in which you will begin your program of study at Madison College.
    • Madison College courses are offered in a variety of formats including in-person with an instructor, online, accelerated, etc. Look under class details for the Instruction Mode. Taking accelerated, short-term or online classes during your first semester is not advised.
      VISA NOTE: The F-1 visa allows only three online credits per 12 credits of enrollment each semester. Make sure at least 9 of your 12 credits are “in person” with the instructor.
    • The number of students who can still be accepted into a class is listed under Seats Open. If there are zero seats open, look at the Waitlist Total to see how many students are already waiting for a seat in the class. If more than 3 people are on the waitlist, it is unlikely that a spot in the class will become available for you and we recommend you look for another option.
      VISA NOTE: If you choose to add yourself to a waitlist, be certain that you enroll in at least 12 other credits not including the waitlisted class, to ensure compliance with F-1 visa regulations requiring full-time enrollment. Please see Waitlist information.