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SOUTH AFRICA - ISEP University of Johannesburg

Situated at the southernmost tip of the African continent, South Africa saw the end of Apartheid and a transition to democracy in 1994. Its nickname, “Rainbow Nation”, reflects the diversity of South Africa’s people, whose cultural influences come from all over Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. South Africa’s Mediterranean climate makes it suitable for a wide range of outdoor activities including sandboarding, surfing, rock-climbing, and camping. The University of Johannesburg is located in South Africa’s largest and most urban city! Come delve into the history of this dynamic nation, whose blend of old customs and modern ways make it a fascinating place to study for ISEP students from all over the world.

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 Johannesburg 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 second-semester sophomore 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).


South Africa’s most populous city, Johannesburg, Jozi or Jo’burg, is the provincial capital of the Gauteng Province. It is the second largest city on the African continent with three million people calling it home. Johannesburg can be considered the economic and cultural center of the country. Known for its diversity, Johannesburg is a melting pot of cultures from of the African continent and beyond. Johannesburg’s location makes it suitable to enjoy a wide range of outdoor activities including visits to any of the country’s 7 World Heritage Sites: The Cradle of Human Kind, The Greater St Lucia Wetland Park, Robben Island, Ukhahlamba/Drakensberg Park, Mapungubwe, Richtersveld Cultural and Botanical Landscape, and the Cape Floral Kingdom. The city is larger than London, New York, and Sydney; and is comparable to the size of Los Angeles.

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


The University of Johannesburg (UJ) is a premier city university located in South Africa. It shares the pace and energy of cosmopolitan Johannesburg. Noted for its strength in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, UJ offers a comprehensive menu of programs and is committed to delivering outstanding higher education. The university embraces South Africa’s rich histories, cultures, religions, races, genders and social and economic classes and languages. With a focus on identifying research areas, community engagement, and a commitment to internationalization, UJ addresses the challenges of the 21st century by combining the best of the university and vocation-oriented education.

UJ has many strong areas of academic excellence in all faculties. Most interesting for study abroad students would be Africa Diplomacy and International Relations, Political Studies, Management and Accountancy, Physics, Entrepreneurship Development, Visual Identities in Art and Design, Education Rights and Transformation. 

South African academic institutions follow the European tradition, with a mixture of lectures and seminars with individual laboratory time and library work. Students specialize early and study one or two disciplines for three or four years. In most subjects, assessment is based on continuous evaluations with assignments, orals, presentations, one mid-semester test and a concluding examination. Regular class attendance is compulsory. Please note that students who make travel arrangements that clash with their lectures, tests, and examinations, will not receive a final mark for their courses or an academic transcript to take back to their home institution.

Study Abroad and Exchange students at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) may take up to a maximum of four courses/modules per semester. UJ uses the NQF Credit system. A typical course is worth 6,8,12,18,24 or 36 NQF Credits. Study Abroad and exchange students are advised to select courses starting with 18 NQF credits. 

To Earn 4 Lake Forest credits, students must take 72 NQF credits, which is an equivalent of 16 U.S credits.

To Earn 3 Lake Forest credits, students must take 54 NQF credits.

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.


In order to view all the programs, courses and modules with course descriptions offered per Faculty, please visit: 

• Faculty of Arts, Design, and Architecture 
 Faculty of Economic and Financial Sciences
• Faculty of Education 
 Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment
• Faculty of Humanities 
 Faculty of Law
 Faculty of Management
 Faculty of Science

Please note: Classes within the Health Sciences faculty are closed to ISEP students.

Each yearbook will list the current courses available.

*Courses are called modules, at the University of Johannesburg.

For more information on courses offered: click here.

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.

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

Student Life

The University of Johannesburg (UJ), one of the largest, multi-campus, residential universities in South Africa, seeks to achieve the highest distinction in scholarship and research. 


Students will be met at the airport by a student buddy and a University driver. They will then be transported to the accommodation prepared for them and a brief orientation of the facility will be done. The student buddy will also provide directions on how to get to the Division for Internationalisation from the residence. Students will then have a three-day orientation program.


UJ has many opportunities for International students to participate in extra-curricular activities as there are more than 100 student clubs and societies. These range from country-based societies, religious societies, gaming formations, sports clubs and codes, community service and volunteer organizations. The UJ Choir offers a great opportunity to interact with UJ students, see the country and participate in the campus life. One must go through an audition to participate. UJ International Student Society (UJISS) and Student Buddies bring together international and local students for cultural exchange, social activities, and travel.

  Internship Opportunities
UJ AIESEC also provides opportunities for short term and long term internships opportunities for all students on campus.
Volunteer Opportunites
UJ RAG (Remember and Give) provides a good opportunity for service learning and volunteering in the communities in and around Johannesburg.
Housing and Meals

Students are housed in double rooms in an on-campus student residence hall. All the University residences are self-catering and have no attached dining halls. However, every campus has a student center with cafeterias, eating places and take away/fast food outlets.

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 University of Johannesburg includes orientation, on-site director, university fees, housing, and the equivalent of 19/meals per week. The Direct fee includes all of the above, plus insurance for spring only. The Direct fee for the fall semester includes orientation, on-site director, university fees, and house; students are responsible for thier own meals. 

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 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