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Study Abroad and Domestic Study Away

ISEP at Università degli Studi di Urbino “Carlo Bo”


The University of Urbino grew out of the Collegio dei Dottori which was already active in the middle of the fifteenth century and authorized to act as an appeal court for suits involving the Duchy of Urbino. At the request of Duke Guidobaldo da Montefeltro, this college was officially recognized in a papal bull of 1507, issued by Pope Julius II of the Della Rovere family, and entrusted with the administration of penal and civil law throughout the Duchy. In 1564, Pope Pius IV granted the Collegio “leave to crown two poets laureate annually, to confer degrees in canon and civil law, to award academic qualifications in the arts, in medicine and in the other faculties recognized by the University articles, and to appoint notaries.”

Urbino provides the ideal setting for a university: the ancient city center is on a human scale; everything is still within walking distance and there are numerous opportunities for meeting local people, teachers, and students.

This program would be suitable for students that are ready to be abroad, but would still like some of the academic services that a U.S. college provides.  It is a good choice for someone that is a world traveler OR has never left their hometown.

Learn more about the University of Urbino here! Read the ISEP Country Handbook to learn more about visa requirements, educational system, and culture.

Program Type

Exchange or Direct-Enroll


Urbino, Italy

Languages of Instruction

English/Italian - minimum of 2 semesters of Italian or equivalent is required

Program Dates

Fall 2018: mid-September to mid-January

Spring 2019: mid-February to late-June

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


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.
  • Language Requirement: A minimum of 2 semesters of university-level Italian or the equivalent must be completed prior to the program. Students must submit the ISEP Language Proficiency Report as part of their application.
  • Students must submit ISEP language proficiency report in the application, even if native speaker. 

 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.

The chance of placement for Exchange is Fair.  The chance of placement for Direct is Excellent.


Once an important political center and the home of many prominent figures in the Italian Renaissance, the historic walled city of Urbino sits in the mountains near the tiny Republic of San Marino. The birthplace of Raphael, its centerpiece is the 15th-century palace built by the Duke of Montefeltro. Located 30 miles west of the Adriatic beach towns, Urbino has in many ways retained its medieval character, with narrow, crooked streets lined by shops and overhanging apartments. The city is surrounded by picturesque vineyards, forests and mountain streams.


The size and organization of the University encourage a direct relationship between students and teachers and allow students to take full advantage of all campus services and facilities. Urbino, the ideal Renaissance city, has become the ideal city for study, a lively and stimulating campus-town perfectly suited for student life. Students will have a great opportunity to improve their Italian language skills while taking courses towards their majors and minors.

Regular University Courses in English or Italian ISEP Exchange and ISEP Direct:
Students may enroll in classes in Italian or both languages. Students should note, though, that while Urbino has courses with English support (exams or readings in English), in most cases, the lectures will still be in Italian.  Courses in the sciences may have more options for English lecture.

Students may select courses from different degree programs, but all courses selected must come from the same “group.” For example, students may take classes in Humanities and Education (group 3) but not Humanities (group 3) and Political Science (group 2). All students may still take the Italian language course regardless of their field of study.

Group 1: Pharmacy (Nutritional Sciences,Herbal Medicine, Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Technology) Physical Education and Health (Physical Education, Sports and Health); Science & Technology (Biotechnologies, Biological Sciences, Geological Sciences and Land Management, Environmental and Natural Sciences, Applied Computer Science - also E-Learning in English, Cellular and Molecular Biology,Industrial Biotechnologies, Land Vulnerability and Climatic Change Adaptation, Applied Geological Sciences for Building and Land Management)

Group 2: Economics (Business Administration, Business Management, Marketing and Business Communication); Political Science (Political Science, Economics and Government, Government and Political Communication); Sociology (Sociology and Social Services, E-Learning, Management of Politics, Social Services and Intercultural Mediation); Law.

Group 3: Humanities (Humanities, Cultural Heritage Studies, Philosophy, Classical and Modern Languages and Literatures, Art History, Information, Media and Advertising, Communication and Advertising for Organizations), Languages (Western Languages and Cultures, Eastern Languages and Cultures, Language and Economic Studies for Business, Languages for Didactics, Publishing and Business), Education (Educational Sciences - Nursery and Primary School, Pedagogy and Education Planning), Psychology (Sciences and Techniques, Clinical Psychology)


Urbino offers a few courses taught in English and some courses taught in both English and Italian. A full list of courses offered can be found on Urbino’s website.


Urbino provides an ideal setting for students of classics, geology, biochemistry, Italian language, linguistics, literature, and art and archeology, particularly Etruscan, Greek, Roman, and medieval periods. History and philosophy are also recommended.

Students typically enroll in 5-6 classes which average to 15-18 hours of class per week. A term runs for 14 weeks.  Students must take 30 ECTS credits to earn the equivalent of 4 Lake Forest credits.

Regular University Courses in English or Italian:
Language Requirement: A minimum of 2 semesters of university-level Italian or the equivalent must be completed prior to the program. Students must submit the ISEP Language Proficiency Report as part of their application.

Language Course: A Semi-Intensive Italian language course is also offered in addition to regular classes during the academic year or second semester at no charge for intermediate and advanced levels (60 hours per course, 20 hours per week).

Pre-session: A 2-week pre-session, intensive Italian language course is offered as part of ISEP benefits in the fall semester for the beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels.

Additional Comments: The host institution ultimately determines your proficiency level and course level eligibility upon arrival.

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.

Can review the country handbooks for ISEP here as well:


ISEP Placement info: http://www.isep.org/Coordinators/us_placement_notes_english.asp

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

Course Approvals

Check to see if your department has pre-approved courses here. If not, don’t worry. You can work with your advisor.

Student Life


The Office of International Exchange Programs provides the students with all the necessary information. The first week of the program ISEP students will receive a guided tour of the University buildings and supplementary information about life in Italy.

The host will provide arrival directions with acceptance packet.

Housing and Meals

ISEP Exchange and ISEP Direct:

Students are housed in single- or double-occupancy rooms with bath, and receive a meal plan at student cafeterias.

Financial Information

The program fee for a semester with the ISEP Exchange to the University of Urbino includes orientation, on-site director, university fees, housing, and the equivalent of 19/meals per week.

For students that participate in ISEP Direct to the University of Urbino, the program fee will be $5,305.  This fee includes orientation, on-site director, university fees, housing, meals, and insurance.  Many of the other estimated out-of-pocket costs will be similar. 

Here is an estimated budget for the Fall 2018/Spring 2019 semester:

Budget Item





Lake Forest College Tuition



Program fee (estimated)

Note: Spring may have added cost



College Deposit (credit)



Total Expected Billed by Lake Forest College



ISEP Fee due on Stage 2 Application

($100 is non-refundable; $295 is refundable ONLY if ISEP is not able to place you in any program)



College Deposit due on Acceptance (non-refundable, but shows as credit on bill for off-campus term)



ISEP-required health and repatriation insurance ($85/mo estimated)

Note: Some countries require national insurance. Check ISEP



Additional Meals



Estimated Airfare



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 February 2018. We will notify applicants, and update this page if the program fee or other estimates change.

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, nor fees to enroll in courses at partner institutions, and will depend on your course registration choices.  

Don’t forget to apply for scholarships! A great listing can be found here.  

Do check your student account on My.Lakeforest for your aid awards, as much of this will go with you. If you want to compare your program to the cost of being on campus, those numbers can be found here: https://www.lakeforest.edu/admissions/tuition/fees.php

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

Experiences of Former Students

Read a story by an ISEP student who studied abroad at Università degli Studi di Urbino “Carlo Bo”.