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Study Abroad and Domestic Study Away

ISEP at University of Western Sydney in Australia


Australia’s beaches, mountain ranges, and deserts are home to many - from hopping kangaroos to lazy koalas, from avid surfers to passionate hikers, and from global inhabitants to local Aussies and aborigines.

This program would be suitable for students that are ready to be abroad, but would still like some of the academic services that a U.S. college provides.  It is a good choice for someone that is a world traveler OR has never left their hometown.

For more in-depth information about Studying Abroad at Western Sydney, click here. Read the ISEP Country Handbook to learn more about visa requirements, educational system, and culture.

Program Type

Exchange or Direct-Enroll


Sydney, Australia

Languages of Instruction


Program Dates

Semester 2 (Fall 2018): Early September to Late December

Semester 1 (Spring 2019): Early January to Early May

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


Please note that this site observes the Southern Hemisphere academic calendar. Lake Forest Spring Semester is referred to as Semester 1. Lake Forest Fall Semester is referred to as Semester 2.


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 GPA of 2.75.  


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.

Very Limited chance of placement on ISEP Exchange. Excellent chance of placement on ISEP Direct.


From around each UWS campus, take public transport to the heart of the cosmopolitan city of Sydney, and immerse yourself in the world-famous Sydney Harbour, some amazing shopping, and restaurants offering cuisine from all over the world. 
Bankstown (student pop. 6,709) is one of the largest local government areas in New South Wales with approximately 170,000 residents speaking more than 60 different languages. The city of Bankstown is host to an array of recreational and sporting facilities, including parks and reserves covering a total of over 730 hectares.
Paramatta (pop. 148,000; student pop. 9,293) is the closest of the six campus locations to downtown Sydney (only 24 km away—a short train or Rivercat ferry ride takes you straight into the Harbour). However, besides its proximity to some of Australia’s most iconic sites, Paramatta is also a diverse and thriving urban center in its own right. It is the second largest central business district in Sydney and the sixth largest in Australia. Parramatta is also recognized for its rich historical background and great colonial architecture, as well as its multicultural community, and a wide variety of cafes, shopping, sporting and outdoor activities, and nightlife options.


The University of Western Sydney (UWS) is a modern, progressive university with more than 100 study areas, over 2000 staff, and about 36,000 students from Australia and around the world. The UWS has six campuses spread across Greater Western Sydney in Bankstown, Blacktown / Nirimba, Campbelltown, Hawkesbury, Penrith, and Parramatta. While each campus offers a unique learning environment, they all share the same friendly, communal atmosphere that makes UWS a great place to study and make friends. Exchange and study abroad students at UWS can study at any campus depending on course selection. 

A typical course load is three-four units per semester, which equals 30-40 UWS credit points. Most units consist of a one hour lecture and two-hour tutorial each week. Each semester runs 13 weeks plus an exam period. 

For more information regarding courses being offered, click here.


IMPORTANT: Not all fields of study are offered at all campuses. For students interested in TV and radio production, the Penrith campus offers state-of-the-art studios and is also the home base for production of the actual station “Television Sydney.” It is possible, but not recommended, to study units at both Penrith and Parramatta campus during one semester. 

Some units may have prerequisites (e.g. nursing and psychology). Medicine and Nursing courses are closed to ISEP participants.

To search units to take at UWS, please go to the: UWS Online Handbook

The UWS academic year begins in Autumn (March) and concludes after the Spring (July) semester. As such, the Online Handbook for the following academic year will not likely be available until late in the year. Please ensure that you will have met the pre-requisite for any unit you intend to take by the time you commence your study at UWS so that we can seek the relevant academic approval to secure your unit selection.


Academic Environment and Teaching Style

Please understand that the academic system is quite different. Classes are usually lecture-based, instead of discussion or group work. Classes are often much larger than those found at Lake Forest College. Grades are based heavily, at times almost entirely, on one end-of-term exam, though some courses will also offer a midterm.  Professors are often more formal than those in the United States.

All courses/modules may have prerequisites.  Some departments may have limitations on numbers of courses that can be taken within or outside it.  Be aware of these limitations.

Can review the country handbooks for ISEP here as well:



ISEP Placement info: http://www.isep.org/Coordinators/us_placement_notes_english.asp


Please review country handbook for more information on the education system, grades, class hours, and classroom etiquette.


Course Approvals

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

Experiential Opportunities

All ISEP participants have the option to undertake an unpaid internship at UWS. The internship is fully supervised by UWS academic staff and provides students with valuable industry experience in an organization based in Western Sydney, Australia’s third largest regional economy. Internships are a great way to make valuable contacts and gain a competitive edge in the job market. Internship applications include:

  • A Resume (Curriculum Vitae)
  • Two letters of reference with the contact details of the referees (ISEP referee reports are acceptable)
  • A statement outlining the area of preferred interest for the work placement

Student Life


Upon arrival, students participate in a comprehensive orientation program including a customized information session for study abroad and exchange students. ISEP students will enroll in courses, receive support in finding accommodation (ISEP Direct only), and have opportunities to meet other new students. Free bus services are provided to each orientation, as well as free lunch, gifts, and entertainment. 

UWS offers free airport pickup. Students should arrange this with the ISEP Coordinator at UWS.



The UWS has great university life across all campuses with regular activities and events run through student groups, clubs, and societies. A dynamic range of sporting, entertainment, and leisure activities are held across all campuses which are mostly free and provide students with a fantastic opportunity to interact with fellow Australian students. Students studying at UWS have access to many of Sydney’s attractions including 40 beaches, bush walks and camping in the Blue Mountains, the Sydney Opera House, Harbour Bridge, and the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

Housing and Meals

ISEP Exchange students are housed in fully-furnished, self-catered apartments with single rooms in either UWS Residences (located on campus) or UWS Village (adjacent to campus). Each accommodation option has shared bathrooms, and laundry and cooking facilities. ISEP Exchange students receive a fortnightly meal stipend which can be used to prepare meals. 

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 ISEP Exchange to the University of Western Sydney includes orientation, on-site director, college fees, housing, and a stipend to provide you with the equivalent of 19/meals per week.  

Here is an estimated budget for the Fall 2018/Spring 2019 semester:

Budget Item





Lake Forest College Tuition



Program fee for ISEP Exchange (estimated)

Note: Spring may have added cost

(See below for ISEP Direct program fee estimates)



College Deposit (credit)



Total Expected Billed by Lake Forest College



ISEP Fee due on Stage 2 Application



College Deposit due on Acceptance (non-refundable, but shows as credit on bill for off-campus term)



ISEP-required health and repatriation insurance ($90/mo estimated)


(included in program fee)

Additional Meals



Estimated Airfare



Estimated Personal Expenses (passport, visas, immunizations, textbooks, supplies, personal expenses, additional national insurance, if required, travel insurance, 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 fees to enroll in courses at partner institutions, and will depend on your course registration choices.  

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

You can discuss with Financial Aid your specific aid package and your expected family contribution.