Semester Programs

Participating in an off-campus program (whether to study, intern, research or volunteer) can be a life-changing experience! At Lake Forest College, we understand that our students have individual learning goals, which is why we have such a robust set of approved off-campus programs! With such a variety of opportunities, it is easy to become overwhelmed.

See the tips on our ‘Selecting a Program Guide’ to help explore what programs may be a good fit for you and your goals. 

Types of Programs

Lake Forest College's approved semester off-campus programs fall into two categories: Exchange and Direct-Enroll.

Here is a quick overview of the similarities and differences between the two program types:

Similarities: Financial aid can apply, credits transfer back to Lake Forest College, and students pay their Lake Forest College tuition

Differences: Exchange programs include housing and meals benenfits, where Direct-Enroll programs may include housing but many do not include meals. Students who participate in an exchange program are eligible for a $750 airfare reimbursement award. 


  • There are certain capacity limits for some Direct programs, and some Exchange programs are more competitive than others. GEO recommends that you find at least 3 - 5 programs you are interested in when you complete your GEO Application (the College's internal study abroad application).
  • Students are able to participate in two GEO semester programs, but one of the two semesters has to be on an Exchange program.
  • Our partner ISEP (International Student Exchange Program) is the only partner that offers Exchange options. Here is ISEP's quick guide to Exchange programs.

Please explore the below information for a more in-depth exploration of the differences between Exchange and Direct-Enroll.

Exchange Programs

Exchange Programs

There is a bilateral exchange of students between international institutions within the ISEP (International Student Exchange Program) network. For example, an LFC student would pay for a spot at LFC and a student at the University of Essex would pay for a spot at Essex, and then the students “trade places” while receiving equivalent benefits they paid for at their home institution.

Financial Difference

  • The cost is similar to if one were to study & live on-campus at Lake Forest College. Please review our Financials page for more in-depth financial information.

 Chance of Placement

  • Due to the bilateral exchange of students all across the ISEP network, some exchange programs are more competitive than other exchange programs. While exploring exchange programs on ISEP’s website, please pay special attention to ‘Chance of Placement’. Many popular locations such as the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Australia are more competitive and usually have a ‘Chance of Placement’ of ‘Most Competitive’ or ‘Very Limited’. But do not be discouraged! At least a few Lake Forest College students are placed on competitive exchange programs every year.
  • When a student completes their ISEP application, they can rank up to 10 programs on the application. ISEP recommends students add at least one program with a 'Good' (or better) chance of placement to their program ranking.
Direct-Enroll Programs


There is no bilateral exchange and students directly enroll in an international institution or study abroad program.

Financial Difference

  • Some Direct-Enroll programs are comparable to the cost of studying & living on LFC's campus. A few programs are more affordable, some are more expensive – it all depends on the specific program.  Please review our Financials page for more in-depth financial information.

Chance of Placement

As long as a student is approved by GEO and meets the program's specific eligibility requirements and deadlines, the chance of placement is excellent (although never guaranteed).

Program List

The following are Lake Forest College-approved programs. Please click the down arrow for each partner program to learn more, as well as the links to the program-specific webpage.

Only our partner ISEP offers both Exchange and Direct-Enroll options. All other programs are Direct-Enroll only.

Please Note: You have to complete the College's internal study abroad application (called the GEO application) and be approved to study abroad before you can complete applications for the below programs.

American College of Greece

Study abroad with the American College of Greece (ACG)! 

Discover the historical city of Athens and the beauty of the Mediterranean while studying abroad at ACG - the oldest American-accredited College in Europe and the largest private, independent, not-for-profit, non-sectarian, co-educational academic institution in Greece. 

Located on a breathtaking hillside at the edge of Athens, an American-style, 64-acre campus offers an ideal setting to study in Greece: modern classrooms, the ACG Library, with extensive print, online and audio-visual resources, and the College’s athletic facilities, including the FIFA designed soccer field, the Olympic-sized swimming pool, indoor and outdoor courts, and fitness and exercise studios.

Students in virtually any academic major can find courses, and all classes at ACG are taught in English

One of the most popular options for Lake Forest College students!

University of Otago (New Zealand)

Study abroad at the University of Otago!

Otago boasts modern lecture theatres, research labs and libraries; engaged and accessible teachers who are experts in their fields; and a campus regularly voted amongst the most beautiful in the world.

Our 20,000 students make up one sixth of Dunedin’s population, creating an energy and atmosphere that you’ll only find at Otago. The town and the University campus developed together, so Dunedin is one of just a handful of places worldwide where education is the main activity of the city.

Our campus and student accommodation are located in the heart of town, and all of Dunedin’s cafés, music venues, designer boutiques and stores, museums and galleries are never more than a short walk away.

When it comes to sport, Otago takes on the best in the world. The University’s facilities are state-of-the-art and New Zealand’s only covered sports field, Forsyth Barr Stadium, is right on your doorstep for top-level rugby.

You can select from an extensive range of papers (courses). You can take papers in almost any subject offered, outside of Dentistry, Medicine, Medical Laboratory Science, Pharmacy, and Physiotherapy

  • Course offerings include (but not limited to) Business, Media, Film, and Communication, New Zealand studies, Environmental, Marine and Earth Sciences, Health, Nutrition and Biomedical Sciences, Math, Statistics, Computer Science and Information Technology, Psychology and Neuroscience, Recreation, Sport and Exercise Science, Tourism and Hospitality Management.

Watch this video to get a sense of what it's like to study at the University of Otago!

The Umbra Institute (Italy)

Study abroad with the Umbra Institute in Perugia, Italy!

Umbra offers semester (and summer) study abroad programs for students. The build-your-semester option allows students to customize their academic experience by choosing courses that best fit their curricular needs and interests. For students looking for a more focused experience, they can organize their semester program around a specific curricular concentration or participate in one of our thematic programs. For students interested in the Italian language or studying at an Italian university, Umbra offers a number of direct-enroll options with local universities and art schools. Credit-bearing internships are highly selective and available for semester and summer experience. 

Special programs:

  • Food, Sustainability & Environmental Studies
    • Discover Italy through food cultures and explore sustainable and eco-friendly practices in the Italian food and hospitality industries.
  • Multi-Cultural Psychology
    • Now more than ever psychologists, social workers, and those in related fields need to broaden their horizons with a multi-cultural experience.

University of College Cork (Ireland)

Study abroad in Cork, Ireland at the University College Cork!

Study abroad students at UCC have the opportunity to select modules (courses) from a range of disciplines in the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences, the College of Science, Engineering and Food Science, the College of Business and Law and the College of Medicine and Health.

The College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences offers modules in subjects such as Applied Psychology, Archaeology, Celtic Civilisation, Classics, English, Folklore, Geography, History, History of Art, Music, Philosophy, Religions and Global Diversity, Social Policy, Sociology, Spoken Irish and a range of modern European languages.

The College of Science, Engineering and Food Sciences offers modules in the Mathematical, Physical and Chemical Sciences; the Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences and in ICT. Modules in many branches of engineering are offered including Civil and Environmental, Electricaland Electronic, Process and Chemical and Energy Engineering. At UCC, there is a history of 100 years of education and research in Dairy and Food Sciences, and visiting students can opt to select modules in all areas of food science. 

The College of Business and Law offers modules in Accounting, Business Information Systems, Economics, Food Business and Development, Government, Management, Marketing and Law.

Within the College of Medicine and Health, the Departments of Physiology, and Epidemiology and Public Health, welcome visiting study abroad students and offer a range of modules in their respective subjects.

A limited number of internship opportunities are also available.

Florence University of the Arts - American University of Florence

FUA-AUF’s mission aims to offer a unique educational model for international students. Through this model, FUA-AUF allows students to integrate, benefit, and learn from their academic experience by applying knowledge and competence simultaneously.  Knowledge and competence are taught at the same time through educational strategies and several teaching methodologies that are based on the experience, integration, and engagement with the local community.

Explore the Student Life Department for information about FUA-AUF's student support, housing, excursions, and more!

Webster University

Study abroad with one of Webster University's international campuses

Webster University is a U.S. university with campuses around the world and has its own international network entitled WINS (Webster International Network Schools). Lake Forest College is a member of WINS so Lake Forest College students have access to WINS programs and benefits. Have the comfort of studying at an American institution while abroad and be eligible for a $1,000 travel award!

Winter Athletes: Webster University programs abroad have two terms each semester, with courses being taught in Term 1 or Term 2.  Lake Forest College varsity athletes participating in a dual-season or winter sport would choose one term.

    Freie University of Berlin European Studies Program (FU-BEST)

    Study abroad with the Freie University of Berlin European Studies Program!

    The program offers a menu of subject courses taught mostly in English by expert faculty, covering such topics and disciplines as cultural studies, art history, comparative literature, the European Union, German history, German and European politics, sociology/psychology, film studies, legal studies, architecture, environmental studies, transatlantic relations, business, music history, and philosophy. Mandatory course: German language course

    Local field-trips are an integral component of many of the courses, and a week-long international study tour is built into the program. Past study tour locations include Paris, Budapest, Copenhagen, London, and Prague.

    Opportunities for contact with German students and German society in general, for example through volunteering opportunities or a language tandem, are made available throughout the semester.

    International Student Exchange Program (ISEP)

    Explore 200+ exchange and direct programs through ISEP (International Student Exchange Program)

    ISEP has programs for many majors and minors. Also, there are various internship, volunteer, and community engagement opportunities.

    Tips when exploring ISEP programs:

    On ISEP’s website, you can sort by ‘exchange’ or ‘direct’ under the ‘More Filters’ tab. With Exchange programs, please note the program's 'Chance of Placement’ . 'Chance of Placement' can range from Most Competitive to Excellent. ISEP allows you to rank ten exchange programs on your application. ISEP also has a helpful Chance of Placement Guide!

    REMINDER: If you participate in an ISEP exchange program, you are eligible for a $750 airfare reimbursement award.

    2nd-semester sophomores are eligible for some ISEP programs. To search for ISEP programs available for sophomores, select 'Ideal for Sophmores' under the 'More Filters' tab on the ISEP website.

    Oxford Study Abroad Program

    Study abroad with the Oxford Study Abroad Programme!

    The Oxford Study Abroad Programme (OSAP) places students of academic distinction at affiliated colleges of Oxford University. With privileges at four of the top-ranked colleges at Oxford- New College, Christ Church, Magdalen College and Trinity College, OSAP students and faculty have access to their libraries, clubs, societies, dining halls, and chapels as well as over six million volumes of books in libraries throughout the University of Oxford. 

    Please note: Oxford has a different academic system than LFC. Oxford uses a tutorial model, in which students take a primary and a secondary tutorial. Students normally take between 14-18 tutorials between 2 subjects. Students normally study a primary course for 9 tutorials and a secondary for 5 tutorials. 

    Since all education at Oxford is highly individual (the exact courses are worked out jointly by the OSAP academic advisor, the student, and the tutor) there is no Oxford Course Catalog in an American sense.  The teaching style is most often one tutor and one student, who work together to set up a meeting schedule that fits both needs.  Learning is often based on one on one discussion, and the tutor may assign a large paper each week to be discussed at the next meeting.  

    Tutorials are most similar to upper-level electives at a US institution. Students are expected to have a background in the topic discussed.  

    The OSAP academic advisers have found by experience that most OSAP students tend to select from five or six subjects, primarily history, English, politics (including political thought and international relations), economics, and philosophy. A few students will study psychology, physics, chemistry, math, law, geography, sociology, art history, etc. (Practical science courses, i.e., those requiring laboratory facilities, are usually available given sufficient notice, but this is not guaranteed).

    Students can apply as Associate Member status, or as Visiting Member status (for an additional cost).

    Learning Abroad Center

    Study abroad with the University of Minnesota's Learning Abroad Center on one of their Minnesota Studies in International Development (MSID) programs! Despite the name, students do not study in or about the state of Minnesota - the MSID curriculum explores the theoretical and practical implications of international development and intercultural issues. Field experience is an integral part of all courses and an internship or research project is required in the program.

    There are four themes (available at all locations): Entrepreneurship, Health, Human Rights, Sustainability

    No matter the location, students take:

    • Historical & Political Context of [host country]
    • Language course 
    • International Development course [revolving around one of the above themes]
    • Internship or Research [revolving around one of the above themes]

    Program Locations:

    Chang Mai, Thailand

    • No language prerequisite 

    Dakar, Senegal

    • Minimum 4 semesters college-level French, or equivalent proficiency

    Quito, Ecuador

    • Minimum 4 semesters of college-level Spanish, or equivalent proficiency
    University Studies Abroad Consortium (USAC)

    Study abroad with University Studies Abroad Consortium (USAC)!

    USAC, a nonprofit organization since 1982, has provided students with life-changing opportunities to live and learn in countries around the globe. We have more than 50 affordable, authentic study abroad programs in 26 countries, and strive to provide you with ample opportunities to become engaged, global citizens.

    USAC has two different models of programs: Speciality and Partnership. Explore the differences here.

    American Institute of Foreign Study (AIFS)

    Study abroad with the American Institute of Foreign Study (AIFS)

    AIFS is recognized as a leading provider of study abroad programs. Since 1964, over 1.5 million students have traveled abroad with AIFS. They have programs in over 20 countries, with almost all areas of study represented. 

    Their program in Costa Rica (at Veritas University) is one of the most popular (and affordable) options for Lake Forest College students!

    Budapest Semester of Mathematics

    Study abroad with Budapest Semesters in Mathematics!

    Budapest Semesters in Mathematics (BSM) provides a unique opportunity for North American undergraduates. Through this program, mathematics and computer science majors in their junior/senior years may spend a fall or spring semester in Budapest and study under the tutelage of eminent Hungarian scholar-teachers. The instructors of BSM are members of Eötvös University, the Mathematical Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, and Budapest University of Technology and Economics, the three institutions known for having educated more than half of Hungary’s highly acclaimed mathematicians. BSM classes are held at the College International, a Hungarian-based educational institution focusing on international students studying in Budapest. Most instructors have had teaching experience in North America and are familiar with the cultural differences.

    • All courses are taught in English.
    • Classes are small.
    • The school is near the center of historic Budapest.
    • Living costs are modest.
    Spanish Studies Abroad

    Study abroad with Spanish Studies Abroad!

    Spanish Studies Abroad provides learning experiences in Spanish-speaking countries, focused primarily on North American university-level students. Students choose to study with SSA – in both English and Spanish – to develop language fluency, to experience new cultures and to obtain university credit.  They have programs in Spain, Argentina, Cuba, and Puerto Rico!

    DIS - Study in Scandinavia

    Study abroad with DIS in Copenhagen or Stockholm!

    Pursue your academic and personal goals abroad. Build your semester by choosing a Core Course from 27 Academic Programs in Copenhagen and 11 in Stockholm, and select from over 280 upper-level courses between the two locations – all taught in English.

    The Washington Center (D.C.)

    Study and intern in Washington D.C. with The Washington Center (TWC)!

    Academic Internship Program

    Earn a full semester's worth of credit while participating in the Academic Internship Program! It’s made up of three main parts: the internship, evening course, and career readiness programming. 


    • TWC partners with over 400 internship sites in D.C. and across the country, and we work with you one-on-one to land the internship that’s right for you. 

    Evening Course

    • You’ll take an academic course one night each week, and you’ll get to choose one that suits you from a wide range of options. You can pick a course that fits your major, lines up nicely with your internship or go totally out of the box and try something new.

    Career Readiness Programming

    • TWC’s career readiness programming is a mix of professional development workshops, career exploration sessions, networking events and one-on-one advising designed to help you maximize your internship experience and come away with a plan for your next step. This programming will be held at different times throughout the week, so you can choose which sessions to attend based on your interests and your schedule. 

    Specialty Programs

    The programs below have special eligibility requirements. Contact GEO for these specific programs' applications.

    Semester in Environmental Science - Direct

    The Semester in Environmental Science is a 15-week fall semester at the Ecosystems Center of the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. The curriculum provides an intensive field and laboratory-based introduction to ecosystem science and the biogeochemistry of coastal forests, freshwater ponds and estuaries. research laboratory.

    Watch this informative video created by SES students about all the program has to offer!

    Explore the program in more detail HERE, and contact GEO for more details on how to apply.

    Chicago Semester for Student Teaching - Direct

    Complete your student teaching in Chicago with the Chicago Semester program!

    This program is a full-time credit load and students will be billed for full-time tuition.

    Contact GEO or the Education Department for more details.

    Marine and Island Ecology of the Bahamas Program (Shedd) - Summer

    The Shedd Aquarium hosts a 1-credit course on subtropical marine and terrestrial species and ecosystems. Discover how oceanography and water chemistry affect marine habitats and island environments. Develop identification techniques for fishes, reptiles, plants and invertebrates while gaining knowledge of field research while on board the R/V Coral Reef II in the Exuma Islands. Required pre-departure courses take place on Saturdays during the latter part of spring semester, with the field experience happening in May. You would be charged for one full LFC summer credit plus airfare and a program fee. 

    Contact GEO for more details.