Developing a UW Advance program with VISP


Launched in 2016, the Visiting International Student Program (VISP) noncredit program welcomes international learners interested in short-term, nondegree study at UW-Madison. VISP noncredit program successfully grew from 19 students in the pilot program to over 600 participants in six years.

Why develop a noncredit program?

  • Inspire motivated international students
  • Showcase your department
  • Increase awareness of your program activities
  • Expand your outreach
  • Build on your relationships with international institutions & faculty

Noncredit International Learners

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American Culture & English (ACE)

A three-week residential program for international high school students. ACE ran in summers 2016 and 2017 for students from China, Singapore, and Taiwan. In 2019 the program ran with 30 students.

Students from the Visiting American Culture and English (ACE) program enjoy a Mallards baseball game. (photo by Dave Giroux)

EducationUSA Academy

The EducationUSA Academy at UW Madison program launched in 2019.  The US Department of State selected UW-Madison from over 300 institution applications to be one of 15 host institutions across the country. The three-week college—preparatory program provided an opportunity for students, many of whom aspire to participate in higher education in the US, to learn about the American higher education system, experience life at a large American university, explore different fields, and understand American culture.

EducationUSA group photo
EducationUSA 2019 group photo

UW Advance

A residential program that provides rich academic experiences, enhances English-language skills, and immerses international students in local and regional culture. The program content consists of English courses typically in the morning, combined with customized content in afternoon sessions, faculty lectures, workshops, recreational activities, volunteer experiences and more. The customized content would be designed to the needs of the school or University.  The programs run between 3 to 4 weeks.  The ideal time to host a program is anytime between June 1 and the first week of August (housing is more easily available). But it is also possible to conduct programs during winter and fall (subject to housing availability).  Past themes have included Business, Education, Biomass Engineering, Leadership, Innovation, Agriculture and Frontiers in Big Data. We continue to create new programs to address interests and trends.

UW Advance Big Data Winter 2020 at EPIC
2020 Winter UW Advance Big Data students visiting Epic

Virtual Programs

Starting summer 2020, noncredit programming pivoted to offering virtual classes due to COVID-19. We produced digital content to facilitate online programming and adjusted our staff schedules to accommodate different time zones. We are pleased to report that with these adjustments we were able to serve 17 different countries including Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, and Middle East.

2021 Spring EducationUSA Academy Connects teambuilding with ALPS

About UW Advance

  • Short-term, customized or open-enrollment, noncredit programs for international college-aged students and professionals
  • Typically 3-4 weeks in duration
  • Thematics range from Data Analytics, Agriculture, Innovation & Manufacturing, Business, Education and more

UW Advance programs

Two ways to collaborate

Become a guest lecturer

Provide 1-hour lecture on a topic of your choice within an exisiting thematic

Optional: lead a seminar series within a program, i.e. 2-3 lectures/workshops

Virtual option: synchronous or asynchronous + synchronous Q&A

No student assessment

Become a program pioneer

Propose a thematic

Design and facilitate a 3-4 week workshop; 1-2 hour sessions, 3-4 times per week

Project-based or hands-on learning encouraged

Virtual option: synchronous or asynchronous + synchronous Q&A

Student assessment required

Get Started

Are you interested in short-term teaching commitment in off-semesters or summer, and you are concerned about all the logistics that go into it?

Our collaboration model is you provide the academic content only, and our team provide the wrap-around for a successful program.

Contact Jing Xu to explore your collaboration with noncredit programming at VISP.

Upcoming UW Advance programs

UW Advance Agricultural and Applied Economics (virtual): January 10-28, 2022 (3 weeks)

UW Advance Data Analytics (virtual): February 7-25, 2022 (3 weeks)