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AUSTRALIA - ISEP University of Canberra

The University of Canberra is beautifully situated in the heart of the nation’s capital and the beauty of Australian bush land and native wildlife. Known for strong programs in Law, Business, Sport, International Studies and Design (just to name a few), UC offers fantastic opportunities to many. Students will enjoy the benefits of living in the capital city full of events and festivals, along with a range of activities & programs planned specifically for them by the UC Study Abroad Office- buddy program, orientation lake cruise, city scavenger hunt, surf camp and much more!

Watch a student testimonial: Kangaroos on campus!

This program is best for a student that is independent.  A student must be comfortable with advocating for themselves on campus 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 the University of Canberra here! Read the ISEP Country Handbook to learn more about visa requirements, educational system, and culture.



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 (see a financial section for more information).


The university campus is beautifully situated in the heart of the nation’s capital and the beauty of Australian bush land and native wildlife. Students can easily walk to the movie theatre, bowling alley, restaurants, bars, fresh food markets, supermarkets, and a major shopping mall or take a 15-minute bus ride to Canberra’s city center (departing every 5minutes!). The city’s lively nightlife of pubs, clubs and live music rubs shoulders with national and local arts, culture and politics, and the city comes to life each year during its numerous festivals. Some of Australia’s most important political and historical buildings and tourist attractions are located in Canberra. Bushland reserves, lakeshore, and cycling/jogging trails are just moments away from the university for those craving the great outdoors and kangaroos are regularly seen on campus!

To learn more about the visa process for this country, please visit the ISEP Country Handbook for Australia. 


UC is a very hands-on university that focuses on preparing students for employment. Strong academic fields include media/communications with great studio facilities; design (graphic, interior, architecture); sports science & physiotherapy, including partnerships with the Brumbies rugby team and the Australian Institute for Sports. 


Unites (the equivalent of classes) are given credit points. These credit points are not equivalent to US credits and vary by institution. A normal course load for an Australian student is three to four units (classes) per semester. Many Australian schools provide an explanation of credits on the back for heir transcripts.  

To earn 4 lake Forest credits, students must take 12 credit points. 

To earn 3 Lake Forest credit points, students must take 9 credit points. 

The number of credits listed here is estimated, and GEO will work with you, your advisor, and the registrar to ensure you are earning enough credits to keep you on track for graduation.

Participants are eligible to enroll in any subject offered by UC as long as course prerequisites have been met. Students may select to study core subjects related to their degree or elective subjects. 



Classes involve a combination of fairly formal lectures (often with large numbers of students in attendance) and discussion-oriented “tutorials” (with around 10-15 students). Professors present core material during lectures but students should not expect to ask questions during that time; the tutorials are the time to work through the material in small groups and student participation is encouraged. Laboratory sessions for students in the sciences and practical studio time for design students are also incorporated into the curriculum.

You will typically find yourself in lectures and tutorials for 15 hours a week. The rest of the time you are meant to study and research on your own. The Australian education system generally emphasizes independent study over class time, attendance, and participation. There are usually fewer assignments counting towards the final grade, so a final exam or paper carries much more weight. For all these reasons, independence and self-discipline are very important in keeping up academically.



REMEMBER that this site operates on the Southern Hemisphere calendar! Be sure to search for courses using the correct semester parameters: Southern hemisphere SM1 (NH SM2) is February – July; Southern hemisphere SM2 (NH SM1) is July – November. 

From the Course & Unit Search page, you may: 
Search by key word/unit/course name
Use the search engine on the left side of the page to search by Course (= degree program) or Unit (= individual course) 

You can filter course availability by semester here. 

While living at UniLodge you will have access to the Ressie Rover service which provides free peer to peer academic support.


In Australia, students will generally not encounter continuous assessment, in which assignments are given frequently throughout the semester and students can track their academic progress. Rather, the final grade will be based on two or three major assignments or essays plus a final exam or essay. Essays must be well-written and academic; professors will not be looking for “reflection papers” among these relatively few assignments. Students are responsible for keeping up with the outside work throughout the semester, even though professors will not necessarily be checking up on them regularly.

Please review the ISEP country handbook for more information on the education system.


In addition to completing the ISEP Exchange application, students will also be required by the University of Canberra to submit an additional application found at Study Abroad & Exchange. Any time you are asked “Are you an ISEP student?” on the UC application, select “no” to skip irrelevant sections. For example, you will not fill in the housing section as ISEP has special arrangements. ISEP applications missing the additional Canberra application will result in delays in student placement. It is recommended that you enclose the Canberra application with your ISEP application.


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

Student Life

The University of Canberra (UC) is a highly regarded regional university located in Australia’s capital city. With a current enrollment of approximately 10,000, UC is a vibrant campus, home to a close-knit community of local, interstate and international students. 

Student welfare is a priority at UC, with facilities in place to assist students both academically and personally. The Students” Association also provides a wide range of social activities, clubs, and societies to help students’ involvement in campus life. Study abroad students have a dedicated student advisor in the International Office. 


The University of Canberra provides incoming ISEP students with a week long Orientation upon arrival. The following information is covered: – enrollment/registration/timetables – how to access support services – health issues –housing issues – travel issues – university clubs, societies, and activities – Social activities – local site seeing trips 

Students will be met at their point of arrival in Canberra if they complete online pickup request. Please contact your ISEP Coordinator for more information.


The University of Canberra has multiple activities for exchange students ranging from a Cairns trip, Orientation Trip to the blue mountains and Sydney, Beach Day Trip and more.  The University in general provide free events for students through UClife and Inclusion & Welfare, with most activities at no cost. Depending on your residence/accommodation you will have a community program available, UniLodge cost $50 for their community spirit program which includes academic support and development, career and employability; social engagement and cultural integration; health and wellbeing including sport; sustainability; philanthropy and volunteering/ community giving.

  Experiential Opportunities

The University of Canberra has two possible internships for our exchange students through Industry & Community Engagement and Business and Government.  There is also the possibility of accessing internships and volunteering opportunities through the University of Canberra Careers office which is a free service.  

Housing and Meals

Students live on campus in single rooms in the Arscott House and Exchange students receive a meal stipend which they can use to eat at the cafeteria.  Direct students do not have a meal plan.

For southern hemisphere programs, ISEP benefits do apply during the recess between semesters (June-July), whereas they do NOT apply between the end of one academic year and the beginning of a new academic year (December to February). 

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 Canberra includes orientation, on-site director, university fees, housing, and the equivalent of 19/meals per week. The Direct fee includes orientation, on-site director, university fees, housing, plus insurance. 

ISEP costs for Exchange are usually the most cost-effective, as it is intended to promote mobility of students around the world. Direct options are available for those students that prefer to attend a school with limited availability for Exchange, though costs may be different as they are set by the host school. However, the program fee may be different than that of Exchange, which tend to be less expensive to promote more exchange opportunities for all schools

Here is an estimated budget for the Fall 2019/Spring 2020 programs:

Budget Item





Lake Forest College Tuition



Program fee (estimated)

Note: Spring may have added cost for Southern Hemisphere programs, as that starts a new academic year.



Total Expected Billed by Lake Forest College



ISEP Confirmation and Application Fees



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

Note: Some countries require national insurance, which may be instead of, or in addition to, ISEP insurance. Check ISEP



Additional Meals



Estimated Airfare

*Students placed on ISEP Exchange may be eligible for up to $750 airfare award



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



Total Expected Out-of-Pocket Expenses






Tuition rates and program fees are subject to change each year, but this information was up-to-date as of March 2019. We will notify applicants, and update this page if the program fee or other estimates change.

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

Deposits to other programs, if required, are paid by the student to the host program, and will appear as a credit on your study abroad term bill from the College.

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.  

  • Contact:

    For Questions About the Initial Application Process:

    Alexandra Olson
    Coordinator of the Global Engagement Office

Program Dates

Semester 2 (Fall): Early September to Late December

Semester 1 (Spring): 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.

Program Type

Exchange or Direct-Enroll

ISEP Exchange chance of placement for US students is generally Most Competitive.

ISEP Direct-Enroll chance of placement for US students is generally Excellent.

Languages of Instruction