study abroad

International Student Exchange Program (ISEP)

Essex Abroad World Map

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

ISEP is an organisation which offers a wide network of exchange partners all over the world. Essex is a member of ISEP, which means that you could choose to study abroad through their programme, rather than the standard exchange programme at Essex.

If you study abroad with ISEP Exchange, you pay your tuition and fees to Essex, which opens up a spot for someone to come and learn at Essex on their exchange whilst you're abroad. You will pay Essex 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 choose up to 10 universities and ISEP will place you at the best option depending on exchange spaces and your academic needs. Further information about the ISEP exchange programme on their website, don't forget to check out their partner universities.


Applying through ISEP

Costs and fees

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. Please note that these costs are based on applications for study abroad in 2019-20, updated costs will be added after they are finalised.

Fee Type Amount Information and 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 30 June 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 application 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 - this makes sure we have your information in our system, and are aware of your plans to study through ISEP

How to apply

  1. Make a study abroad application on the Essex Abroad online portal and select 'ISEP Exchange' as your first and only choice by the deadline of 17 January 2020
  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 for studying abroad in 2020-21 will be confirmed soon.

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