Frequently Asked Questions

“I would encourage students who want to learn […] to apply for this program because it is so rewarding, and I have gained so much from my experience this summer. The whole program is there to help you during your learning experience and they want to help you grow!”

[MEDLI] APTLI 2020 Student

The MEDLI Experience

People walking around an outdoor farmer's market in front of the Wisconsin Capitol.
People walking around an outdoor farmer’s market in front of the Wisconsin Capitol. (Photo by Zachary Alphonse Marra from

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How many contact hours are provided over the course of the summer?

Each 8-week course provides a minimum of 180 contact hours in the classroom.

When should I arrive? When will I leave?

Detailed information about arrival and departure dates will be included in your admission materials.

For summer 2024, classes will begin on June 17, 2024. The last day of classes will be August 9, 2024.

Please contact the MEDLI Coordinator if you have additional questions.

Where will I live and eat?

Students are welcome to live wherever best suits them. Summer Term Housing provides students with on-campus living. Off-campus housing is another option. Students can search for off-campus summer options through the UW Campus Area Housing website.

Meals are not provided by MEDLI. The university has a variety of on campus dining options. Madison has various grocery stores, many restaurants, and one of the nation’s largest farmers’ markets held Saturday mornings all summer on the square.

May I bring a car to campus?

You may, but please be aware that hourly parking on and around the UW-Madison campus is extremely limited and expensive. A better option is to buy a summer parking permit – these must be purchased in advance from UW Transportation Services. Forms will be posted to apply for this parking in April. Your permit will be mailed to you prior to arriving in Madison. If you do not purchase a permit in advance, Transportation Services cannot guarantee there will be any spaces left.

How difficult is MEDLI, really?

MEDLI is an intensely challenging academic experience. Covering a year’s worth of course material in 8 weeks means that you are in class for over 4 hours each day, and should expect to spend at least an additional 4 hours daily outside of class practicing what you have learned (including vocabulary review and homework assignments). The instructors will also lead cultural, language, and recreational activities nearly every afternoon or evening. You will not have a great deal of free time. However, if you take advantage of the program you will be amazed at how far you progress in the language.

Application and Admission

MEDLI students in class

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I am not a UW-Madison student, can I still apply?

Yes, the program is open to anyone 18 years of age and over, as well as high school students in some cases. The application process is the same for all applicants, although international students will need to obtain a student (F-1) visa because our program exceeds the amount of instruction that is allowed on a tourist visa.

In order to receive UW-Madison academic credit, you must become a UW-Madison Special student. Once you have been admitted to MEDLI, you will need to fill out a UW-Madison Special student application.

I am not a UW-Madison student. Will I receive credit for the summer courses at my college or university?

You must discuss transfer credit with your home institution. MEDLI is the equivalent of two semesters of language study. You will receive academic credits from UW-Madison and can request an official transcript to give to the Registrar at your home institution. MEDLI and UW-Madison have no control over the transfer process back at your home institution.

How many credits will I receive upon completion of MEDLI?

MEDLI is an eight week program divided into first and second semesters.

Each semester at MEDLI is worth 4 UW-Madison credits, with 8 credits received at the end of the program.

I am not a student at any institution, can I still apply?

Yes, MEDLI is open to professionals and those who are no longer in school. When you apply to MEDLI, you will become a student at UW-Madison for the duration of the program. Visit the Adult Career and Special Student services to know more about the application process.

Do you offer any scholarships or financial aid?

MEDLI does not offer financial aid directly.

You are encouraged to apply for Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) fellowships through your home institution (if available) or through UW-Madison at flas.wisc.eduSummer 2024 applications are opening soon. Be sure to contact the appropriate Center that offers FLAS for your language and regional focus.

You may also apply through the Wisconsin Intensive Summer Language Institutes (WISLI) Tuition Scholarship, which covers 50% payment of tuition for language study at MEDLI. Summer 2024 application information will be coming soon.

Check with your home institution about scholarships that could be used for summer or off-campus programs. Financial aid, such as student loans or grants, is processed by your home institution since you will not be a degree-seeking student at UW-Madison.  A list of funding opportunities for summer language study can be viewed here.

Who should fill out my recommendation forms? What if I have never studied this language before?

The first letter should come from your current MEDLI-related language instructor. Applicants with no background in their target language are encouraged to have a teacher of another foreign language submit one of the letters.

For all applicants, the second letter and recommendation form should come from someone who is qualified to discuss your current academic progress. Educators and professionals may request letters from someone qualified to give an appraisal of your work habits, etc.

When is the deadline to apply?

The 2024 priority deadline will be announced shorty. All applications must be received and complete (including personal statement, official or unofficial transcript(s), and the application fee) by the deadline. Potential applicants who miss the deadline should contact us to see if there is space on a wait-list before applying.

Is there an application fee?

Yes, there is a $25 application fee.

When will I find out if I have been accepted?

That depends on when you apply and how many applications we receive for each language & level. Only completed applications (including all transcripts and letters of recommendation) will be reviewed for admission. We typically begin admitting students on a rolling basis in late winter to early spring.

If I am accepted, how soon do I need to confirm that I will attend?

You must confirm your decision to participate in MEDLI as soon as possible so that we can know how many students at each language level we can expect. If you have any questions or concerns in regards to confirming your place on the program, such as waiting to hear back on funding decisions, please communicate this with your MEDLI coordinator.

What is the minimum age requirement?

Generally, you must be at least 18 years old at the start of MEDLI in order to attend. Special circumstances for younger applicants will be carefully considered on a case by case basis.