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Off-Campus Study

ISEP at Providence University


Providence University is a Catholic co-educational institution that was founded by an American congregation, the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana, USA. The University’s historic foundation can be traced back to 1920 in Mainland China. It has grown rapidly through the years, valuing diverse cultures and welcoming students and professors from around the world. Providence University assists students in the development of global awareness, lifelong values, service learning, research, and critical thinking skills in academic areas to encourage social responsibility, in line with the school’s motto: Virtus cum Scientia – Virtue with Knowledge. 

Providence University is a great destination for international students, as it offers active campus life, an outstanding Chinese language training center and a variety of available courses taught in English. The international office takes great care of their students and offers a variety excursions and activities that will make your time in Taiwan a blast.

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


Program Type



Taichung, Taiwan

Languages of Instruction

English and Mandarin Chinese

Program Dates

Academic Year: mid-September to Late June

Fall 2018: mid-September to mid-January

Spring 2019: mid-February to Late June


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.  


ISEP Exchange chance of placement for US students is generally Excellent.


Providence University is located in Taichung, the heart of Taiwan and the historic capital of the island. Taichung is approximately a two-hour drive from Taipei and is serviced by multiple daily buses and trains to and from all parts of Taiwan. 

Taichung has convenient access to all student necessities and offers a wide variety of recreational activities. Students are only minutes away from spectacular natural landscapes with the opportunity for hiking and biking in addition to other outdoor activities. Sports and outdoor recreation and a diversity of cultural activities are available. The city also hosts lively festivals year-round.


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.



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.

Hints for Researching Courses:

  1. From the website of Office of International Affairs, Providence University, click on Academics on the top menu.
  2. Select “Courses Taught in English”. This shows a list of all courses within each college and each department. 
  3. In addition to undergraduate courses, additional graduate courses in English are available in Management and Information Science. Please visit the GIP website for the list of courses. 

Please note that students are also welcome to take courses that are taught in Mandarin or other languages.   For information about these courses:

  1. Enter the website of Providence University, and then enter the E-Campus service.
  2. Select Course online. There will be a search area for students to enter the key words or desired course title or department.

For exchange students, there is no limit to the number of courses that can be taken.  All exchange students must attend the Chinese language course for 10 hours per week free of charge which will count for 2 credits per semester. More hours for an additional fee are also offered for all levels.  (http://www.clec.pu.edu.tw/Default.aspx)

The university also provides training and assistance on course selection during Orientation, where a learning partner can help you select your courses one by one.


Course Approvals

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

Experiential Opportunities

Providence University was the first university in Taiwan to offer students the opportunity to participate in a volunteer program. Students are encouraged to take part in community service and native Spanish, English, French, Japanese, and Korean speakers can volunteer as language tutors. Contact the Campus Ministry Center for opportunities to get involved.

Student Life

An orientation is provided when students arrive on campus and will include various information sessions, a campus tour, lunch, and a meeting with the Office of International Affairs Staff and their Learning Partners. During orientation, students will receive assistance to activate their computer accounts, apply for alien residency, health insurance, a bank account, cell phone, and to register for courses. The orientation also includes a city tour.

Over 85 student clubs and organizations sponsor a wide range of extracurricular activities. The Office of International Affairs organizes regular student parties, outings, cultural trips and other fun activities. Providence University also provides numerous sporting and physical fitness opportunities. Sports include baseball, basketball, swimming, tennis, and fitness in superb athletics facilities including a track and a newly-built world class sports arena. The annual Sports Day provides opportunities for students, faculty, and staff to participate in a whole day of activities. Students also have access to a student health center, career advising services, and a Campus Ministry Center.

Other facilities on campus include theaters, a music appreciation center, dining services, Caves bookstore, convenience stores, an art gallery, an auditorium, a chapel and a state-of the-art library. Exchange students also have access to International Corner (I-Corner), an informal, friendly environment where one can make new international friends, find academic partners, and learn about the diverse cultures, traditions, and customs of other countries. Incoming students can also take part in the International Friendship Buddy program. This buddy program facilitates international students’ initial contact with Taiwanese students and helps them adjust to life in new a cultural environment.

Housing and Meals

Students are usually housed in 3 or 4-person occupancy rooms in residence halls on campus. There are no kitchens in the student residences. Students are provided with a stipend for 19 meals per week.

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 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


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


ISEP-required health and repatriation insurance ($90/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 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 2017.  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.