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NEW ZEALAND - ISEP University of Waikato

The University of Waikato is an innovative and student-focused university that offers small class sizes and a friendly, welcoming student community. Our orientation week will make you feel right at home and the international buddy program offers the opportunity to make Kiwi friends and travel around New Zealand. You can choose from courses in any of our seven faculties, with top-ranked programs in business, computer science, screen and media studies and linguistics. 

With a population of 150,000, Hamilton is New Zealand’s 4th largest city and renowned for its beautiful botanical gardens. Waikato’s central location in the heart of the North Island makes it a great hub to explore some of the country’s best surfing, hiking, natural wonders, and Maori culture attractions. There is plenty of opportunity to balance study with exploring the best of what New Zealand has to offer. 

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 the University of Waikato! 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 3 or higher. Accepts lower GPA with an explanation. 
  • Auditions may be required of music applicants.

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).


Waikato’s main campus, Hamilton, is four kilometers from the city center. Hamilton is New Zealand’s fourth largest city renowned for its beautiful botanical gardens. Its central location in the heart of the North Island makes it a great hub to explore some of the country’s best surfing, hiking, natural wonders and Maori culture attractions. There is plenty of opportunities to balance study by exploring the best of what New Zealand has to offer. 

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


Fields of Study

  • Business: Accounting,  Economics,  Finance,  International Business/Trade/Commerce,  Marketing

  • Computer and Information Sciences: Education, Elementary Education

  • Engineering: Chemical Engineering,  Civil Engineering,  Computer Engineering, Computer Software Engineering,  Mechanical Engineering

  • English Language and Literature 

  • History 

  • Human Services 

  • Law/Criminal Justice  

  • Liberal Arts and Sciences: Humanities

  • Mathematics  

  • Psychology 

  • Social Sciences: Anthropology,  Family and Consumer Sciences,  Geography,  Political Science and Government,  Sociology,  Work and Family Studies

  • Area Studies: Asian Studies,  Women’s Studies

  • Biology: Animal Physiology,  Biochemistry and Molecular Biology,  Biomathematics, Bioinformatics, and Computational Biology,  Biometry/Biometrics, Biophysics,  Ecology and Evolutionary Biology,  Microbiology and Immunology

  • Foreign Languages and Literature: Chinese Language and Literature,  French Language and Literature, German Language and Literature,  Japanese Language and Literature, Spanish Language and Literature

  • Hospitality and Tourism: Tourism Management

  • Natural Resources/Conservation: Environmental Science

  • Philosophy and Religious Studies: Philosophy

  • Visual and Performing Arts: Art History,  Art Studies,  Film Studies,  Fine Arts and Art Studies, Other, Graphic Design,  Music Pedagogy,  Music Performance,  Music Technology, Music Theory and Composition,  Technical Theatre Design and Technology

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.

The number of credits a paper is worth is made up of the number of contact hours, time spent in private study, group work, labs, etc.

To Earn 4 Lake Forest credits, students must take 168 total contact hours, or 672 hours of in- and out-of-class time.

To Earn 3 Lake Forest credits, students must take 126 total contact hours, or 504 hours of in- and out-of-class time.

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.

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

Student Life

Airport Pickup

Free airport pick-up in Auckland is provided (you must sign up prior to arrival) and you will be taken to your accommodation upon arrival in Hamilton.



International students can join one of our many student clubs, which include a variety of sports, music, and cultural groups. Our International Buddy Program is most popular with exchange students, as it’s a great way to meet other students and travel together. The International Student Services team also organizes optional trips to Hobbiton, a local marae, and hikes around the region.

  Internship Opportunities
Internships are available in business/management; contact your ISEP Coordinator at Waikato prior to arrival.
Housing and Meals

Housing options are either Homestay (1 person per room off-campus) or Dorm Room (I person per room on-campus). A stipend which covers a large part of costs for housing and meals is provided. Meals are provided by host meal plan at the cafeteria.

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 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 February 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