• <div style="background-image:url(/live/image/gid/60/width/1600/height/300/crop/1/29999_6856950268_ed6442d1ca_o.rev.1450805264.jpg)"/>
  • <div style="background-image:url(/live/image/gid/60/width/1600/height/300/crop/1/29122_10401981_1004028349629458_8008107117841765376_n.rev.1446045049.jpg)"/>
  • <div style="background-image:url(/live/image/gid/60/width/1600/height/300/crop/1/29997_13537953983_5cff365fc4_o.rev.1450805192.jpg)"/>
  • <div style="background-image:url(/live/image/gid/60/width/1600/height/300/crop/1/29998_8071086937_683d5a422f_o.rev.1450805230.jpg)"/>

Study Abroad and Domestic Study Away

ISEP at Universidad de Monterrey in Mexico


While Mexican culture may seem somewhat familiar, truly knowing it and understanding it occurs through immersion. You can buy guacamole anywhere, but why not shop for the ingredients in the local outdoor market and have your Mexican host mom show you how it’s made? You may have learned about the day of the dead in your Spanish textbook, but why not experience it in the flesh? 

Not only will you get to know Mexican culture and improve your Spanish skills, but visiting our friendly neighbor to the south will allow you to know a country that plays an important role in U.S. politics and policy. Ancient ruins, colonial architecture, delicious cuisine, and beautiful beaches are all reasons to go to Mexico, but the rich culture and warmth of the people are what makes you want to stay. 

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 the Universidad de Monterrey here! Read the ISEP Country Handbook to learn more about visa requirements, educational system, and culture.

There is a current State Department Travel Warning to Monterrey, and so it is possible that students may not be approved to participate in this program until it is lifted. We strongly urge students to consider back-up options in alternative locations.

Nuevo Leon: Monterrey is a major city/travel destination in Nuevo Leon – Exercise caution in the state of Nuevo Leon. Although the level of organized crime-related violence and general insecurity in Monterrey has decreased dramatically within the last two years, sporadic incidents of violence have occurred. Security services in and around Monterrey are robust and have proven responsive and effective in combating violent crimes; however, instances of violence remain a concern in the more remote regions of the state. U.S. government personnel and their dependents may travel outside the city of Monterrey only during daylight hours on toll roads, and must return to the city of San Pedro Garza Garcia municipal boundaries to abide by a curfew of 1 a.m. and 6 a.m., except for travel to the airport after 5 a.m.


Program Type



San Pedro Garza Garcia, Mexico

Languages of Instruction

Spanish, English - Depending on what option you choose: 0-3 semesters of university-level Spanish or equivalent required

Program Dates

Fall 2018: Early August to mid-December

Spring 2019: Early January to Late May

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.  
  • Option 1: ISEP Exchange-Regular University CoursesLanguage Requirement: A minimum of 3 semesters of university-level Spanish or the equivalent must be completed prior to the program. 

  • Option 2: ISEP Exchange-Spanish as a Foreign Language Courses and Regular University Courses Taught in English: Language Requirement: No prior Spanish is required to enroll in this option. Students with 0 to 2 semesters of university-level Spanish or the equivalent may only participate in this option.

  • Students must submit ISEP language proficiency report in 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.

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


UDEM is located in San Pedro Garza Garcia, a friendly, safe, and prosperous suburb of 126,000 inhabitants, which is part of the metropolitan area of Monterrey, the state capital of Nuevo León. Monterrey lies in a valley surrounded by majestic mountains about 250 km south of the border with Texas and 1,000 km north of Mexico City. Monterrey is Mexico’s third-largest city and one of the nation’s most important industrial, financial, and business centers. 

It is also home to a thriving artistic community, various museums, theaters, concert halls, a symphony orchestra, a ballet company, and prominent sports teams. The barrio Antiguo, the old quarters, with its many restaurants, pubs, bars, discotheques, and vibrant nightlife, is a favorite student hangout on the weekends.


Universidad de Monterrey offers a unique model of liberal arts education that includes co curricular activities, integrated internships, and social service and volunteering opportunities. UDEM is located in Monterrey, the third largest city in Mexico and an industrial and business center in Latin America. Numerous cultural and academic activities are organized during the semester providing an excellent opportunity to immerse in Mexican life and culture.

Regular class attendance is required in order to receive credit (only a limited number of absences are allowed). 

Students generally enroll in four to six courses per semester and spend 12-18 hours a week in class. Semesters are 16 weeks in length.



Option 1: ISEP Exchange-Regular University Courses (Spanish)

Art, Architecture, and Design (architecture, fine arts, interior design, industrial design, graphic design, textile & fashion design); Engineering(industrial engineering, mechanical engineering, mechatronics, computer technology, animation and special effects); Business (accounting, business administration, economics, human resources, international commerce, international finance, international marketing, international tourism); Education and Humanities(communication, education, humanities, psycho-pedagogy, sociology, philosophy); Health Sciences (biomedical engineering, medicine, psychology, dentistry); Law and Social Sciences (international studies, law, political science & public administration); Graduate Programs (business administration, corporate law, education, graphic design, humanities, industrial & systems engineering, information systems engineering, organizational development, product engineering, quality control management); Research Centers (historical studies, business development, innovation on packaging design, bilingual education, border & migratory studies, interdisciplinary studies [education quality & overcoming poverty], well-being, urbanism, architecture and sustainable design, border & migratory studies

Option 2: ISEP Exchange-Spanish as a Foreign Language Courses and Regular University Courses Taught in English

Spanish as a Foreign Language classes is offered at three different levels (Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced). This class may be combined with an increasing number of courses taught in English to complete a full course load.


An increasing number of courses taught in English are offered each semester. Please contact UDEM for the current list of classes or visit this link



1. Click on Course Information
2. Click on catálogo de cursos. After arriving to the next page, click on the link to the catálogo de cursos and a PDF document with available courses will begin to download.


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.

Experiential Opportunities

Community-service placements and internships can be arranged. Please let UDEM know beforehand if you want to do an internship and in what area so they can help you find a placement. 

Medicine students may complete hospital observations or hospital rotations with physicians at local hospitals. An additional fee may apply, and interested students should have an intermediate level of the Spanish language. Ask your ISEP Coordinator to contact the Program Officer for Mexico for additional details.

Student Life

Universidad de Monterrey (UDEM) was founded in 1969 by a group of representatives from five Catholic orders, local business people, professionals, and educators with the goal of building an institution of higher learning based on Christian beliefs and tradition, humanistic values and ideals, and social consciousness and awareness. Since then, UDEM has forged a reputation as one of the finest private universities in Mexico, attracting students from across the country. UDEM is recognized as its concept of holistic education (formation integral), standards of academic excellence, and community service commitment. The university is accredited in the United States by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). 



ISEP Students will participate in a special orientation program where they will receive academic, cultural and practical information along with integration activities. Students will have opportunities to ask questions and resolve problems. 

Airport pickup is available if arranged in advance.


UDEM offers a variety of clubs and activities. The I-link program assigns “international buddies” to interested students. The I-link program also regularly plans excursions and outings.

Housing and Meals

UDEM offers exchange students two different options: on-campus housing and off-campus housing. Students must decide the option they want by the time they send their application. Students who choose on-campus housing will have a place ready for them upon arrival and will receive a stipend to purchase meals. Students who choose off-campus housing will receive a stipend to cover room and board. Accommodations for married student housing can be made.

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 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 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.