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AUSTRIA - ISEP Karl-Franzens-Universitat Graz

Austria, the heart of Europe and home to the great composers Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven is perfect for German-speaking students looking for a taste of history combined with modern studies and technology. Austria’s magnificent landscape lends itself to numerous outdoor activities such as hiking, skiing, swimming, and biking.

Named both a “Cultural Capital of Europe” in 2003 and a “City of Culinary Delights,” Graz is the perfect place to start your European adventure. Its six universities help make up a city with more than 44,000 students and Graz’s “Old Town” is one of the best-preserved city centers in Central Europe. Students can study in both English and German, as well as take courses at the Technical University of Graz, to round out their academic experience.

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 Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz here! Read the ISEP Country Handbook to learn more about visa requirements, educational system, and culture.

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.  (May accept lower GPA with explanation.)

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).

Location

Graz, the second largest city in Austria, is located in the southeastern province of Styria and is called the green heart of Austria because of its extensive forests. Graz has many parks and cultural activities and provides easy access to sports such as skiing. A popular event is the annual Steirischer Herbst (Styrian Autumn), which encompasses a number of musical, theatrical and literary performances as well as accompanying lectures and exhibitions.

The city’s location provides ample opportunities for trips and weekend excursions to cities all over Europe including neighboring countries. Various associations of the city of Graz arrange hiking trips to the surrounding areas.

The international section of the student union offers a mentoring program whereby returnees or Graz students interested in international exchange support incoming students with their first steps and help them settle in. They organize regular meetings (Stammtisch) where exchange students can get together and also meet Graz students interested in an intercultural exchange. In addition, they offer a variety of activities for international exchange students throughout the year, including trips to Vienna and other cities, ski trips and more. Costs differ according to the length of the excursions or the type of activity and are covered by students themselves.

Academics

Originally founded in 1585, Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz (KFUG) is the second largest university in Austria. The Franz Nabl Institute for Literary Research focuses on the literature of Styria.  Students can study in both English and German, as well as take courses at the Technical University of Graz, to round out their academic experience. Activities for international students also include excursions to nearby countries, hiking trips, and a student mentoring program.

As an ISEP student, you can build your own program by choosing your classes from a variety of fields of study thus creating an interdisciplinary set of courses to transfer to your home university. Use the notes for course searching to help you find which courses are available.

Popular areas of interest for incoming students are: Austrian civilization and literature, German language, linguistics and literature, English and American studies (language, linguistics and literature), Law, Business and Economics, European studies (including Eastern European studies), History, Languages and Literature, Psychology, Philosophy, Musicology, Education as well as English/German translation.

ISEP students enrolled at Uni Graz may also sign up for courses offered at Technische Universität Graz at no further cost. Students who are co-enrolled at TU Graz must make sure they take 50% of their classes at Uni Graz.

Program Website

COURSE DESCRIPTION 

Researching courses on an Austrian university homepage can sometimes be difficult and confusing. You can use the ISEP Guide to Course Selection to find information about navigating a university website, finding courses in both English and German and some translations of common words and major fields of study. Students who want to take German-taught classes must have completed the equivalent of two years of college German (German level B2) prior to the start of their exchange semester.

You can research courses in the UNIGRAZonline course guide:

Uni Graz can also accept students with less or no German background provided they find enough English-taught classes to meet their home university’s requirements. If you are not only interested in German-taught classes but also want to add an English-taught class to your workload you can research English-taught classes at Uni Graz via our Search engine for English-taught classes.

Typically full year students concentrate on improving their German skills during the first semester and take subject-specific classes during the second semester. Participation in the intensive pre-semester German course is mandatory for students intending to take German-taught classes.

Website for Course Availability

SPECIAL ACADEMIC CONDITIONS

There are no course restrictions for international program students. However, placement in some fields (psychology, sports sciences) and labs may be difficult.

HINTS FOR RESEARCHING COURSES

Researching courses in English on an Austrian university homepage can be difficult and confusing. Here find a quick guide to navigating a university website, finding courses in both English and German, and some translations of common words and major fields of study. 
Download the ISEP Guide to Course Selection

For more information on courses in English: click here.

For more information on courses in general: click here.

Registration and Credit Issues
Students typically register for individual classes with the aid of the international office. Students often must register for each course at the institute that specializes in the target field of study. 
Please note that courses will not be available for registering until shortly before the semester begins.
A Transcript of Records contains the grades of all successfully completed courses. Exchange students are typically permitted to enroll in a variety of courses. However, prerequisites for all courses must be met before the time of enrollment.  Students must take 30 ECTS credits to earn the equivalent of 4 Lake Forest credits.

 

What to Expect
Independent, self-directed study is heavily emphasized at Austrian institutions. Courses often have no set assignments and students are assessed by one examination or project. While this style of instruction is less demanding on a daily basis in comparison to study at a U.S. institution, independent study may ultimately be more rigorous in its demands.

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

Student Life

ORIENTATION

At the Graz airport or the train station, students who signed up for a buddy with the student union (highly recommended) will be met by him or her. 

Upon arrival at the university, there will be a Welcome Program for all new international program students. During orientation, students will be formally registered at the university and during the first week, an offer a number of information sessions on various aspects of life in Graz, insurance, visa, sports facilities, academic advising, course registration and the Austrian system of higher education, in general, are offered. Orientation is a general overview of services and support, UniGrazOnline is a session about our online system and class enrollment, in the health insurance session students are supported in signing up for Austrian health insurance.

At the beginning of each semester, students are also invited to attend a reception by the Vice-Rector of International Relations and another reception by the mayor of Graz. The central event of the welcome weeks is the registration which is when students are officially enrolled.

STUDENT ACTIVITIES

The city’s location provides ample opportunities for trips and weekend excursions to cities all over Europe including neighboring countries in South-Eastern Europe. Various associations of the City of Graz arrange hiking trips to the surrounding areas.

The international section of the student union offers a mentoring program whereby returnees or Graz students interested in international exchange support incoming students with their first steps and help them settle in. They organize regular meetings (Stammtisch) where exchange students can get together and also meet Graz students interested in an intercultural exchange. In addition, they offer a variety of activities for international exchange students throughout the year, including trips to Vienna and other cities, ski trips, etc. Costs differ according to the length of the excursions or the type of inactivity and are covered by students themselves.

All exchange students can sign up for a variety of sports classes offered for a small fee by the university’s sports center.

  Experiential Opportunities
Students can go for volunteer work. Although, there is no official support service providing students with placements, sometimes possibilities can be found in some fields of study.
Housing and Meals

Students are housed in spacious single- or double-occupancy rooms in modern student dorms. A monthly stipend is provided to cover the cost of 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 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 programs:

Budget Item

Amount

Lake Forest College Tuition

$23,160

Program fee (estimated)

Note: Spring may have added cost

TBD

Total Expected Billed by Lake Forest College

 TBD

ISEP Fees

 $500

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

Note: Some countries require national insurance. Check ISEP

 $360

Additional Meals

 $400

Estimated Airfare

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

 $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 Expected Out-of-Pocket Expenses

 TBD

Total

TBD

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.

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

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
    847-735-5231
    aolson@lakeforest.edu 


Program Dates

Spring ONLY: Early March to Late June/Early July

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

Program Type

Exchange

ISEP Exchange chance of placement for US students is generally Good. 

Languages of Instruction

English