Return to the search form Return to your search results

ISEP France

Fast Facts

Sessions Offered:

Fall, Spring, Summer, Academic Year


Aix-en-Provence, France
Amiens, France
Angers, France
Besançon, France
Caen, France
Chambéry, France
Grenoble, France
Le Havre, France
Lille, France
Lyon, France
Le Mans, France
Montpellier, France
Nantes, France
Nice, France
Pointe-à-Pitre (Guadeloupe), France Rennes, France
Saint-Étienne, France
Schoelcher (Martinique), France
St. Claude (Guadeloupe), France
St. Denis (La Réunion), France




- UI student with 2.75 GPA or above

- Good academic and disciplinary standing

- At least 4 semesters of French required for most locations

Application Due:

- Fall Semester 1/30

- Spring Semester 8/15

Program Cost:

Click the Application tab.

equestrian statue with castle in the background

Lyon, France

ISEP offers exchange and direct-enrollment programs at 16 universities in metropolitan France as well as three universities in France's overseas departments. Please visit ISEP's website to learn more about these programs in France, the French Antilles, or La Réunion. The ISEP universities are in major cities around France.

These programs are incredibly immersive, affordable, and diverse, but they are not for everyone and placement is never guaranteed. Students should be relatively mature, independent, and open to learning in an immersive environment.
All ISEP program sites have an on-site ISEP coordinator and a comprehensive orientation program to help facilitate your full immersion into your host culture. You will participate in regular university classes – taught by local professors – with students from the host culture. You will essentially be directly enrolled in the host institution and will have complete access to all campus facilities as if you were a local student. If you are interested in ISEP possibilities, please make an appointment with the Study Abroad advisor for this region by calling 319-335-0353.

ISEP Exchange vs ISEP Direct

At certain sites, ISEP has two enrollment options: ISEP Exchange and ISEP Direct. In an ISEP Exchange, a UI student goes to an ISEP university and a student from another ISEP university comes to UI. UI students pay UI tuition, fees, and room and board, while the costs of their attendance at the host university are paid by an outbound ISEP exchange student. The number of inbound students accepted will be tied to the number of outbound students a university sends, so placements can be limited on ISEP Exchange. On ISEP Direct, a UI student pays a program fee established by their host university to directly enroll, and there is no exchange of students. However, ISEP Direct options are more limited. If you would like to discuss which program model is a better fit for your needs, please make an appointment to meet with a study abroad advisor by calling 319-335-0353.

ISEP Direct options are available at U. Savoie (academic year, semester, or summer) and U. Montpellier (academic year or semester). These programs focus on language and culture and are most appropriate for students at the beginning or intermediate levels.

If you wish to participate in ISEP Direct's summer program at U. Savoie, please visit Université de Savoie Summer Program.


student studying with books and computers

A student studying in France

For students at the beginning and intermediate levels of French, several of the ISEP universities offer language and culture-focused programs where students can study the language intensively.

Students with advanced French skills can enroll directly in university classes along with French students, and choose from a variety of subject areas, including Humanities, Social Science, Arts, Business, Engineering, and Science. Students should prepare to be academically flexible, as it can be difficult to get firm academic information (course schedules, syllabi, etc.) in advance from French universities.

ISEP Summer

Most of the ISEP France locations are for semester-long or year-long enrollment only. There is one summer ISEP Direct program in France. The focus of the program is French language study. If you want to learn more about ISEP Direct's summer program at Université de Savoie, please visit Université de Savoie Summer Program.


The Fall semester typically runs from late August to mid-December. The Spring semester typically runs from mid-January to early June.

Navigate to the "Application" tab for information about application deadlines.

For more information

Steps to Studying Abroad

  1. Before initiating an application with ISEP, students must complete a Discover Study Abroad session at the University of Iowa. 
  2. After completing the Discover Abroad session, students must call the Study Abroad office at 319-335-0353 to be assigned to the appropriate study abroad advisor.
  3. Once assigned, students must meet with their study abroad advisor to receive program application instructions.

Study Abroad
1111 University Capitol Centre
Iowa City, IA 52242

Phone: 319-335-0353


two students skiing

Skiing in France

France is a country rich in culture and history. The range of over a dozen ISEP host universities represent the diversity of the country, from the coast of Brittany to the heights of the Alps to the island departments of Guadeloupe, Martinique, and La Réunion. Students who choose ISEP Exchange should be prepared to be flexible as to their placement location. You can read the list of ISEP France locations in the "Fast Facts" section.

US Department of State Country Information

The US Department of State provides safety and security information for every country of the world to help you assess for yourself the risks of travel. Each country information page contains a Travel Advisory, Alerts, and other important details specific to that country that could affect you.

Pay close attention to the entry and exit requirements, local laws and customs, health conditions, and other details to help decide whether traveling to any given country is right for you. Non-US citizen travelers may also wish to seek guidance from the embassy of their country of citizenship. The UI International Travel Policy for Students addresses restrictions on student travel to high-risk locations and engagement in high-risk activities abroad.

Housing and Meals

student cooking on a hotplate

A student preparing a meal in a residence hall (meal options will vary by host university)

According to the University of Iowa's contract with ISEP, all students will have both housing and meals provided for them at their host university. To view specific housing and meal arrangement, please visit ISEP's pages for France, the French Antilles, or La Réunion.

Travel Arrangements

Students are advised NOT to purchase airline tickets until they receive acceptance confirmation from the host university. If you have questions and/or concerns about this, please contact the study abroad advisor at 319-335-0353.

Students are expected to find their own flights, though Study Abroad can assist by providing advice on airfare. More information on flights and arrival times will be provided by the host university with the acceptance packet.

Local Transportation

two students on a train, one looking out the window, the other consulting a guidebook

Traveling by train

Check out this Lonely Planet guide on in-country travel in France.


the coast of France at Nice with a boat in the foreground

Nice, France

This program is open to all UI students who are in both good academic and disciplinary standing. Applicants must also meet the minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75.

Meeting the minimum requirements for eligibility does NOT guarantee acceptance into the program. The final decision on admissions rests with ISEP and the host institution. Chances of placement for students seeking to go to France are generally good on ISEP Exchange but are never guaranteed.

Eligibility Policy

It is the University of Iowa’s policy that all students who study abroad must be in both good academic standing and also good disciplinary standing. Students who, even after being accepted into a program, are put on either academic and/or disciplinary probation for any period of time overlapping with the study abroad program dates are ineligible to study abroad.

In these cases, students must forfeit their acceptance and will NOT be allowed to study abroad. Any student that must forfeit their acceptance and/or attendance on a study abroad program due to a probationary status is wholly responsible for any and all financial expenses incurred.

Language Requirements

Most ISEP France locations will require at least four semesters of college-level French (or equivalent). U. Nice and INSA Lyon require six semesters of college-level French (or equivalent).


two students eating pastries

Students eating French pastries

The cost sheet (forthcoming) outlines the total estimated costs associated with participating in this program and can be used for financial aid purposes. It includes fees charged on students’ U-Bill, as well as out-of-pocket expenses. Actual out-of-pocket expenses will vary from individual to individual. Quoted estimates are conservatively high, yet realistic.

The cost sheet includes the Study Abroad Administrative Fee and Mandatory Iowa Regents CISI Travel Insurance. Please see the respective websites for further details. If the fee is inclusive of UI tuition, it is calculated by Current Tuition. Please contact your study abroad advisor with questions regarding this cost sheet – call 319-335-0353 to schedule an appointment.

Cost Sheet

PDFISEP Direct: Universite de Savoie Mont Blanc, Summer 2022

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Most financial aid (scholarships, grants, and loans) is applicable to study abroad programs. Please check the Study Abroad website for information on financial aid and how it may be applied to studying abroad. You are also encouraged to speak with someone at the Office of Student Financial Aid to explore financial aid options.

Scholarship Opportunities exist for study abroad participants. Please explore Study Abroad’s websites for UI Study Abroad Scholarship Opportunities, and Non-UI External Awards.

How to Apply

Rennes city center with old buildings

Rennes, France

Please meet with a study abroad advisor before beginning your application.

Click here for UI's online study abroad application. On the application page, you need to choose your desired session. Then choose the program "International Student Exchange Program" from the drop down menu. Do NOT choose "International Student Exchange Direct" even if that's what you want. Once confirmed from ISEP, Study Abroad will manually put you in the appropriate section.

Note: students must fill out two applications. In addition to UI's online study abroad application, you will also be required to fill out ISEP's application. BEFORE applying to ISEP, students MUST make an appointment with the study abroad advisor for this program. Students will not be allowed to apply unless they are first nominated by the University of Iowa. Please call 319-335-0353 to schedule an appointment.

Application Deadline

Spring Semester: 8/15. For best chances of placement on Exchange, students should have met with the ISEP advisor in May prior to the end of the semester, or during the summer.

Fall Semester and Academic Year: 1/30. For best chances of placement on Exchange, students should have met with the ISEP advisor in December prior to the end of the semester.

Any supplemental materials are due to the Study Abroad office one week later.

Acceptance Materials

After submission of your UI online application, you will be invited to fill out an ISEP application. This is a lengthy process and needs to be started well ahead of the University of Iowa's deadline (at least a month prior). The University of Iowa is required to submit your completed ISEP application (ISEP will not accept it if it is sent by you). When ISEP has reviewed your application and made a placement, they will notify you and your Study Abroad advisor.

You will then be either confirmed or denied by the host university. If confirmed, then you will receive your initial acceptance materials via e-mail from ISEP and your host university. You will then meet with your Study Abroad advisor to receive the remaining portion of your acceptance packet.

Health & Safety Planning

In addition to submitting their Confirmation of Participation form, students should review the following:

Study Abroad Resources

Passports and Visas

Iowa Regents CISI Health Insurance Information

Students are also encouraged to complete the PDFHealth Preparation Guide for International Travel form with their medical practitioner. This document is intended to help you plan for your medical needs abroad. Please DO NOT turn this form in to UI Study Abroad.

Orientation Information

group of students on a beach facing away from the camera with their arms on each other's shoulders

Students in Caen, France

You will have two separate orientations — one at the University of Iowa before your departure and another upon your arrival in France at your host university. Each orientation varies at the host university. Please see ISEP's website, search for French universities, and choose a specific program to find more information.

ISEP Student Handbooks

There are no photos available for this program yet. Do you have any photos to share with us? If you do, please contact us at:

1111 University Capitol Centre
The University of Iowa
Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1802

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