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 $100 application fee and a $325 placement 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.
- Print out your MSSU transcript on Lionet and bring it to Dr. Stebbins, who will scan it in and upload it to your online ISEP application.
- Write a Personal Statement essay of 300-500 words (see instructions on ISEP form).
- Ask an MSSU faculty member to submit an academic reference for you. You will provide the professor's name and email address on your online application.
- 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 on ISEP-Exchange. To determine the chances of placement, use the "Find a Program" search feature. You will have to type in Missouri Southern State University as your home university. Click on More Filters, then ISEP Exchange, then select Excellent or Very Good, then Apply Filters. 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.
- You will be expected to attend an orientation session for MSSU students spending a semester abroad either in May or December.