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Off-Campus Study

ISEP at UPAEP University

 

While Mexican culture may seem somewhat familiar, truly knowing it and understanding it occurs through immersion. You can buy guacamole anywhere, but why not shop for the ingredients in the local outdoor market and have your Mexican host mom show you how it’s made? You may have learned about the day of the dead in your Spanish textbook, but why not experience it in the flesh? 

Not only will you get to know Mexican culture and improve your Spanish skills, but visiting our friendly neighbor to the south will allow you to know a country that plays an important role in U.S. politics and policy. Ancient ruins, colonial architecture, delicious cuisine, and beautiful beaches are all reasons to go to Mexico, but the rich culture and warmth of the people are what makes you want to stay. 

UPAEP has an attractive location in an urban setting, just a few blocks from historic downtown Puebla. UPAEP is the ideal setting for the student who wants to know the daily Mexican life. The UPAEP campus is perfectly aligned with public transportation, connecting it to all parts of the city. Shopping centers, movie theaters, and night clubs are all located close to campus.

This program is best for a student that is independent.  A student must be comfortable with advocating for themselves on campus and comfortable with the local language to thrive in this location. Please be aware that there may not be the same access to internet or amenities to which you may be accustomed.  Student services and especially class registration may not be at all similar to what is done at the College and may be difficult for some students to adjust.

Learn more about UPAEP here! Read the ISEP Country Handbook to learn more about visa requirements, educational system, and culture.

 

Please note there is a current US Department of State Travel Warning for Mexico. No advisory is in effect for the state of Puebla. For more information, please click here. It is possible that students may not be approved to participate in this program until the warning lifted. We strongly urge students to consider back-up options in alternative locations.  

Program Type

Exchange

Locations

Puebla City, Mexico

Languages of Instruction

Spanish, some English - Depending on which option you choose: 0-5 semesters of university-level Spanish or equivalent is required

Program Dates

Fall 2018: mid-August to mid-December

Spring 2019: mid-January to mid-May

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

Eligibility

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.  
  • Option 1: ISEP Exchange-Regular University Courses (Spanish): Language Requirement: A minimum of 3 semesters of university-level Spanish or the equivalent must be completed prior to the program.

  • Option 2: Spanish as a Second Language and Regular Courses: No previous Spanish study required if students can find enough courses in English
  • Option 3: ISEP Exchange-Pre-Med Program (Spanish): Language Requirement: 4 to 5 semesters of university level Spanish or the equivalent are required. Students need an intermediate to advanced level of Spanish as they will be interacting with patients and Physicians. Language Courses: Students may enroll in Spanish as a Second Language (see Option 1) 

  • Students must submit ISEP language proficiency report in application, even if native speaker

 

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 Exchange chance of placement for US students is generally Excellent.

Location

Puebla is located in the heart of Mexico, in the country’s central zone, just 127kms (70 miles) southeast of Mexico City. Puebla is a short trip from Veracruz, Acapulco, the Mayan Riviera and other cities.

Puebla is the fourth largest metropolitan city, with a population of nearly three million people and is considered the “city of the student.” It is one of the most important, beautiful and peaceful cities in the country due to its history and industrial development. Puebla is an excellent place to acquaint oneself with Mexican traditions and culture!

UPAEP has located just two blocks from the tourist destination of Juarez Avenue and a few blocks from Puebla’s historic downtown, which due to its colonial architecture, has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Academics

Founded in 1973 the UPAEP was established at the request of the people of Puebla in order to serve the people in the community. The University is noted for its academic excellence and the number of accredited programs as well as for its Institutional Development Strength.

The total number of university-level enrollees is 8,000. Puebla is known as the city of the student and UPAEP is a university that welcomes students from different states throughout Mexico, mainly from the southeast, creating a diverse and dynamic student population.

Courses of interest to ISEP participants include:The Psychology of the Mexican, The Mexican Political System, Mexican and Latin American Politics, The Mexican Business Environment, and Latin American History and Culture. 

All undergraduate programs, as well as all co- and extra-curricular activities, are open to ISEP participants. Class attendance is required in order to receive credit. Several partial tests and a final examination compose the final grade. Seven is the minimum passing grade.

Students generally enroll in a minimum four courses per semester, and spend a minimum of 15 hours a week in class. Semesters are 15 weeks in length.

 

PROGRAMS

Option 1: ISEP Exchange-Regular University Courses (Spanish):
Academic Year and Semester Exchanges

Courses offered in Spanish: 
Arts:
 Architecture, Art History, Design & Advertising, Graphic Design, Film Studies and Audiovisual Production.
Business: Business Administration and Logistics, Economics, International Trade, Hospitality Management, Marketing, Finance, Accounting, Culinary Art.
Health Sciences: Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing, Occupational Therapy, Nutrition.
Social Sciences: Communications, Journalism, Law, Political Science, International Relations.
Humanities: Pedagogy (Education), Philosophy, Psychology, Educational Psychology, Humanities, Literature and History.
Science and Engineering: Agriculture [Animal & Plant Sciences], Veterinary Medicine, Mechatronics, Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Biotechnological Engineering, Industrial Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Bionics, Autoparts Manufacturing, Automotive Design, Software and Computer Systems Engineering, Information Technology.

Option 2: ISEP Exchange-Spanish as a Second Language and Regular University Courses (English):
Academic Year and Semester Exchanges

Spanish as a Second Language courses are offered at a variety of different levels. Taken in addition with courses offered in English (see below), and Liberal Arts Service Learning, students will be registered full time. Liberal Arts Service Learning is a credit bearing volunteer program where the students participate in special service activities they select in the Mexican community.

Option 3: ISEP Exchange: Pre-Med Program (Spanish)
Fall semester only (August to December)

Pre-Med students, Health Sciences students, and students with a sufficient background in science may enroll in UPAEP´s Pre-Med Program. This 3 credit program offers students a unique look inside Mexican health care, hospitals and public health issues. The Pre-Med program consists of three principal components:

  • Shadowing a local physician: Each week a student will shadow a local physician for 3-8 hour per week, and have the opportunity to observe doctor-patient interactions, procedures, and in some cases, observe surgeries in the operating room. Students are typically assigned to doctors in local public hospitals.
  • Lectures: Students will attend 4 to 10 lectures from physicians regarding the health system in Mexico. Topics of lectures will vary by semester.
  • Meetings with supervising physician: Students will meet with a local supervising physician between 6 and 8 times per term to discuss questions and observations.

In addition to the Pre-Med program, students will enroll in sufficient courses (in English, Spanish, or Spanish as a Second Language) to reach full time status. Please note: there is an additional fee to participate in the Pre-Med program, to be paid directly to UPAEP. For further information on this program, please contact the Program Officer for Mexico.

COURSES TAUGHT IN ENGLISH

Courses offered in English vary from one semester to another. Examples of courses taught in the past include: Examples of courses taught in the past include: Sustainable architecture; European Studies; North American Studies; Comparative Business Law; Asian, African and Middle Eastern Studies; Information Systems; Systems of Government; Consumer Behavior; Quantitative Research; Seismic Engineering; Nutritional Evaluation; Introduction to Nutrition; Psychiatry; Immunology; International Private Law; Judicial Topics in Mexico; Legal System in Mexico; European Law; Asian Studies; Political History of North America; Esthetics of Documentary Films; Campaign Evaluation; Promotional Advertising Strategies. 

For the most current list, contact the Program Officer for Mexico.

 

LANGUAGE NOTES

Option 1: ISEP Exchange-Regular University Courses (Spanish):


Language Requirement: A minimum of 3 semesters of university-level Spanish or the equivalent must be completed prior to the program.


Language Courses: Spanish language courses are offered in addition to regular classes during the semester and academic year at multiple levels. Credit is awarded for this class, and appears on the regular university transcript with other academic courses. This course is typically worth 6 UPAEP credits. 


Pre-Session: A two-week pre-session language course is offered by UPAEP. UPAEP will provide students with housing, cultural activities and the cost of program tuition; students are responsible for meals during this period.


Additional Information: A language exam is given upon arrival. Students with low proficiency are required to take remedial Spanish language courses . Language clases are offered at different levels from A1- C1 during the semester. 

Option 2: ISEP Exchange-Spanish as a Second Language and Regular University Courses (English):


Language Requirement: No prior knowledge of Spanish is required. 


Language Courses: Students selecting this option will be required to take Spanish as a Second Language. Spanish language courses are offered in addition to regular classes during the semester and academic year at multiple levels. Credit is awarded for this class, and appears on the regular university transcript with other academic courses. This course is typically worth 6 UPAEP credits. Students must take additional classes in English in order to be full-time students. 


Pre-Session: A two-week pre-session language course is offered by UPAEP. UPAEP will provide students with housing, cultural activities and the cost of program tuition; students are responsible for meals during this period.


Additional Information: A language exam is given upon arrival. Students with low proficiency are required to take remedial Spanish language courses . Language clases are offered at different levels from A1- C1 during the semester.

Option 3: ISEP Exchange-Pre-Med Program (Spanish):


Language Requirement: 4 to 5 semesters of university level Spanish or the equivalent are required. Students need an intermediate to advanced level of Spanish as they will be interacing with patients and Physicians. Language Courses:Students may enroll in Spanish as a Second Langauge (see Option 1) 


Pre-Session: A pre-session language course is available (see Option 1)


Additional Information: Students applying for this program will be interviewed via Skype by an UPAEP staff member to determine language level as a part of the formal admissions process. Additionally, all students will take the language evaluation given upon arrival.

 

HINTS FOR RESEARCHING COURSES

1. Click on the Course information. to see the list of academic programs.
2. Click on the UPAEP major or majors which correspond to your major and you will be taken to that program’s course list. You can also click on “ver website” to explore the department website. 
3. If you require the syllabus of any course, please contact the Program Officer for Mexico with a list of the required courses.

When selecting courses remember that odd semesters are taught in the fall semester SM1 (August-December) and even semester are taught in spring semester SM2 (January-May).

 

Volunteer Opportunities, Internships, Spanish Language Classes and Courses in English! UPAEP offers scholarships for a two week language preparation course prior to the beginning of each semester. Practice your Spanish before regular university courses with this wonderful opportunity! 

Scholarships include the cost of the Spanish course, cultural activities and housing for the first two weeks (meals not included). Refresh your Spanish or learn some new vocabulary! This course will allow students to adjust to life in Puebla, and begin the semester more confident and prepared. To be considered for one of these scholarships, please list it on your course request list. Please note that the host university makes the final determination regarding scholarship recipients.

After completing this two week language session, students can continue their universities studies in Spanish language, regular university courses in Spanish, regular university courses in English, Service learning, or a combination thereof.

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:

http://www.isep.org/students/Placed/country_handbooks.asp

 

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

Recognized as a private Catholic university with a strong social commitment, UPAEP goes further by offering service learning programs to International Students. Such programs include an important academic component combined with a service in the community which allows students to obtain credits for those programs. Projects in the community are diverse and include most of the main fields of study such as education, nursing, pre-med and medical studies, business, dentistry and liberal arts. Programs are offered during the entire year and tailor made programs are offered upon special request. Hours: 60 hrs of practicum, 10-20 hrs of class and lectures 10 hrs of reflection. 3 credit/hours per program are offered in a regular semester.Please indicate clearly on your course request list if you would like to participate in this program. For additional information visit the Service Learning Website.

Students from an engineering background can participate in credit granting internships at CESAT Center of High Technology Services. Internships can be full time, 48 hours per semester, for six credits, or part time 15 to 20 hours per semester, for three credits. Those participating in either option will also take Spanish language or regular academic courses in order to achieve full-time status. Students in the field of Chemical, Mechanic, Electronic or Mechatronic Engineering can apply.Please indicate clearly on your course request list if you would like to participate in this program. 

Full year students with advanced Spanish language skills may also be able to participate in internships at companies in Puebla.Please indicate clearly on your course request list if you are interested in completing an internship.

Student Life

ORIENTATION

Once accepted at UPAEP, the study abroad coordinator send you a welcome packet by mail. It includes an acceptance letter and the International Student Manual. Students who arrive on the official arrival date will be picked up by members of the International Student Club. 

UPAEP provides one week of orientation before classes begin. The orientation program covers academic advice, housing, health, emergencies, safety and general information. A local tour will help students get acquainted with our campus and touristic sites in the historic downtown. 

Also, the international affairs office provides a migratory procedures workshop and a Welcome Party.

ARRIVAL DETAILS:

Students arriving on UPAEP’s official arrival date will be met at the airport upon arrival. Students will need to send their itinerary and arrive before the time indicated in acceptance materials.

STUDENT ACTIVITIES

UPAEP’s campus has much to offer to international students including cultural and sports activities.

Campus facilities include a fully equipped computer center, library center, conference room, language center, bank, cafeteria, film center, gymnasium, outdoor pool and other sports facilities. The university is renowned for its basketball and soccer teams. Student groups are active in theater, dance, chorus, speech, debate, photography and animation.

The international students may participate in several social activities through the International Affairs Department, such as The Welcome Lunch, Farewell Dinner, Latin Dance Class (free!), International Experience Competition, trips to Mexico City and Oaxaca. Additional activities are organized by our UPAEP Students (International Students Club) who are committed to integrating international students into the university and are always glad to help the international students with anything and introduce them to life in Puebla. ISEP students can ask to be assigned a student “buddy” to help them with life at UPAEP!

For more information please visit our websites below: 
UPAEP Facilities
UPAEP Sports
UPAEP Cultural Activities

Housing and Meals

UPAEP offers two basic lodging options: Residence Halls or Homestays. Depending on the student’s choice, meals will be either provided primarily by the host family or if living in the residence halls, through a semester meal stipend.

The residence halls are only three blocks from our main campus, are brand new, and a great way to experience Mexican student life!

Accommodations for married students may be available.

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 program includes orientation, on-site director, college fees, housing and a stipend to cover the equivalent of 19/meals per week.

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

Budget Item

Amount

Lake Forest College Tuition

$22,412

Program fee (estimated)

Note: Spring may have added cost

$5,100

College Deposit (credit)

($250)

Total Expected Billed by Lake Forest College

$27,512

ISEP Fee due on Stage 2 Application

 $325

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

 $250

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

Note: Some countries require national insurance. Check ISEP

 $360

Additional Meals

 $400

Estimated Airfare

 $1,200

Estimated Personal Expenses (passport, visas, immunizations, textbooks, supplies, personal expenses, additional national insurance, if required, travel insurance, additional travel etc.)

 $1,900

Total Out-of-Pocket Expenses

 $4,435

Total

 

$31,947 

 

Tuition rates and program fees are subject to change each year, but this information was up-to-date as of February 2017.  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 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.

Experiences of Former Students

Read a story by an ISEP student who studied abroad at UPAEP. 

 

WHAT PAST STUDENTS HAVE TO SAY

“Making connections with people around the world is simply life-changing. I’ve gained so many new perspectives.” -Ana Sayavedra 2011-12