Life at UW-Platteville



Within your first few days on campus, you will be issued your student ID card (Pioneer Passport), which will enable you to check out books from the library, attend sporting/athletic events, and participate in a number of cultural and performing arts activities. With using you student ID card, many events are free of charge; if there is an admission fee, you will only need to pay the student rate by showing your ID card.

Weekly Seminars

You are required to attend weekly seminars and/or activities, which aim to provide you with opportunities for academic and professional development as well as enhance your understanding of U.S. culture. Sample weekly seminars are as follows:

  • Writing a Literature Review
  • Library Research
  • Résumés
  • American Education System

Approved Courses

You are required to attend two courses of your choice for the entire spring semester. These courses will provide you with opportunities to enrich your knowledge of subject matters and experience a U.S. classroom. Once your course requests have been approved, class attendance would be required. Arrangements will be made with the course instructors regarding your class attendance. You will receive no grade or credit for these courses.

Host Families

Host Families or CASA program (Community Ambassadors for Students from Abroad) provides a unique opportunity for international students to experience U.S. culture with local community members from the Platteville area, and for local community members to learn from and build relationships with students from all over the world.

You will be paired with host families who are volunteers from our community.

Conversation Partners

You will be paired up with two conversation partners, who are native speakers of English, to engage in intercultural conversations and improve oral English proficiency. You are expected to meet each conversation partner at least 10 times during the spring semester.


Meals are served at Bridgeway Commons, which offers an “all-you-can-eat” menu. Asian food is also available at Pioneer Crossings in the Markee Pioneer Student Center.

For more information about food, please visit the website of Dining Services at UW-Platteville.

Sunday Dinners

You will be invited to a Sunday dinner, usually held once a month, hosted by the program.


You will be housed in a residence hall on campus. Typically, you will share a two-person room with a U.S. student who has requested an international student as a roommate. Here is a sampling of what some former students of the MSE/English Education China Program have said about living in UW-Platteville residence halls:

  • People—meeting people, making friends, it's a blast to live with others, knowing there are people around to support you, friends that I have made, diversity
  • Facilities—The computer connection is excellent, clean and safe, it's a nice environment, cable TV, exercise facilities
  • Activities—Gaining skills in leadership, learning how to do things that you are not sure how to do, forming study groups, interaction with people in different social settings

For more information on meal service and residence halls, please visit the website of Residence Life at UW-Platteville.


Transportation between Chicago Airport and UW-Platteville

The University of Wisconsin-Platteville will arrange to meet you at Chicago O’Hare International Airport and transport you to UW-Platteville. As you exit U.S. Immigration and U.S. Customs in Terminal 5 (International Terminal), try to stay together as a group. There will be a representative from UW-Platteville to meet you. The trip form Chicago O’Hare Airport is approximately 178 miles/286 kilometers and will take approximately three hours.

UW-Platteville will also provide transportation for you to Chicago O’Hare Airport for your return flight to China.

Local Transportation

UW-Platteville initiated a city-campus shuttle service to provide students and staff transportation to locations around the campus and in the community. The shuttle is free to students with a valid student ID. 

Three routes are in use—a campus loop, focusing on high density student areas and the campus, a dinner route focusing on Engineering Hall and Residence Halls, and a shopping loop, focusing on campus, downtown Platteville, and Business 151.

For detailed information on the three routes and schedule, please visit UW-Platteville's Transportation website.

Regional Transportation

Looking to get to and from UW-Platteville from nearby cities such as Dubuque, Madison, Chicago, etc.? Check out the regional travel link for some of the more common ways you can make the connection.

Transportation times and prices were updated as of September 2013. For the most recent times and pricing, please visit the company's information directly. 

Spending Money

As noted on the Financial Verification form (J VISA Projected Costs) that you signed as part of the application to come to UW-Platteville for the final semester, there is an estimated minimum amount you will need for personal spending while you are in Platteville. Since restaurants, clothing, and entertainment costs may be much higher in the U.S. please try to set a monthly budget for yourself.

Many of the graduate students in our past cohorts applied for an ATM card issued by a local bank after their arrival. There is an ATM machine on campus as well as ATM machines at banks and some stores in Platteville. ATM cards are probably the easiest way of obtaining cash. 

Credit cards (especially Visa and Master Card) are readily accepted at almost any restaurant or store you might visit in the US. If you are planning on bringing your own credit card, please check with your bank in China to make sure that the card will work in the U.S.


The average monthly temperatures for southern Wisconsin during the spring semester are:

  Jan. Feb. March April
Average High 24.8 ºF
(-4 ºC)
30.1 ºF
(-1.1 ºC)
41.5 ºF
(5.3 ºC)
56.7 ºF
(13.7 ºC)
Average Low 7.2 ºF
(-13.8 ºC)
11.1 ºF
(-11.6 ºC)
23.0 ºF
(-5 ºC)
34.1 ºF
(1.2 ºC)

As you can see, the average temperatures in Wisconsin are well below what you would encounter in Wuhan, especially in January and February when Wisconsin has many days when the temperature is at or below freezing. Snow fall is common from January through March.

When you pack for your stay in Platteville, be sure to include some warm clothes such as a heavy coat, gloves, sweaters, a sweatshirt, and pairs of heavy socks. All of our buildings, including classrooms, residence halls, the library, and student center, have central heating, but you need to be prepared for the cold outdoors. People in Wisconsin often dress in layers of clothing in the winter, so they can remove a sweater or sweatshirt if they are in a heated building for long.

For current weather conditions, visit the National Weather Service website.

Student Services

UW-Platteville offers a wide variety of student services, which you will be able to use during your stay. Within your first few days on the campus, you will be issued your student ID card (Pioneer Passport) which will enable you to check out books from the library, attend sporting/athletic events, and participate in a number of cultural and performing arts activities. With your student ID card, most events are free of charge; if there is an admission fee, you will only need to pay the student rate by showing your ID card.

Rather than attempt to summarize the wide range of services available to you, please check out the university's Current Students page.     

health insurance

Your insurance will be effective 30 days prior to your start date at UW-Platteville through 30 days after your end date at UW-Platteville. The insurance fee and overview of the insurance coverage will be discussed after your arrival on campus. Health and accident insurance does not cover all medical expenses. In general, it covers the higher costs that result from accidents and serious illness, with attendant hospitalization, medical tests, and the services of doctors and nurses. 

The Student Assurance Services Insurance Plan does not cover the costs of:

  • Routine visits to a doctor
  • Visits to the emergency room when there is no emergency
  • Routine dental work
  • Vision examinations
  • Eye glasses

The above costs must usually be met by an individual even if he or she has health and accident insurance.

release of informatioN

In the event of a major debilitating illness or potentially life-threatening injury involving one of UW-Platteville’s graduate students in the MSE/English Education program occurring during the student’s semester at UW-Platteville, the coordinator of the program shall report the situation as soon as possible after UW-Platteville becomes aware of the injury or illness.

If the student has not requested that the matter be kept private, the situation will be reported to Ms. Nan Li (Nancy) in the International Affairs office at South Central University for Nationalities so that appropriate parties (e.g., parents and/or spouse) can be contacted. Assuming that the medical situation has become stabilized within three days, the coordinator of the program will ask the student's permission that the International Affairs office at South Central University for Nationalities be notified. If such permission is refused, the matter will remain confidential.

In the event of an intentional self-inflicted injury, the coordinator will notify the International Affairs office at South Central University for Nationalities immediately (i.e., as soon as possible after the incident is known).


In May you will attend the commencement ceremony at UW Platteville, which will be live streamed. You can view the past ceremonies online at


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