FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Application Process

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Are the deadlines listed according to the postmark or the date application is received?

Most students send their application and additional materials via email or secure online databases. In this case, deadlines are listed according to the date the application and subsequent materials are received.

If you are sending hard-copy materials to complete your application, please send us an email to let us know we should look out for your materials. In the case of hard-copy materials, deadlines are according to the postmark.

Can I send my transcripts and letters of recommendation separately?

Yes. However, please be sure that all materials have been sent by the appropriate deadline.

Can my recommender send a letter of recommendation via email to seassi@lpo.wisc.edu?


Recommenders can submit their letters via email (seassi@lpo.wisc.edu) or through the secure Box platform (found on the Application Checklist page). 

I am a non-UW student and last year I had to fill out a Special Student Form. Am I required to fill it out again this year?

Yes. Every SEASSI applicant who does not currently attend the University of Wisconsin-Madison needs to fill out the special student application form to be formally admitted to the university for the summer. The special student status is needed to enable you to register for the language courses during SEASSI, as well as to have access to other campus facilities such as libraries, computer labs, and recreational facilities. Once we have received all your application materials and you have been admitted into the SEASSI program, we will send you information on how to fill out the online Special Student form.

I am a UW-Madison student, do I also need to fill out the UW Special Student form?

No. Only applicants who are not current UW-Madison students need to submit the Special Student form.

I was a SEASSI applicant last year. Do I still need to re-send all the transcripts and letters of recommendation or can I only send the most recent ones?

You don’t need to resend all the transcripts, but please send us the updated ones. Also, please specify which transcripts you would like us to transfer from your previous SEASSI application. We do not recommend reusing letters of recommendation from previous applications.

What should I write in my personal statement?

Your personal statement should be about your career goals and the reasons why you want to learn the particular language you’re interested in. Describe other ways in which you have been preparing for your career and/or research goals. Describe how your work will contribute to your field or benefit others. There is no minimum or maximum length for the statement of purpose, but most are one or two pages long.

Are there letter of recommendation forms that we have to submit?

There are no special forms for the recommendation letter, but if you are seeking financial aid from the SEASSI Tuition Scholarship or the SEALC Tuition Scholarship, please ask your recommender to write the recommendation on letterhead stationary.

A preferred recommender will be someone who knows you well enough to be able to talk about your strengths, weaknesses, and accomplishments (typically an instructor, advisor, or supervisor). If you have taken previous language classes before and have someone that can comment to your academic/language learning abilities, that is preferred.


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How much does SEASSI cost?

SEASSI courses follow the UW-Madison tuition schedule; however all admitted students receive a scholarship to reduce the final tuition cost to no more than $5,000. There is also a one-time document fee of $130 for students who have not previously attended UW-Madison, which covers all future transcript requests.

International Students may incur additional fees. They should review the WISLI international students page carefully and view this infographic.

Eeek! I just received my bill from UW and it doesn't reflect the program fee of $5000. Instead it says I owe nearly $8,500! What should I do?

Don’t worry! SEASSI hasn’t provided the UW office of student accounts the list of SEASSI students yet, so you are being billed the usual UW summer session tuition. Within a few weeks, you should be able to view your revised tuition bill by logging into MyUW. If you don’t see a change in your bill by the end of May, please let us know as soon as possible so we can fix the problem.

What if my home institution or other organization is paying my tuition for me?

Please see our webpage for Third-Party and Institutional Payments instructions.

Financial Aid

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Can anyone apply for a SEASSI Tuition Scholarship?

Yes, all applicants to SEASSI are eligible to apply for a SEASSI Tuition Scholarship regardless of their citizenship. The majority of these scholarships are awarded to graduate students, but interested undergraduates and professionals are also encouraged to apply.

What does the SEASSI Tuition Scholarship cover?

Most SEASSI Tuition Scholarships awarded are partial scholarships to cover part of the SEASSI tuition cost.

I already have a Ph.D. Can I apply for the FLAS Fellowship?

No, FLAS awards cannot be made to post-docs or persons who have already completed a Ph.D. Current graduate students are eligible to apply for FLAS fellowships.

Find out more here: flas.wisc.edu

I am not a U.S. citizen. Can I apply for a FLAS Fellowship?

No, the FLAS Fellowship competition is open only to U.S. citizens and permanent residents. Applicants who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents are encouraged to apply for the SEASSI Tuition Scholarship award, SEALC Tuition Scholarship, and/or the WISLI Tuition Scholarship.


Find out more about FLAS here: flas.wisc.edu

Am I eligible to apply for a FLAS fellowship?

FLAS fellowships can only be awarded to current graduate students, as well as to undergraduate students studying a language at the second-year level or above. FLAS fellowships are also awarded to people who are applying to graduate programs but who have not yet been admitted. If you are a permanent resident, please submit a copy of proofs of residency.

Find out more about FLAS here: flas.wisc.edu

How many FLAS fellowships are awarded to SEASSI students each year?

We have not yet received final information on the total funding for the FLAS fellowships, so we cannot tell exactly how many FLAS fellowships will be awarded for SEASSI. If you have any additional questions, you may contact the Assistant Director for Fellowships and Awards, Sarah Linkert (sarah.linkert@wisc.edu).

Find out more about FLAS here: flas.wisc.edu

Is it going to harm my chances to get a FLAS Fellowship this year if I was a FLAS recipient last year?

Receiving a FLAS award one summer will neither harm nor help your chances in subsequent summer FLAS competitions.

Find out more about FLAS here: flas.wisc.edu

Is there a separate form to use for applying for the FLAS Fellowship or the other Tuition Scholarships?

Both the FLAS Fellowship and the WISLI Tuition Scholarship have separate applications forms. (Click the links to be directed to the appropriate pages for more information and applications forms.)

The SEASSI and SEALC Tuition scholarships do not have separate forms, but additional materials (Statement of financial need and two letters of recommendation) should be submitted with the other general application materials.

View more information about SEASSI financial aid here.

Note: Be sure to “x” the boxes indicating which award(s) you are applying to on the general SEASSI application form to indicate your desire for financial aid.


SEASSI Courses

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How many contact hours is each SEASSI course, and what is the teaching methodology?

Each SEASSI language course has a total of 160 contact hours over the 8-week course. SEASSI courses are taught using the communicative approach with an emphasis on integrated language skills.

Can SEASSI offer instruction in other Southeast Asian languages?

We often receive inquiries from persons seeking instruction in other languages of Southeast Asia, such as Malay, Javanese, Balinese, etc. SEASSI can offer instruction in these languages if there are at least four students enrolled in the class, and if we can find a qualified teacher. If you are interested in enrolling in such a class, it is critical that you contact us as early as possible, and no later than February 1st.

Do you offer any special language instruction for heritage students?

 In addition to the regular classes, SEASSI also offers specialized courses in Hmong, Khmer, Lao, and Vietnamese for Southeast Asian American students. For more information about SEASSI heritage language programs, please contact us.

Can I take more than one language?

Since all language courses are scheduled at the same time, it is NOT possible to pursue more than one language during SEASSI.

How do the teachers determine our language level?

During the application process (i.e., before classes begin) we will hold assessments for enrollment guidance to make a final determination regarding the appropriate language level for the applicant. In the application form, please indicate your formal language study and informal language exposure. The information will help the teachers to make preliminary placement decisions. As much as possible we try to modularize instruction so that students can make optimal progress.

What days and times are the classes?

In-person classes will run Monday through Fridays from 8:00am – 12:30pm with a break mid-morning as determined by the teachers.

If SEASSI holds online-only classes (such as Khmer for Summer 2024), we aim to coordinate the classes with the in-person class time blocks. However, remote class times may be altered to best accommodate the majority of the student’s geographic location.

Should I work/study for prelims/etc. during SEASSI?

We encourage students to budget approximately 8 hours per day for their language studies, including four hours per day of class time and approximately four hours per day of external review and work. Given this, it can be difficult to maintain the same commitment to external obligations (such as doctoral research, part-time or full-time jobs, etc.) as possible during a normal academic year. Many of our students elect to devote all their time to their language studies. For some, this is not a possibility. If you fall into this category, note there are challenges, but with strong time management skills and support from the SEASSI Staff, it is possible to succeed in our summer program.

Please review the SEASSI Attendance and Commitment Policies and check out the Alumni Voices page on our website to hear quotes and advice for future cohorts from past SEASSI students!

May I take off a few days from SEASSI to attend a wedding/conference/special event?

Due to the intensive nature of the language courses, we ask all SEASSI students to make every effort to attend the full length of the institute. If you anticipate missing class, you must let the SEASSI staff and your teachers know in advance. You will need to ask permission from your teachers. Students who miss class are responsible for catching up to the rest of the class and cannot expect teachers to give them individual “catch-up” tutorials. Your course grades may be affected significantly by the missing of class as well, especially in the case of unexcused absences.

Please review the SEASSI Attendance and Commitment Policies

Can I come late to SEASSI?

We realize that the finals and academic calendars of other schools conflict with the University of Wisconsin summer sessions schedule. However, due to the intensive nature of the language courses, we ask all SEASSI students to make every effort to attend the full length of the institute. If you anticipate a schedule conflict, please let us know as soon as possible so that we can work with you and your professors on possible solutions. Students who arrive at SEASSI after the institute has begun are responsible for catching up to the rest of the class and cannot expect teachers to give them individual “catch-up” tutorials. Your course grades may be affected significantly by the missing of class as well.

Please review the SEASSI Attendance and Commitment Policies

Can I leave early from SEASSI?

Technically yes. However, we will NOT give final exams in advance, therefore leaving early will result in your receiving a lower grade. If you are planning to leave early from SEASSI it is advisable to not register for the second session in order for you to avoid getting lower grades. If you anticipate that you will need to leave early, it is extremely important for you to inform us in advance.

Please review the SEASSI Attendance and Commitment Policies

Can I only attend the first half of SEASSI?

Yes you can, but you will not receive full year academic credit and you are still required to pay the full tuition amount for the whole program.

Housing & Travel to Madison

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Where can I find a sublet for the summer?

If you visit the Housing Options in Madison page, you will find a list of housing options in Madison including links to websites to look for sublet ads. Additionally, please feel free to contact us for additional summer housing resources.

What's the nearest airport for me to fly into Madison?

Madison’s local airport, Dane County Airport (code: MSN) is the nearest airport to fly into. The airport is just a 15 minute taxi ride from downtown Madison. Some students also choose to fly into Milwaukee’s airport (MKE) or Chicago O’Hare airport (ORD). However, if you choose to fly into O’hare or Milwaukee, keep in mind that you will need to take a 3-hour bus from Chicago’s O’Hare Airport or a 2-hour bus from Milwaukee to get to Madison. For details on your travel options to Madison, please see the Travel and Parking page.

Is it possible to find someone to carpool with to Madison?

Once you have been admitted to SEASSI, you can be added to a Facebook group for your SEASSI cohort. There, you will be able to communicate with fellow SEASSI students to coordinate rideshares and potential sublets with each other.


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For how long can I keep my UW-Madison email account after SEASSI ends?

All SEASSI participants who are not UW-Madison students during the academic year will lose access to their UW-Madison email account early in the fall semester that follows SEASSI. If you wish to keep in touch with SEASSI classmates after the summer is over, we recommend that you provide a more permanent email address for us to include in the SEASSI student directory.

If I am not a student at UW-Madison during the academic year, how can I access my SEASSI grades and print out an unofficial transcript after I lose the UW-Madison email account?

You will always have access to your grades and unofficial transcript online even after you are no longer enrolled at UW-Madison. To view your grades, go to my.wisc.edu and login using your NetID and Password. Then, launch your Student Center, select “Self-Service” at the top of the window, followed by “Academic Records” then “Request My Student Record.” Official UW-Madison transcripts containing your SEASSI grades can also be obtained through the “Academic Records” section of your Student Record.