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Hessen-Wisconsin Exchange Opportunities for High School Pupils and University Students

Secondary / High School

The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction and the Hessisches Kultusministerium (Hessen Department of Education) began a sister school program and a teacher seminar in 1990 to strengthen school partnerships and international teacher professional development. Through the annual exchange, pupils and families in Wisconsin can pair up with a pupil from Hessen and host a pupil from Hessen during the first semester in Wisconsin (home stay and school) before transitioning to Hessen. In the second half of the year, Wisconsin pupils spend a minimum of three months and up to the full second semester with their partner (home stay and school). The program fee for this option is $450. Alternatively, the Wisconsin pupil and family can simply host a Hessen pupil without a reciprocal stay in Hessen. There are no program fees for this option. Wisconsin residents should see the website of the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction for further details.Residents of Hessen should visit the Servicestelle Internationale Begegnungen.

University Programs

The Hessen-Wisconsin Student Exchange was initiated and inaugurated in 1998 to expand the long-established cooperation between the two sister-states by offering exchange opportunities for all Hessen and Wisconsin Institutions of Higher Education. The ultimate objective was to serve as an “umbrella agreement” for as many bilateral cooperations between Hessen and Wisconsin universities as possible. Beyond the traditional semester- and year-long study programs, short-term programs have been developed for a variety of disciplines/topics to provide more options during the summer, the International Summer Universities, and during the winter break, the International Winter Universities, to meet the US students’ demands. 

The current administrative home of the program in Hessen is the Universität Gießen. The Hessen website provides information for outgoing students about Wisconsin and specific offerings for incoming Wisconsin students including year-, semester-, and month-long programs in Hessen. The UW-Oshkosh administers the program on the Wisconsin side and provides information to outgoing Wisconsin students. The Study in Hessen website provides an overview of all study opportunities in Hessen, not just Wisconsin-specific offerings, including English-language coursework

Financial aid and scholarships for study abroad are available on each UW-System campus. In addition, the Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst (German Academic Exchange Service, DAAD) provides more than adequate funding for well-qualified undergraduate students. Application deadlines are typically in the fall for the following academic year. 

The International Undergraduate Study Program (IUSP) runs in the fall or spring semester in Marburg to correspond to the US semester dates (September-December and February-May). Coursework is primarily in English.


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