First-Year Interest Groups

Fall 2015

Welcome to the 2015 FIGs Family!

We are excited that you have made the decision to jump-start your WISCONSIN EXPERIENCE with a FIG. We hope your FIG will help you meet friends with similar interests, develop meaningful relationships with professors, and work towards a well-rounded education. We would like to provide you with a few insights that might help ease your transition to the University of Wisconsin-Madison, both academically and socially. On Wisconsin!

5 Ways to Have a Successful First Semester at UW

  1. ESTABLISH GOOD STUDY HABITS EARLY: Amidst the rush of Wisconsin Welcome, students may sometimes forget why they are here - to receive a world-class education! As a student in a FIG, you are fortunate to have the opportunity to make quick and easy study groups with your FIG peers. UW also has 45+ libraries on campus, many of which allow students to reserve study rooms. Take advantage of the educational support systems UW has in place: the Greater University Tutoring Services (GUTS), the Writing Center, and department-specific tutoring options.
  2. MEET YOUR INSTRUCTORS: Remember that professors are here to help students learn and adjust to campus life! We recommend reaching out to your professors and TAs throughout the semester. Visit office hours, ask questions in class, and attend review sessions. You never know what helpful hints, advice, and opportunities instructors have for dedicated students like yourself.
  3. GET INVOLVED: UW boasts over 850 registered student organizations. Peruse the list online at the Wisconsin Involvement Network ( and learn more about kick-off events at the Student Organization Fair on Tuesday, September 8th and Wednesday, September 9th from 5-8 pm in the Kohl Center. Other great ways to get involved include conducting research, volunteering in the local community, and working on campus. Visit the Center for Leadership and Involvement ( for more information.
  4. EXPLORE: UW has endless resources to guide you through your transition into this new chapter of your life. With the changes that college brings - new classes, studying habits, friends, and independence - come questions about daily life, as well as your future. Visit your academic advisors early in the first semester and get advice about potential majors and future classes. Many of the residence halls have drop-in peer and professional advising from CCAS. Also consider visiting the Career Exploration Center ( Their advisors are trained to assist students in matching interests, majors, and professional goals.
  5. HAVE FUN! Although your first obligations are to your studies, UW is overflowing with ways to have fun! Our favorites include Badger football games (stay for the 5th quarter), the farmers' market on the square, Union South, State Street, Picnic Point, Lake Mendota...

FIGs Office Information

  • Nathan Phelps, FIGs Director
  • Kari Fernholz, FIGs Assistant Director

An Evening with Go Big Read Author Bryan Stevenson

Monday, Oct. 26th, 7-8:30pm

Varsity Hall, Union South

The Go Big Read Program's 2015-16 book is "Just Mercy." Author Bryan Stevenson will give a public talk about his work and themes in the book. No ticket required.
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