Your most affordable option
SSU students wanting to spend a semester abroad should consider the International Student Exchange Program (ISEP) first. While MSSU’s partner universities are another viable option, they sometimes cost a little more – especially if you have to pay the other university directly for housing or find your own accommodations. The benefit of ISEP is that you will pay MSSU tuition, room and board (note that there is a $395 application fee, which the partner universities do not charge).
Please note the distinction between ISEP-Exchange and ISEP-Direct. With ISEP-Exchange, you pay MSSU tuition, room and board. With ISEP-Direct, you pay the other university directly for your tuition, room and board. In nearly every case, ISEP-Direct will cost you substantially more than you would pay at MSSU. While many universities will be listed as both ISEP-Exchange and ISEP-Direct, these institutions have a very limited number of Exchange placements available. The main advantage of ISEP-Direct is that chances of placement are usually excellent for qualified applicants, so you and a friend could study together. But if cost is a factor, you should look at all the ISEP-Exchange universities first.
ISEP: How to Apply
- ISEP must have the online applications by Feb. 15 for Fall semester and Sept. 1 for Spring semester. Email Dr. Stebbins if you have questions.
- The online application can be found here under Apply.
- You must have a minimum GPA of 2.75.
- Request an official transcript from the MSSU Registrar’s office to include with the application. ISEP needs a transcript from each college/university you have attended, so you need to plan ahead and contact any other colleges to have them send the transcript to the MSSU Institute of International Studies. All transcripts are submitted with the application and fee.
- Write a Personal Statement essay of 300-500 words (see instructions on ISEP form).
- Submit one academic reference completed by a university-level professor or academic advisor.
- Submit the identification page of your passport.
- On the Host Site Request List, select 3-10 ISEP member institutions where you would like to study. Check here to make sure your requested host universities are still available. Complete a Course Request List for each institution you have chosen.
After your application has been submitted:
- You should receive your placement packet within eight weeks from the day your application arrives at ISEP. Sometimes the process takes longer because of issues to be resolved or because the host institution needs additional time to review your application.
- ISEP will notify the MSSU coordinator once the student’s PPAF Packet (Participant Placement Acceptance Forms) is available on the coordinator portion of the ISEP website. The MSSU coordinator will notify each student of his/her placement and make arrangements to go over the PPAF packet once it is made available. PPAF packets must be signed and faxed back to ISEP within about seven days of notification.
- You will be expected to attend an orientation session for MSSU students spending a semester abroad either in May or December.