Caen is a growing city famed for its two Roman abbeys and its 11th-century castle which houses a museum. Normandy’s beaches and monuments make it an enjoyable area to visit. Paris is about two hours away by train.
The campus of Université de Caen is walking distance from the old city, where students can enjoy quaint streets with shops and cafes. Students actually walk through a moat and castle from the old city to reach the main quad. Université de Caen’s campus has a very open and “U.S. campus” feel. The original campus was destroyed during World War II. A new campus was rebuilt, giving Université de Caen a more modern feel.
Students can enjoy multiple student restaurants on campus where meals cost around three euros. There is a student union on campus as well with a coffee shop where students often gather. The campus also has an excellent gym with workout facilities and a lap pool that students can enjoy for a small fee. It’s very easy to get involved in student life at Université de Caen. Students should take advantage of the many student associations and club sports!
A student must be comfortable with advocating for themselves on campus and comfortable with the local language to thrive in this location. 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.
To be eligible to participate in this program, students must meet the following requirements:
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).
A growing city with a population of 200,000, Caen is famed for its two Roman abbeys and its 11th-century castle which houses a museum. Normandy’s beaches and monuments make it an enjoyable area to visit. Paris is about two hours away by train.
To learn more about the visa process for this country, please visit the ISEP Country Handbook for France.
ISEP students now have the exciting new opportunity to take courses in English from the Graduate Diploma in Management Studies from IAE Caen. Students can take a full course load in English or students at the B2 French language level can take a mix of regular university courses in French plus courses in English from the IAE. Course modules for this program include but are not limited to:
Students should have at least an A2 French level and have a background in business to take courses from the program. Graduate level full year students who begin in the Fall semester can participate in the entire program and earn a Graduate Diploma in Management Studies if they complete the mandatory internship following the program (in France or in their home country).
For complete program information as well as course lists, visit the Graduate Diploma in Management Studies website.
Students typically spend 20 hours in class per week. A term runs for 13 weeks. Lake Forest must take 30 ECTS credits to earn the equivalent of 4 Lake Forest credits.
STUDYING AT A FRENCH UNIVERSITY
French universities operate in ways that are quite different from the system with which you are familiar. Understanding the differences will help you plan your program of study in France, use your time effectively while you are there and return with transferable credits. French students follow a highly structured curriculum specific to the degree they are pursuing from day one at the university. They do not take “liberal arts” or general education requirements for 2 years before focusing on a major or area of study as most U.S. students do.
Your Responsibility as a Student
French professors are not as accessible as their American counterparts. Increasingly, however, professors do have office hours or may be available if you make an appointment. They will also be willing to answer questions and discuss problems before or immediately after class. It would be a good idea to introduce yourself to the professor at the beginning of the year, explaining that you are an international student. Do ask other students in class for advice or assistance if you do not understand something.
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.
REGISTRATION AND COURSE SELECTION
Registration (inscription) is the process of enrollment into the university; you will fill out many forms and hand in several passport-size photos in order to receive the various university cards signifying your enrollment.
Selection of courses is done during registration. You should expect to have to go to each building that houses the faculté (department) of the course you wish to take, find the administrative office, ask for a course listing and sign up for the desired course. Students should be aware that the registration process can take several days. French universities are not as “service-oriented” as those in the United States and there are many students for few administrators. Ask questions of your ISEP host coordinator if you have trouble registering. Also, the add-drop process is very informal. You may want to observe several classes before making your final selection and to make sure that you will be able to follow the course and fulfill all course requirements. Remember to consult about any changes in your course selections with your host and home coordinators and advisors. Be sure to keep track of your courses, including course titles, hours, professors, and assignments for after your exchange. In all cases, you must verify all of your course information with your host coordinator to ensure that you have enrolled properly.
The actual number of hours in a class varies according to the department or subject and the amount of work expected of students outside of class. Courses usually meet 1-2 hours each week, meaning you will probably be taking a higher number of courses than at home. Most current ISEP students in France are taking 12-15 units per semester.
EXAMS AND GRADING
Student performance is assessed in two ways:
The atmosphere at a French university may seem low-pressure, but be on your guard. Even if a class does not require regular assignments, you must keep up with the reading and attend classes. Final examinations are given at the end of each course. ISEP students should check with professors to determine when the exam will be given as most professors do not provide a syllabus at the beginning of a course. As a foreign student, you may not be required to take the final exam. You may be able to substitute written assignments for the exam. Check with the professor to find out whether you are expected to take the exam in order to get a grade (in many instances, the exam might be the only evidence that you have taken the class) or whether you can substitute other assignments. Taking a final does not automatically entitle you to a grade since you must pass your exams to receive a grade. Also, make sure to register for the exam in addition to taking it.
If you make any special arrangements with a professor, obtain the agreement in writing signed by both you and the professor. Provide a copy of the agreement to both your home and host ISEP coordinators and keep a copy for yourself. Without an agreement in writing, it is expected that you will take all final exams. Credit transfer is not guaranteed if you fail to take exams or provide written proof of other arrangements.
France operates on the ECTS credit System. ECTS credits take into account the total student workload per class or degree program. 30 ECTS credits is equivalent to a full semester for French students. ISEP students may not be expected to take as many credits.
In programs that utilize only ECTS credits:
Students must take 27 ECTS credits to earn 4 Lake Forest credits, or 20.5 ECTS credits to earn 3 Lake Forest credits.
Some programs in France use contact hours instead of (or in addition to) ECTS credits. In these cases, it is recommended to use the system that most benefits the students. One formula to determine number of Lake Forest credits is: (Weekly Hours in Class X Weeks in Term)/42
To earn 4 Lake Forest credits, students must take 168 total contact hours.
To Earn 3 Lake Forest credits, students must take 126 total contact hours.
Please review the ISEP country handbook for more information.
Founded in 1432, the Université de Caen enrolls 24,000 students including about 2,000 foreign students from 50 countries.
The Service Relations Internationales and the ISEP Coordinator will welcome students to the University upon arrival. Staff will assist students with registration and a choice of courses. Students will visit the campus and will be designated a professor/advisor for academic assistance.
|Housing and Meals|
|ISEP students live in residence halls on campus, in single-occupancy rooms and receive a stipend for meals.|
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 ISEP Exchange 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 2019/Spring 2020 programs:
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.
For Questions About the Initial Application Process:
Coordinator of the Global Engagement Office