Apply to ISEP

For exchange programs, apply by February 15 for a fall exchange and September 1 for a spring exchange. Direct programs have varying deadlines depending on the program. To ensure best chances of placement, you must complete the application by the priority deadline (see Coordinator).

ISEP Exchange Students

If you have missed the priority deadline, talk to program staff about sites still open for placement or plan to apply for the next placement cycle.

Application Eligibility Requirements

To apply, students must:

  • Be currently enrolled full-time at CMU

  • Have a minimum 2.75 GPA

  • Have completed at least two semesters of university-level coursework (minimum of 24 credits)

  • Please note, some programs require a junior standing and/or a 3.0 GPA or higher.

Application Process

Preparing to participate in a study abroad can be a lengthy process. By planning ahead and completing each of the steps below, you will have the best chance of being offered your top choice placement and having an enjoyable experience. Contact program staff at with any questions about the application process.

  • Browse the ISEP website and/or attend an information session with the ISEP Coordinator.

  • Which option - Exchange or Direct makes sense for you?
  • Questions to consider include:

    • What languages do you speak, if any?
    • What countries most interest you?
    • Would you prefer a rural or urban setting?
    • Are you exited about living in a country with a vastly different culture than in the US, or would you be more successful in a placement with more cultural similarities to the US?
  • Search for a program by your field of study, desired country, language of study, semester you wish to study abroad, etc.

  • Studying abroad for a semester or a year will be a life-changing experience. It is important to plan ahead and work with your advisor on how studying abroad fits into your degree completion plan.

  • View the sites open for U.S. applications and chances of placement by using ISEP's Program Finder.
  • Narrow down the countries/sites you are considering, and read ISEP's country handbooks to learn more about the political and cultural aspects of each country. Also read the country information provided by the US State Department to be well informed of any safety considerations.
  • Choose the top three or four programs you are most interested in. You may request up to ten sites, but generally three to four is sufficient, as long as you have chosen at least one site with a "good" or "excellent" chance of placement.
  • Aim for quality over quantity in your list of requested sites - choose sites that are academically appropriate and carefully prepare your course request lists.
  • Make sure you understand the difference between Exchange Placements and Direct Placements, as there are differences in costs and the process you will go through.
  • Apply for a passport or renew your existing passport. Your passport should be valid for at least 6 months after the end of your exchange program.
  • Learn more about the placement process here.
  • Applications are reviewed by ISEP after the application deadline.
  • Generally, you should receive your placement packet within 2-6 weeks from the day you submit your application (on or after ISEP's priority deadline).
  • ISEP forwards student applications to the prospective host university for confirmation.
  • Your acceptance package will include an institutional information sheet (IIS) about the host institution where you have been placed. It is important to read through this carefully.
  • The process is complete when you make a commitment to the program. You will review the terms of your placement, accept your placement and enroll is ISEP health insurance.
  • Please review ISEP Terms and Conditions regarding your acceptance terms.

Make final preparations

Notify the home Coordinator if you have any concerns while abroad. While your host Coordinator should be able to assist you with most of your concerns, it is important to stay in touch with the home Coordinator as well.