Visiting International Student Program (VISP) - Sponsored Groups (Thematic Track)

Expanding the scope of VISP, the new sponsored group program facilitates the admission of cohorts of international students for study within academic departments at UW-Madison.

Sponsored Groups are identified by the UW-Madison academic department. They are groups of 10+ international students from foreign institution(s) who will focus their studies within your academic department during their time at UW-Madison. They can come over the summer, or for one or more semesters. Departments can select the group of students from one or more institutions from around the world.

Why host a sponsored group?
Hosting a sponsored group can help to fill under-enrolled courses within the department, diversify your student body, strengthen ties to foreign institutions, and is an avenue for generating revenue for your department. Tuition paid by a sponsored group can directly support the costs associated with offering courses (faculty salary, development costs, supplies, expenses, etc.).

Can VISP assist in recruiting students for our Sponsored Group (Thematic Track) program?
The VISP staff can help steer independent students with matching academic interests towards your thematic VISP program if you would like assistance augmenting your numbers. These students would factor into the standard sponsored group revenue calculations. VISP cannot guarantee that we will receive independent students for any given term, and therefore departments are expected to fulfill the initial recruitment of students into the thematic program.

Departments wanting to open recruitment outside of a preselected group should request their Thematic VISP track to be included in our current Thematic VISP opportunities by contacting the VISP Sponsored Groups Coordinator.

What is our department's responsibility in hosting a sponsored group?
By committing to host a sponsored group, your department will identify approximately 10 or more students and act as liaison to the foreign institution. You will identify an appropriate array of courses within your department(s) to ensure that the bulk of the students' full-time enrollment requirement is accessible for students in your department(s). Departments should plan to provide and communicate appropriate course selection and content advising for students.

How does Adult Career and Special Student Services (ACSSS) assist with hosting a sponsored group?
ACSSS serves as the main advising and academic dean's office responsible for all University Special Students including VISP Sponosred Groups. Our office will oversee much of the general student communications. We will coordinate the application and admissions process as University Special Students. We will facilitate the student visa request process, serve as their Academic Dean's office, assist with housing, and provide a comprehensive orientation upon their arrival in the US.

How did this program develop and how is it supported by the University?
For the history about our VISP Sponsored Cohort program, please refer to the VISP Sponsored Cohort Policy Agreement.


If you are interested in exploring the idea of hosting a VISP Sponsored Group in your department, please contact the VISP Sponsored Groups Coordinator, Josh Juedes, for more information.