ISEP is an international exchange network, of which Willamette is a member, that places students at universities around the world. WU can send students to over 100 locations. In return we receive students from universities around the world. Through ISEP students can select from a variety of campuses and communities that meets their academic and personal goals.
Locations for 2022-23: Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Hungary, Lithuania, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico (limited locations), Netherlands (except Leiden), Puerto Rico (U.S. Territory), Réunion Island, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, and Uruguay. NOTE: For countries with multiple sites, please check with OIE to determine if any specific site in which you have interest is open to WU students.
NOTE on Spanish Site limitations: Students considering Spanish-speaking locations through ISEP, see this list of ISEP universities approved by the Spanish department where students can earn credit toward major or minor requirements in Spanish.
- How does ISEP work?
- Why choose ISEP?
- How do I apply for an ISEP program?
- How do I learn more about ISEP?
1. How does ISEP work?
This is your chance to learn in a completely different education system. You become a full student at the host university and participate in that university’s established systems. Registration processes, coursework, number of courses, assessments, and grading scales are unique by country, university, and sometimes, by department. If you are seeking an independent experience, this is a challenge that you may relish. ISEP provides country-specific guides on academic norms. Local ISEP coordinators help students navigate the adjustment based on their culture-specific approach. Key to success: Be flexible about course options and proactive on accessing local on-site resources.
Many ISEP universities offer at least some coursework in English, even if the local language is not English. Language courses are often available for exploring the host language for students taking courses primarily in English. Students seeking to take courses taught in the host language will find an even broader range of courses available.
Housing and Meals
Students will find a variety of options, depending on the location. Campus housing or living in an apartment can offer new levels of independence and integration into local life. Housing may be with international students from around the world, providing an opportunity to meet many people who are also new to campus. Most campuses provide a stipend that students use to purchase food for preparation at home and it will be important to budget these monies. Some locations offer a host family option, but it is not common.
Academic calendars vary around the world. Check the dates of programs on each university website. Often semesters do not align with our calendar so plan accordingly. This may mean selecting only fall term as an option, or recognizing that your summer break will be shorter due to an earlier start or later finish. Some universities may provide flexibility for final exams, but students need to know they may be required to stay through finals.
See the Willamette Sponsored Programs Cost Matrix for information about cost.
Tuition: Like all WU study abroad programs, you will pay Willamette tuition.
Room and Board: You will pay Willamette for room and board based on a standard double room and 19-meal plan rate. The room and board charges you pay to Willamette cover the living costs for the incoming ISEP students. While abroad, your room and board abroad will be provided by the host university. “Board plans”, university supplied meals, are not common abroad. Usually you are provided a stipend that covers your housing and purchase of food. The stipend varies by location. Students are advised of the stipend arrangements once their specific placement is confirmed.
Insurance: ISEP requires that all participants purchase a specific study abroad insurance, regardless of other insurance students already have.
2. Why choose ISEP?
Live like a local.
ISEP is highly recommended for academically strong students who demonstrate a high level of independence, resilience and flexibility. Rarely is there more than one WU student on any international campus. The more students we send out, the more international students we have on our campus!
Quotes from former ISEP students:
"The ISEP program helped me step outside my comfort zone in a way I wouldn't have in another type of program."
"Although I was challenged everyday I grew SO much."
"I was able to study abroad because ISEP had so many academic options I couldn't find anywhere else."
"ISEP was great! I met SO many international students from other countries; I was the only U.S. person at my host university."
3. How do I apply for an ISEP program?
First, do your research to determine if ISEP is a good match for your academic and personal goals. Take the first of two steps.
1) WU study abroad application process:
- Select the study abroad application that represents the country you are most interested in such as “Netherlands - ISEP - locations vary”. It is okay if you have more than one country that you are interested in, but you will choose one country of priority interest for the application. WU students can apply for ISEP locations that operate as “Exchange” programs. [IMPORTANT: DO NOT choose programs that ISEP calls “direct” programs. These are not exchange programs.]
- If you are accepted through the WU study abroad application, this signals that you are a good ISEP candidate, however it is the ISEP application process that decides your final site.
2) ISEP Application:
- Yes, ISEP does have an additional application step like many other programs do. This is the step in which you tell ISEP the specific sites you have interest in. You will receive instructions from a WU advisor for the ISEP application. The application asks you to identify the specific universities for which you would like to be considered.
- On the ISEP application you can also include universities in more than one country. It is not uncommon for students to have several sites in different countries listed in their choices.
- Please talk to an OIE Advisor for more on the timing.
4. How do I learn more about ISEP?
- ISEP website
- ISEP location search for Willamette University - be sure you have Willamette as your home institution - that will bring up available sites.
- Chances of Placement - some sites are more competitive than others. On each host site you can check the Chances of Placement to understand more.
- ISEP Scholarships
- ISEP Voices A blog that captures student voices from around the world, particularly highlights students who are underrepresented in study abroad.
- ISEP Application is found on the ISEP website (this is the secondary application; please do not begin this application until instructed to do so).
- ISEP Timeline - talk to an OIE Advisor about the ISEP timeline.