Before You Arrive

You’ve been placed at Lake Forest College and are wondering what’s next?  Let us help you with the next steps.

Campus Tour

Interested in seeing what our campus looks like? Take a virtual tour! 

You may not see it in the tour but we are 4 blocks from Forest Park Beach on Lake Michigan, and 30 miles (48 km) north of Chicago. Chicago is accessible by train and the train stop is about a 15-minute walk from campus.

Course Registration

The GEO Director will be your contact for registration and you will be asked to submit a list of your preferred courses for the term/year. Course schedules can be found herePlease be flexible with courses. 

You will not have access to the online registration or add/drop.  If you need to make changes, please let us know via email before the end of add/drop period.  Keep in mind that some courses will be closed to exchange students, or be difficult to get into due to popularity. 

It is also important to keep in mind that courses in studio art or those with many field trips may have a class fee that is not covered by ISEP benefits.  These costs would be charged to your Lake Forest College student account.

Past ISEP students have let me know that they write - A LOT - for their classes.  Though you can take up to 4.5 total credits, most students recommend you aim for 3.0 credits (if allowed by your home university). Please note - 1.0 credit at Lake Forest College is 4 US standard credits or about 7.5 ECTS.

Lake Forest College computing instructions

Computing instructions are emailed in late May. It’s important that you do not change any passwords for these accounts until you arrive on campus in August. If you have questions about computing on campus, including computer requirements, check out the Information Technology page.

Housing Form

Once you have access to your computing credentials, don’t forget to submit your housing form for incoming exchange students. This helps us to place you in proper housing and with a roommate that will fit your lifestyle. Learn more about the residence halls.  Please note that your ISEP benefits cover a  quad room in Roberts, McClure, and Gregory; requests for placement in a different style of housing or dorm will incur additional costs. If you have any questions about your housing, please email and make sure to mention that you are an ISEP exchange student.

Special Needs Accommodation Form

If applicable to you, complete the  Special Needs Accommodations Form as soon as possible so we can begin working on your needs.  The form and all required documentation are necessary for those requesting accommodation for housing, medical, or academic reasons.   

Health and Wellness Forms

All students must submit their vaccination information to the Student Center for Health and Wellness.  

In addition, all students must complete alcohol and sexual misconduct trainings prior to coming to campus.  These are done online and you will receive an email invitation soon after receiving your Lake Forest email log-in information.

These trainings are required of all incoming students — exchange, transfer, and first-time freshmen.  Failure to submit forms or complete trainings will result in late fees and inability to check into your housing.

Arrival and Move-in Day

Please contact the GEO Director for when you should plan to arrive on campus.  If you find that you can’t avoid coming earlier than the date listed on your ISEP contract, let the Director know as soon as possible. It may be possible to move into your housing a day or two early, but there would be an extra fee for early move-in. Most ISEP students arrive to the Chicago area a day or two before the start of their program and stay at a hostel in the city.

When making flight reservations, we strongly recommend, if possible, that you fly directly to Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport (ORD) from outside the U.S. and avoid any U.S.-based transfers.  Inspection officers at O’Hare are familiar with Lake Forest College and that can make for an easier arrival. O’Hare International Airport is 48 km  (approximately 30 minutes) from the College and it is the closest airport to Lake Forest.

There are various ways to come to campus. If you are coming from O'Hare Airport, you may take a taxi, ride-share service, or a shuttle called Airport Express.  Please be advised that the cost of transportation to campus can be very expensive, and you must be careful, particularly in the case of a taxi, that you have not been overcharged. If you give us your arrival date and time three weeks prior to orientation, we can try to connect you with other students so you can save on travel costs. If you plan to spend a day or two in Chicago before coming to campus, you can take the Metra Train straight to Lake Forest from downtown Chicago. Be sure to board the Metra Union Pacific North Line

Fellow Foresters will be on hand to help you move into your new home. If you’re looking for a list of what to bring (and what not to bring) you can explore that online.  Keep in mind that the beds require Twin XL sheets, which are hard to find outside of the United States. The Global Engagement Office does provide clean, gently used bedding sets that have been donated by past ISEP students. You can also buy bedding at the local Target store in Lake Bluff or Highland Park.