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Off-Campus Study

ISEP at Wroclaw University in Poland


Our first ISEP university in Poland, Wroclaw University, invites to students to discover the intriguing aspects of Polish life in one of Central Europe’s most beautiful cities.

Students may choose from a variety of courses taught in English grouped into three areas: Humanities and Social Sciences (especially focus on Polish and Central European studies), Natural Sciences, and Material Technology. Schedules and course descriptions are available online. Polish language courses are also offered at all levels. 

Situated at the foot of the Sudety Mountains, upon the Odra River and cut through by its numerous tributaries and canals, it is easy to explore Wroclaw’s museums, galleries, monuments, and festivals. The medieval city center with the Market Square and the City Hall, which date back to 14th and 15th centuries, remains the heart of the city, but the other face of Wroclaw boasts a modern center of science, business, and industry. One-sixth of the population attends university, so student activities are abundant throughout the city. Krakow, Berlin, Prague, Budapest, Vienna, Minsk, Lvov, and Vilnius a few hours away by train.

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


Program Type



Wroclaw, Poland

Languages of Instruction


Program Dates

Fall 2018: Beginning of October to End of January (Note: Not best fit for Lake Forest students)

Spring 2019: mid-February to End of June

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


Early departure for fall term may be possible. Please contact the ISEP coordinator of the host country for more information.


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.  


ISEP Exchange chance of placement for US and International students are generally Good.


Wroclaw is located at the crossroads of the major routes of Central Europe and is only a few hours away by train from Berlin, Prague, Budapest, and Vienna, as well as Minsk, Lvov, Vilnius. Wroclaw was founded in the 10th century and is one of the oldest cities in Poland with a long and rich history. In the following centuries, it was ruled at various times by the Germans, Bohemians, and Prussians. The relics of the past intertwine with the present giving the City a unique, multicultural character. Nowhere else in Poland can one encounter such a mixture of nationalities, dominated mainly by active young people. Map it on Google!


Wroclaw University is a vibrant research and study institution with 40,000 students, in an undiscovered gem of a city located in the heart of southwest Poland. With a modern, metropolitan cultural scene, historic buildings and dazzling architecture, Wroclaw is bound to become a major tourist destination in the coming years. Discover it now for yourself! Fields offering courses in English include humanities and social sciences, natural sciences and technology. Polish courses are also offered at all levels for the adventurous language learner!

Key courses for ISEP students are Interdisciplinary Studies in English. Students may choose from a variety of subjects grouped into three areas: Humanities and Social Sciences, Natural Sciences, Material Technology. Schedules and course descriptions are available online.

If you are interested in science programs (Chemistry, Biotechnology, Physics - please contact the host institution coordinator first and ask about possibility to join classes with Bachelor/Master program students).

We do not offer classes in Computer Science and Biology taught in English. Only individual projects with academic supervisor is possible in those study fields.


Academic Calendar
The Polish Academic Year runs in two semesters; the first semester runs from approximately late September to late January, with a one month winter break. The Spring semester runs from February/March until the end of June. Exams are taken over a period of a few weeks at the end of the semester depending on faculty. 

Number of classes typical student takes per term: 4-7
Number of hours per week typical student spends in class: 10-20
Number of weeks per term: 17 weeks  



Courses Taught in English 



Students do not need any previous knowledge of Polish, provided they find enough courses to fill their requirements. For students with a good knowledge of Polish and the appropriate prerequisites, the whole range of courses offered by the university is available. Courses taught in English are offered through the Interdisciplinary studies in English program. 

Polish language courses (beginning through advanced levels) are organized by School of Polish Language and Culture and are included in ISEP benefits. Students will arrive two weeks before the semester begins for orientation and an intensive course of Polish language and culture. Polish language classes meet for 1.5 hours twice a week during the semester.


Bachelor courses in English may be limited depending on overall student interest. This especially applies to courses in business and tourism.


Students applying to Wroclaw should anticipate being flexible with courses. Most course schedules for the upcoming academic year may not be available at the time of application and students should select courses from previous semester, as most courses will be offered again in subsequent semesters. Students who absolutely need a course while abroad should indicate this on their application.


Generally courses can be found by going to the “International” tab on the home page. Students may browse through courses on the Bachelors and Masters level, as well as “Other Courses” and Interstudies.

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

In 1702, the Austrian emperor Leopold I founded a small Jesuit academy in Wroclaw called Leopoldina, after its founder. In 1811, the Academy merged with the Protestant Viadrina University, which was moved to Wroclaw from Frankfurt (Oder), to form the Universitatis Literarum Vratislaviensis. The Wroclaw University is a State University under the supervision of the Ministry of Education. The University conducts teaching and research activities in all main academic fields. 42,680 students are taught and supervised by almost 1,815 members of academic staff. 



Two weeks before the semester begins, you have an opportunity to take part in an Intensive Course of Polish Language and Culture, which is free of charge for all exchange students. Then, during the orientation days, you get knowledge about the university, the city and have a chance to meet volunteers from ’2Wroclaw” group, the other exchange students and your tutor.


Wroclaw is home to myriad international students. Students often cook with each other in the dorms and the city offers students opportunities to go to the movies, dancing, shopping or sight-seeing. The cities proximity to other cities and countries also provides easy access for weekend travel, either with friends or on a school-sponsored excursion.

Housing and Meals

ISEP students are housed in double rooms with a private bathroom and kitchenette in student hostels. A monthly stipend is provided for meals which can be used at nearby student cafeterias, restaurants, or shops for groceries. 

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 Wroclaw University includes orientation, on-site director, host university fees, Polish language courses, 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

*Exchange students who apply by stated deadlines may be eligible for up to $750 airfare award 


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 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, 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


“I absolutely LOVED Wroclaw! There is a lot to do in the city and it’s very easy to get around. The people at the international office were very nice and helpful. I found it very easy to get acclimated, especially with the Polish tutor that helped me get a cell phone, show me around, and introduce me to the other exchange students. I had the best time of my life in Wroclaw. I made life-long friends from all over the world, traveled to 8 different countries, and had amazing experiences I will never forget.” -Laura Ann Scieszka, Marshall University