study abroad

International Student Exchange Program (ISEP)

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What is ISEP?

Essex is a member of the International Student Exchange Program (ISEP).

ISEP is a US based organisation which offering access to a wider exchange network comprising of over 200 participating universities, giving you a wonderful opportunity to secure a place in a location you desire.

ISEP explained

By studying abroad on ISEP Exchange, you pay your tuition and fees to Essex, which opens up a spot for someone to come learn at Essex on their exchange whilst you're abroad. You can choose up to 10 universities and ISEP will place you at the best option depending on exchange spaces and your academic needs.

You pay for the food and accommodation costs of the exchange student taking your place at Essex whilst you are abroad and, in return, get free food and accommodation at your host University (or a bursary to cover those costs). You will be invoiced for this amount shortly before you depart on your exchange.

You can find full information about the ISEP exchange programme on their website, as well as a list of the universities available.


Applying through ISEP

Fees and costs

If you choose to study abroad through ISEP, you will pay a non-refundable application fee of $100, and a $325 placement fee when you accept the University you have been offered. You may also be obliged to take out ISEP’s Health Insurance which currently costs $86 per month for individual participants. If, after you have accepted the offer, you then decide to withdraw this fee will not be refunded.

Here's a handy table detailing the fees and costs.

 Fee Type


Information & Refund Policy

ISEP Exchange Application Fee

US $100

When applying for ISEP Exchange, a non-refundable application fee of US $100 is due with your application

ISEP Exchange Placement Fee

US $325

This non-refundable fee is due at the time when you accept your placement. This fee covers the cost of customized matching and placement conducted by ISEP staff.

ISEP Exchange Program Fee (for a full year or term)

This is £7,323.95 for the full year and £2,373.38 for one term during 2019-20 (subject to change).

This fee is paid directly to Essex and is based on the cost of living at Essex. It covers housing, 19 meals per week, pre-departure orientation, arrival orientation and general student services at your host institution. Financial aid applies in most cases. This has to be paid by 30June 2019.

ISEP Exchange Placement Extension Fee

US $100

Payable if you decide to extend your ISEP Exchange placement from a semester to a full-year placement. The fee should be submitted with our request for extension documentation, which can be found in your student portal.

Academic Training Processing Fee (for J-1 visa students only)

US $100

Payable if you decide to participate in Academic Training. The fee is submitted with your request for a J-1 Academic Training Authorisation Form.

Is ISEP for me?

Whilst we recommend all students to consider ISEP when researching and planning for studying abroad, we particularly recommend students to consider this option if:

  • You would like to study in the US but may not have a strong first year mark
  • You have a genuine interest in the US as a study abroad destination (ISEP has over 130 exchange partners in the US alone!)
  • You would like to study in a country where Essex does not currently have exchange partners
  • You would like the comfort of knowing accommodation and food is taken care of when you arrive at your host University

Important information

  • You must meet the study abroad eligibility criteria 
  • If you choose to apply through ISEP, you cannot apply through Essex Abroad's application to it's partner university network
  • You must consult your university choices with your Departmental Study Abroad Officer (DSAO)
  • The ISEP deadline is later than Essex Abroad's deadline, you must still apply to Essex Abroad's application and select the ISEP option by the deadline of 31 January

How to apply

  1. Make a study abroad application on the Essex Abroad online portal and select 'ISEP Exchange' as your 1st choice by 31 January
  2. Visit the ISEP website
  3. Create an account and continue with your application on ISEP website
  4. Select your home university as University of Essex and apply for up to 10 universities abroad through the ISEP Exchange programme

The deadline to apply is 15 February 2019.

More information about the ISEP Exchange programme, the cost and fees is on ISEP Exchange website