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Study Abroad and Domestic Study Away

ISEP University of Bristol in England

Bristol is one of the most popular and successful universities in the U.K. and is consistently considered one of the top universities in the U.K. and the world.  Attracting students from across the globe, Bristol prides itself for a vibrant, intellectually challenging environment that addresses contemporary challenges across the academic spectrum.

Bristol is a hidden gem. We offer you a world-class education at one of the top universities in the U.K. while being located in one of the country’s most desirable and vibrant cities. Bristol has been the home to 13 Nobel Laureates throughout the years including Sir Winston Churchill, who was our Chancellor between 1929-1965.  

According to The Sunday Times, Bristol was named the best place to live in the UK 2017!

Learn More about the University of Bristol! Read the ISEP Country Handbook to learn more about visa requirements, educational system, and culture.

Program Type



Bristol, England, UK

Languages of Instruction


Program Dates

Fall 2018: September to January

Spring 2019: January to June

Full Academic Year: September to June


All dates are tentative and may change.  ISEP will alert all accepted students of final dates.


To be eligible to participate in this program, students must meet the following requirements:

  • Good academic and judicial standing during time of application AND time of participation in program
  • Undergraduates must have completed at least two semesters of study at Lake Forest College AND have junior status or higher before participation. 
  • At least 18 years of age by the program’s departure date. 
  • Be able to stay at the host program for the duration of the semester, including through the exam and travel periods
  • Minimum Requirements: Junior status with a GPA of 3.0 or equivalent required. Strong Sophomores will be considered. Students with a GPA of below 3.0 will be considered on a case-by-case basis and will need to submit a statement explaining why their GPA does not reflect their academic ability.  


Students applying to ISEP must apply for an Exchange option (in any country) as a first choice but may apply to a Direct option as a back-up.  Direct options may have an additional cost.


ISEP Direct chance of placement is Excellent. 


Bristol is a hidden gem. We offer you a world-class education at one of the top universities in the U.K. while being located in one of the country’s most desirable and vibrant cities. Bristol has been the home to 13 Nobel Laureates throughout the years including Sir Winston Churchill, who was our Chancellor between 1929-1965.  


As an ISEP student, you can build your own program by choosing your courses from a variety of fields. Use the notes for course searching to help you find which courses are available.

Program Website 

Course Description

Students will submit their course request list and Bristol will review this once a placement is made.   Comments will be made regarding the coursework in the ISEP acceptance letter.  Students will be contacted by the Global Opportunities Team if there are any major issues with the requested courses.  Semester 1 examination periods may clash with the start of semester 2 in the U.S.  STEM fields cannot be flexible with examination dates and will require you to take this in person.  The following fields of study will allow you to take an additional essay in order to leave on time for the start of semester 2 in the U.S.:
Drama and Film Studies
Art History
English Lit
Religious Studies
Economics, Finance, Management
International Studies
Social Policy
*Please disregard “Open Unit Status” when serach for courses on the “Course Availability Webpage.”  This will not dictate the availability of a course to incoming ISEP students. 

Website for Course Availability

Fields of Study

  • English Language and Literature

  • History

  • International/Global Studies

  • Law/Criminal Justice

  • Mathematics

  • Philosophy and Religious Studies

  • Psychology

  • Social Sciences:

    Anthropology,  Geography,  Sociology

  • Computer and Information Sciences 

  • Engineering:

    Electrical and Electronics Engineering,  Mechanical Engineering

  • Biology


  • Visual and Performing Arts:

    Art History,  Film Studies,  Music Pedagogy,  Music Performance

  • Business:

    Business Management,  Economics,  Finance,  Management Information Systems

  • Physical Sciences:

    Chemistry,  Physics


    The UK education system generally emphasizes independent, self-directed study over class time, attendance, and participation. Coursework may be less structured than you are used to in your country and students may be assigned significant outside reading that they will not be tested on until their final exam. Required readings and definite assignments are given throughout the semester are less common. Students can expect an extensive reading list covering all topics to be discussed to be distributed at the start of the course. This will be used for independent research. British students typically consult a large number of sources from the library rather than intensively studying a few books purchased by everyone taking a course. In addition, students are required to write more essays and take fewer objective tests. Because there are usually fewer assignments counting towards the final grade, a final exam or paper carries much more weight. For these reasons, self-discipline, self-motivation, and good time management are very important in keeping up academically.


    Modules (remember that in Britain “course” refers to a degree program) often take the following forms: lectures, which are sometimes completely optional; tutorials, in which a small number of students meet with the lecturer; and seminars, larger discussion classes often based upon seminar essays. Students should be aware that there is often less face time with professors, and that tutors are often your most hands-on academic contact. You will have to be self-motivated and proactive.

    British students often sit for final exams in May or June that cover the full year’s work and determine the grades for the class. With the growth of modularization, however, there has been an increase in the number and variety of modules offered on a semester basis.

    The idea of an undergraduate being “undeclared” in their major is not common in the UK. British students tend to specialize in their field of study earlier; sometimes they may even start specializing in their majors during the final year of high school. General education or basic courses are not as common place at UK universities because they have already been covered at the GCSE level. Many faculties assume that a university student has a basic understanding of the concepts that will be addressed in the course. For this reason, it is common for third-year International students to take first-year and second-year courses at a UK university. The curriculum in these courses is not considered introductory or “lower-level.”

    It may be more difficult to enroll in multiple modules across differing academic departments in the UK. Instead, students may need to focus on choosing classes within one or two departments. 

    Course Approvals

    Check to see if your department has pre-approved courses here. If not, don’t worry. You can work with your advisor.

    Other Academic Conditions

    Minimum Requirements: Junior status with  a 3.0 GPA equivalent required.  Strong Sophomores will be considered.  Students with a GPA of below 3.0 will be considered on a case-by-case basis and will need to submit a statement explaining why their GPA does not reflect their academic ability.

    *400 level courses are NOT available to incoming ISEP students.

    *Course syllabi are NOT available in advance.  Please use the “Intended Learning Outcomes” for all course approvals.

    *Music, Film & TV, and Theatre require students to be majoring in those subjects.  

    CLOSED to incoming students: Clinical Sciences, Dentistry, Veterinary Sciences, Health Science Education, and all postgraduate levels.   

Experiential Opportunities


There are numerous volunteering options available through Bristol Student Union either through specific student societies to those run through the Volunteering Office at the Student Union.   There are also numerous opportunities to volunteer and become involved throughout the city.  

Student Life

Airport Pickup

For students arriving in September, a Meet and Green service is available for the weekend before and representatives from Bristol will be at Healthrow and Bristol Airport to help direct students.  

For students arriving in January, detailed directions will be provided.   


Throughout the academic year excursions are available for students to sign up for.  Some of these are free but many will involve an extra charge.  

Housing and Meals

Housing is in standard university housing, 1 person per room. Meals are not included.

Financial Information

For all approved programs for guaranteed financial aid transferability, students pay their Lake Forest College tuition plus a program fee.  The program fee for a semester with the University Bristol includes orientation, on-site director, college fees, and housing. Meals are not included.

Here is an estimated budget for the Fall 2018/Spring 2019 program.

Budget Item


Lake Forest College Tuition


Program fee (estimated - including housing only)


Program Deposit (credit)


Total Expected Billed by Lake Forest College


College Deposit due on Acceptance (non-refundable)




Estimated Airfare


Estimated Personal Expenses (passport, visas, immunizations, textbooks, supplies, personal expenses, utilities, additional travel etc.)


Total Out-of-Pocket Expenses





Tuition rates and program fees are subject to change each year, but this information was up-to-date as of January 2018. We will notify applicants, and update this page if the program fee or other estimates change.

Keep in mind that you may spend more or less in certain areas like personal expenses, travel, meals, or airfare, depending on exchange rates and your own spending habits. Classroom or lab fees are not included in this estimate, nor are any field trip fees required by a module.  

Don’t forget to apply for scholarships! A great listing can be found here.  

Do check your student account on My.Lakeforest for your aid awards, as much of this will go with you. If you want to compare your program to the cost of being on campus, those numbers can be found here: https://www.lakeforest.edu/admissions/tuition/fees.php