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Lancaster University Exchange

Fast Facts

Sessions Offered:

Fall, Spring, Academic Year


Lancaster, United Kingdom




• Clear Interest and Commitment

• Demonstrated Preparedness/Maturity

• Minimum 3.0 GPA (flexible, depending on circumstances)

• Good academic and disciplinary standing

• Sophomore, Junior, or Senior standing at the time of application

• Acceptance by host institution

Application Due:

March 21 for Fall 2017 and Academic year 2017-2018

Program Cost:

Check the 'Costs' section under the Application tab.

The reciprocal exchange programs between the University of Iowa and Lancaster University in Lancaster, England, allows undergraduate students to spend a semester or academic year fully integrated with their British peers in student housing and attending regular classes.

Under the reciprocal exchange agreement, University of Iowa students pay their regular UI tuition and fees to participate in this program. Room and board is comparable to Iowa costs in the Mayflower residence hall. Added expenses include airfare, a UI administrative fee, and similar costs as described in the Costs section of our website.

Before you get started, learn more about life at Lancaster, and take a look at Lancaster's study abroad brochure.

Academic Program

Lancaster offers a huge variety courses that can be applied to nearly any University of Iowa major, minor, certificate, general education, or general elective requirement. Popular area of study include:

What classes can I take?

You can find a full list of Lancaster’s course options using the Study Abroad Course Handbook.

Students earn 12 semester hours for the fall semester, and 16 semester hours for the spring semester.

The British Grading System

As a study abroad student, you are required to undertake the same form of assessment as the local students do in order to earn transfer credit at the University of Iowa.

The grading system in the U.K. is significantly different from the U.S. system. Grades are given as 'marks', and a score of 60% is typically considered a high mark. UI does not convert British marks into U.S. letter grades. While you WILL receive academic credit for the courses you take in the U.K., you will NOT receive a typical A-F grade.

However, this does not mean that you are taking courses on a Pass/Fail basis . In order to receive credit for the course, you must receive a passing grade in the British system and, in the future, when official transcripts of your college work are requested, you will need to provide both an Iowa transcript and the British academic record – your British grades will be clear and will influence future scholarship application and graduate school admissions decisions.


Lancaster will send Fall semester transcripts to the University of Iowa by the end of February, and Spring semester/Academic Year transcripts to the University of Iowa by the end of July.

Students can expect their grades to be applied to their UI grade reports within 2-3 months after they arrive to the University of Iowa.

Cultural Activities

The Lancaster University Students Union organizes event and excursions throughout the academic year, and is home to many clubs and societies that makes meeting British students easy.

Program Dates

Dates for the Fall 2017 session: (Dates are subject to change)

September 30, 2017- Arrival/Program Begins
September 30 - October 6 - Orientation/Course Enrollment period
October 9 - December 15- Fall classes in session
December 15, 2017- Fall session ends

Dates for the Spring 2018 session: (Dates are subject to change)

January 9, 2018- Arrival/Program Begins
January 9 - January 12 - Orientation/Course Enrollment period
January 15 - March 23- Spring classes in session
March 24 - April 22- Easter Break
April 23- June 29- Spring classes in session
June 29, 2018- Spring session ends

For More Information

Cory Petersen, Senior Advisor and Program Coordinator
Study Abroad | International Programs
1111 University Capitol Centre
Iowa City, IA 52242-1802

Phone: 319-335-0353
Fax: 319-335-0343

Lancaster University

Founded in 1961, Lancaster University’s academic focus areas include natural sciences, business, humanities, social sciences, and technology. It currently enrolls over 12,000 students, and is situated on a beautiful 360 acre parkland site just three miles from the city center. Lancaster is one of only a handful of UK universities to have a 'collegiate' system for housing and social support... a bit like Hogwarts!

Lancaster University is located on the periphery of the city, and is surrounded by farms and the countryside. It is a short 15 minute bus ride into the city center. There is also a biking path to the city that many students use.


Lancaster, a city of 130,000 people, is located in northwest England, three miles from the ocean and short bus ride from the idyllic scenery and market towns of the Lake District. The annual Lancaster Jazz Festival, Lancaster Castle, Priory Church of St. Mary, along with dozens of theatres, music venues, museums, and the city’s unique architecture give Lancaster the feeling of a small but thriving modern city with plenty of living connections to England’s rich history. A quick train ride to Manchester, a city of over 500,000, offers even more things to do in the area.

Lancaster’s city center is small enough to explore on foot and there are regular bus services linking it with the campus. It is on a major north-south rail line making travel to other parts of English and Scotland convenient.

United Kingdom

The 'United Kingdom' (UK) refers to the four countries of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. This is in contrast to another common name, 'Great Britain', which excludes Northern Ireland. The UK Exchange program offers exchange with universities in England and Scotland. Life and culture in the UK is different from that in the US. Experiencing this rich tradition is what the UK Exchanges are all about!

Some quick general facts about the UK:

• The UK uses the British Pound as its currency.

• Communication from the UK is easy. Cell phones are relatively inexpensive, the internet is easily accessible, and post offices are plentiful.

• British food is unique! Try fish and chips, bangers 'n mash, steak pie, Indian curry,'neeps and tatties, haggis and more!

• The UK is a relatively safe environment. Police are helpful and visible. Emergency services are reliable. Pharmacies, called 'Chemists', are common and carry a wide variety of medicine and other essentials.

• The UK has a temperate climate, influenced by the ocean that surrounds it. It is never too hot in the summer nor too cold in the winter. Rain is common most of the year. Make sure to take plenty of warm clothes and waterproof shoes.

Living Arrangements

Lancaster University offers accommodation in student housing. Housing at Lancaster is organized by 'colleges', which are social units, not related to academics (think Hogwarts!). Each college is unique and there is healthy competition among them. Each college usually has its own dining hall and pub, and social events are frequent. This type of living arrangement helps a study abroad student integrate quickly and makes the transition to a new university easier.

You can find more information about the housing options at Lancaster on the university's Accomodation page.

Student housing in the UK tends to resemble the style of Mayflower Residence hall, with 4-6 students sharing a 'flat' with common kitchen and bathroom facilities and individual rooms, however variations to this style do occur. Meals can be cooked in the flat, or purchased at cafeterias.

Travel Arrangements

Students will make their own travel arrangement with support from the Study Abroad office and the International Student office at Lancaster.

Local Transportation

Lancaster features a good city bus system with frequent trips between the campus and the city center. There is also a bicycle path available.

In general, travel within the United Kingdom is very well organized. Busses, and taxis (and subway systems in larger cities) make getting around town quick and easy. Trains and busses also interconnect every city in Britain, making inter-city travel easy, fairly cheap and as quick as possible. You are never far from interesting places such as London or Ireland. Ferries and bargain airlines also allow you to reach many destinations in mainland Europe very inexpensively.


The Lancaster University Exchange program is open to students of all majors who fulfill the following requirements:

  • Clear interest and commitment- Students must demonstrate a clear academic or personal interest in the program’s subject matter, and a commitment to engage responsibly in coursework abroad.
  • Preparedness and Maturity- Students must demonstrate preparedness to take on the heightened responsibilities associated with international study and travel. Students must demonstrate a commitment to behave responsibility abroad while respecting cultural differences. Students are expected to obey both local laws and program directives conveyed to participants before and during the program. The University of Iowa Code of Student Life applies to all program participants while abroad.
  • Minimum 3.0 cumulative G.P.A.- Students must have at minimum 3.0 cumulative G.P.A. to participate in this program.
  • Good academic and disciplinary standing- Students must be in good academic and disciplinary standing at the University of Iowa. Students placed on either academic or disciplinary probation for any period of time overlapping with the study abroad program dates are ineligible to study abroad on a University of Iowa program. Academic and disciplinary history will also be considered when determining whether a student is prepared to represent the University of Iowa as part of this program.
  • Sophomore, junior, or senior standing required- Students must have sophomore, junior, or senior standing at the time the program begins. First year students cannot participate in this program.
  • Approval by U.I. study abroad advisor- A student’s application must be reviewed and approved by their University of Iowa study abroad advisor.
  • Acceptance by host institution- Students must be accepted by their host institution as a temporary visiting student. Acceptance by the host institution is typically automatic for students that have been nominated by their study abroad advisor, but the final acceptance decision is made by the international student office and the sponsoring departments at the host institution based on their own internal requirements.

Application Deadline

Applications for the Spring 2018 will be available by August 2017, and will be due by mid-September 2017.

Applications for the Fall 2017 and Academic Year 2017 - 2018 are due on March 21, 2017.


University of Iowa students pay their regular University of Iowa tuition and mandatory student fees, and then study at our partner university without further tuition payment.

International student orientation, and some cultural activities are provided by the host organization at no additional cost to University of Iowa students.

Students are responsible for paying for all of the following items in addition to their normal University of Iowa tuition and fees.

All fees listed below apply to the Fall 2017 session. Fees for future sessions are subject to change prior to the start of the program. Refer back to this website, or contact your study abroad advisor for more information:

Costs charged to the Ubill in addition to the UI tuition and fees

  • Application fee ($50- charged at the time of application)
  • Study Abroad Administrative Fee (Varies by year. Fees for the 2017-2018 academic year were $400 for Iowa residents, and Iowa non-residents- the Study Abroad Administrative Fee is subject to change- See the Costs of Study Abroad page for more information. Charged shortly before the program begins)
  • CISI health insurance (approx. $103 per semester- charged about three weeks prior to the start of the program)

Costs charged separately from the Ubill

  • Round trip airfare (approximately $1500 from Cedar Rapids- paid by student directly to travel agent or airline- by late spring or early summer)
  • Housing (approx. $2300 per semester, but is variable depending on the specific housing arrangements- charged upon arrival to the U.K.)
  • Housing Deposit (approximately $575 paid by student shortly before departure to the U.K.)
  • Food (approximately $1000 per semester- paid by student at their discretion while abroad)
  • Visa fees (approx. $160 for one semester, or $550 for an academic year- paid by student on arrival to the U.K., or shortly before arrival for an academic year visa
  • U.K. Police Registration fee (approx. $50- paid by student on arrival to the U.K.- only required for the academic year)
  • Immigration Health Surcharge (approx. $250 only for the academic year- paid by student on arrival to the U.K.)
  • Passport (approx. $135- paid by student prior to departure- by mid-May)
  • Textbooks (approx. $350 per semester- paid by student as needed while abroad)
  • Local transportation ($200+ per semester- paid by student as needed while abroad)
  • UK-based Cell Phone (approx. $200 per semester- paid by student at their discretion while abroad)
  • Medical Exam/Immunizations (approx. $50- paid by student as needed prior to departure)
  • Personal expenses ($3000+ per semester- paid by student at their discretion while abroad)

Study Abroad Administrative Fees

University of Iowa study abroad administrative fees are included for all participants. They are based on tuition set by the Iowa Board of Regents. Please check the Costs of Study Abroad page for more information on these administrative fees.

Program cost sheet

The Fall 2017 cost sheet can be found below. A cost sheet detailing all estimated costs for the Spring 2018 will be posted here by mid-fall 2017.

The cost sheet captures the best possible estimate for all costs a participant on this program will be responsible for, including fees paid to U.I. as well as out-of-pocket costs and personal expenses, although actual spending amounts may vary from individual to individual. This information will be provided to the Office of Student Financial Aid to help determine your eligibility for aid for this program.

PDFLancaster University Exchange- Cost Sheet- Fall 2017

How to Apply

Interested students should make an appointment with Cory Petersen, the program coordinator for the Lancaster University exchange, to determine whether this program is a good fit, and discuss the application process.

The application process consists of three steps:

  • Step One- Students must request nomination to Lancaster University by meeting with their study abroad advisor to review the suitability of this program to their academic and personal goals, and by submitting an online application to U.I. Study Abroad. Your study abroad advisor will send you this application by email.
  • Step Two- The U.I. Study Abroad application is reviewed and, if the student meets the requirements for the program and it is determined that the program is a good match for the student, the study abroad advisor nominates them to study at Lancaster.
  • Step Three- Once nominated, the student completes the visiting student application for Lancaster University. This application is reviewed by Lancaster where the final acceptance decision is made.

Applicants are typically notified of their official acceptance status by Lancaster University by late October/early November for the Spring session, and by late March/early April for the following Fall/Academic Year. Occasionally the host university may not make the final acceptance decisions until several weeks later.

Please call the Study Abroad office (1111 University Capitol Centre) at 319-335-0353 for more information, and to set up an appointment, or email Cory with any questions at

Withdrawal Policy

Notice of withdrawal must be made in writing to the Study Abroad office at the University of Iowa. The date on which the letter or e-mail message is received is the date by which your costs will be calculated. If for any reason you withdraw after the confirmation deadline and before or during the course of the program, the amount shown in the following chart represents what you will be required to pay to the University of Iowa (amounts based on Fall 2017 fees- fees may be adjusted for future sessions).

Note: In rare cases of withdrawal due to injury, illness or other significant and verifiable extenuating circumstances, a financial appeal process exists to consider the financial aspects of late withdrawal. Contact your study abroad advisor for more information.

Date of Withdrawal Student Financial Responsibility
Between confirmation and 45 days before program start date $500
Between 44 and 30 days before the program start date $1,000
Between 29 and 15 days before the program start date $2,000
Less than 14 days before the program start date 1) 100% of Study Abroad Course Fees ($400), 100% of U.I. Tuition and Fees

Financial Aid & Scholarships

First Steps

You may be able to use financial aid and scholarships, to cover some of the costs of this program. Take a look at the Financial Aid section of the UI Study Abroad web site for information on applying your aid package to study abroad, and contact the Office of Student Financial Aid to find out what might be available to you.

Applying for Scholarships

Before you apply for any scholarship, please review the Suggestions for Scholarship Applications section of the Study Abroad website for valuable tips on making a successful application!

Help with Scholarship Essays

If you need help writing scholarship essays, please contact the UI Writing Center.

Study Abroad Awards

Please explore the following links for study abroad scholarship opportunities offered through the University of Iowa, and partner organizations:

Awards from organizations outside of the University of Iowa

The following websites offer additional scholarship opportunities. Note that the content of these websites are not reviewed are managed by the University of Iowa.

When searching for financial aid from organizations outside of the University of Iowa, it is best to exercise caution. It is important that you review these tips to avoid scams before you apply!

If you have any questions about funding for study abroad, please contact Cory Petersen at or call the Study Abroad office at 319-335-0353 for an appointment (Monday - Friday, 8:00am - 5:00pm).

Acceptance and Confirmation Materials

After you have reviewed the final cost sheet and you are ready to commit to participating in this program, you will need to complete the following steps:

First, read, download, complete, and return the Confirmation of Participation document, sign it, and submit it to the Study Abroad office no later than Monday, May 1 at 4:59pm.

Please note that if this document is not submitted by the confirmation deadline on Monday, May 1, 2017, your application will be automatically withdrawn and your acceptance rescinded.

Next, download the Healthcare Preparation Guide, and complete it with the help of your doctor. This document should not be submitted to our office.

  • PDF Healthcare Preparation Guide
  • Finally, thoroughly review the following sections of text:

    • Orientation
    • Vaccines and Health/Safety
    • Passport
    • Visa
    • Financial Aid and Scholarships
    • Applying credit toward a UI degree
    • Health Insurance and Continuation of Care
    • Flights
    • Registration
    • Information about England, the city of Lancaster, and Lancaster University


    In order to prepare for your time abroad, you are required by the University of Iowa to complete two orientations. These may be in addition to orientations provided by your on-site provider. See below for more information.

    Online Education Abroad Pre-Departure Orientation

    You are required to complete the International Programs online ‘Education Abroad Pre-Departure Orientation’ course distributed through ICON prior to departure. This orientation is mandatory for all students going abroad under the auspices of the University of Iowa. It covers many practical matters about living overseas, such as health and safety, communication, money, goals and much more. You will be enrolled in this course by International Programs and an email will be sent to you once enrolled. If you have any questions you can email

    Program-Specific Orientation

    This orientation will be facilitated by your study abroad advisor and will cover content specific to your program and host country. It could be conducted in a group setting or one-on-one depending on your type of planned activity abroad. Your study abroad advisor will send you more information about this mandatory in-person session.

    Vaccinations and Health/Safety

    We will address many issues related to health and safety during the orientation sessions, but until then our general advice is that before you go abroad it is best to check with your doctor about any health concerns you have. Take a look at the Centers for Disease Control web site for UK-specific health information and visit either your doctor or the Travel Clinic at UI Student Health & Wellness for any vaccinations you might need.

    Safety, too, is vital to your study abroad experience. While the UK is generally a very safe place, unfortunately safety cannot be guaranteed anywhere. Take a look at the Health and Safety section of the Study Abroad website for some tips on staying safe abroad.

    OCAS - UK: Information from the U.S. Department of State on safety and security abroad. Anyone can subscribe for the free OSAC newsletter to receive international safety news and updates via email.


    US Citizens

    If you do not have a passport, please apply for one soon to ensure you receive it before the program begins. Students who are U.S. citizens can find more information about how to apply for or renew a passport on the U.S. Department of State’s web site.

    Important notice for students without a valid passport, or whose passport will expire within the next 12 months:

    Those without valid passports should apply for a new passport or a passport renewal as early as possible.

    Those with valid passports should check the expiration date. Passports must be valid for at least 6 months AFTER the anticipated return to the U.S. from studying abroad. If your passport is not valid through this time then you will need to renew your passport before applying the visa you will need to enter the UK.

    Expedited processing service is available for U.S. passports (although this still takes several weeks and is at an additional cost). Study Abroad encourages students to ask the passport agency at the time of application whether expedited service is recommended.

    Non-US Citizens

    Students who are not U.S. citizens should contact Cory Petersen for information on how to ensure that their passport is valid for the duration of their time abroad.


    Program participants are required to have a visa to enter the UK. Please contact your study abroad advisor for more information about acquiring the visa you need to enter the country.

    Please note that visas are issued by the British government based on that country's immigration requirements. Currently, the UK’s immigration requirements include considerations related to specific national origin, national heritage, criminal background status, and similar issues that can make it impossible to acquire a visa prior to the start of the program in some cases. Please contact Cory Petersen at for more information.

    Financial Aid & Scholarships

    You can find more information about funding options by clicking on the Application tab above and scrolling to the Financial Aid & Scholarships section toward the bottom of the page.

    If you have any questions about funding for this program, please contact Cory Petersen at or call the Study Abroad office at 319-335-0353 for an appointment (Monday - Friday, 8:00am - 5:00pm).

    Applying credit toward a UI degree

    Unless Study Abroad has an approval on file before your departure for the courses you take abroad to be applied toward a specific major, minor, certificate, or general education requirement, you will receive general elective credit for your course.  If you are hoping to apply the credit you receive for your program course to a major, minor, certificate, or general education requirement, please contact Cory Petersen at for details on the process. 

    Health Insurance and Continuation of Care

    As part of the this program, you will be enrolled in health insurance through Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI).  For more information about CISI, please visit our Health Insurance Information page.

    If you have any current health issues that you might want to receive treatment for while you’re abroad, CISI can help refer you to doctors and develop a continuation of care plan.  If you would like to make arrangements for care while you’re abroad, please contact CISI using the contact information on the site above, or contact Cory Petersen at


    Students will need to make their own travel arrangements to get to their program site- Study Abroad will not be arranging a group flight to your study abroad destination.

    Do not purchase plane tickets until

    • 1) You have received an official offer of acceptance by your host university.
    • 2) You have finalized your housing arrangements abroad.
    • 3) You are aware of the semester start date and move-in date for your accommodations.

    Students will receive contact information for any other program participants about six weeks prior to the start of their program so that they can coordinate travel plans.

    If you need advice on making travel arrangements, please contact Cory Petersen at


    You will need to register for this program on MyUI prior to your departure for the UK. You will receive more information on the registration process from your Study Abroad advisor.

    Information about England, the city of Lancaster, and Lancaster University