Study for a graduate program in Wisconsin
Located in Midwestern America’s Great Lakes region, Wisconsin is a diverse state second only to Michigan in the length of its Great Lakes coastline.
Known for its delicious cheeses, the ‘Dairy State’ produces 25% of all the cheese in America and residents are proud, referring to themselves as ‘cheeseheads’. Sample their cheddar and gouda and you’ll be converted.
Wisconsin is a great place to study a postgraduate course, whether it’s in one of the culturally-rich cities like Milwaukee or Madison, or in the more rural, farm-based countryside.
Home of the ‘Wisconsin Idea’ – the thought that the state should serve its people, education has always been important to the development of Wisconsin. In modern times, the state is now home to a number of public and private institutions where you can study a postgraduate course:
- University of Wisconsin-Madison
- Wisconsin Technical College System
- Beloit College
- Cardinal Stritch University
- Carroll University
- Marquette University
Professional, or ‘terminal’, masters are designed to lead to employment rather than further study. Popular courses include: Master of Business Administration (M.B.A) and Master of Library Science (M.L.S.).
Academic masters, however, are generally designed to lead the way into doctorate/PhD study. Popular courses include: Master of Education (M.Ed.), and Master of Engineering (M.Eng.).
Both last between one and three years, depending on the subject.
Doctoral degrees are the most advanced level of higher education, and usually take between four and eight years to complete, which includes the time it takes to write and present a dissertation.
Immigration and visas
Before travelling to the USA to study in Wisconsin, you will need to apply for a non-immigrant visa.
The most common kind of student visa is the F-1 visa, which entitles the holder to study at any US accredited college or university.
To apply for a student visa for a graduate program in Wisconsin, you will need to fill out an application form (found on the US Embassy website) and send appropriate documentation, such as evidence of financial standing and proof of university acceptance and academic qualifications, as well as possibly attending a visa interview at the US Embassy in your home country.
Life in Wisconsin
Wisconsin is one of the smaller US states where you can study, but it still packs a big punch. Its major cities such as Madison and Milwaukee are multicultural places and regularly celebrate the heritage of its citizens, with Oktoberfest, Polish Fest, Irish Fest, Bastille Day and Indian Summer festivals.
Wisconsin’s landscape makes it a popular tourist destination, and international students in Wisconsin will have plenty of outdoor options open to them. In the cold winters locals take to skiing, ice fishing and snowmobile racing, while warmer weather brings out deer hunters and fishing.
For beer drinkers, alcohol plays a big part in life in Wisconsin. Bars are very popular and annual drinking festivals like Summerfest are big events.
Working in Wisconsin
Wisconsin’s economy is driven by manufacturing, agriculture and health care, with manufacturing and production accounting for about 20% of the state’s GDP. Education provides Wisconsin with plenty of employment, with the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Milwaukee Public Schools the second and third largest employers in the state.
Agriculturally, Wisconsin is known for its dairy products, particularly cheese. It is the leading producer of cheese in the United States and second in butter production. Tourism also play a significant role in producing income for the state.
Most international students coming to Wisconsin for postgraduate courses will choose to live in university accommodation. Many universities offer dedicated graduate halls on campus, many of which come furnished and with extra amenities like gyms, cafes and bars.
If you wish to live in private accommodation, you should contact your university to ask about good areas to live in and who to contact.
Weather and climate
As with most American states, Wisconsin’s climate depends entirely on where you live. The southern part of the state is generally warmer than the northern region. Summer in Wisconsin runs from June to August, when temperatures regularly reach 25C. The coldest winter months in Wisconsin are between December and February, when temperatures struggle to get above freezing.
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