International Student Exchange Program

Southwestern sponsors many direct exchanges at an equivalent cost to a semester or year of tuition, room and board at Southwestern. Often, these exchanges require a higher level of language proficiency since the Southwestern student will be directly enrolled in courses at the host institution, rather than in courses designed for study abroad students. Southwestern students retain all Financial Aid except work/study funds and Credit Transfer is facilitated by the home university.


ISEP is an organization comprised of more than 225 higher education institutions around the world, and facilitates reciprocal exchanges between U.S. and foreign institutions. ISEP not only sends US students abroad, but it facilitates the placement of foreign students at US universities for a period of study. Thus, Southwestern benefits not only through the opportunity to send its students abroad, but also to host international students for a year or semester. ISEP provides reciprocity of tuition, fees, room and board throughout the length of the stay. Program costs are based on the cost of these services at the home institution and are paid directly to the home institution. Thus, Southwestern students studying broad with ISEP pay Southwestern tuition and fees. Almost all forms of Financial Aid can be applied toward participation in ISEP.

There are more than 100 ISEP study sites worldwide, including non-traditional sites in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America and the South Pacific. ISEP offers both semester and full-year exchanges. ISEP offers exchanges in almost any field, including technical fields. Whether or not you speak a foreign language, there are many sites to choose from. If, however, you hope to study at an institution where courses are not taught in English, you must demonstrate sufficient proficiency in the language to read textbooks, understand lectures, take part in class discussions and do written work.

ISEP is a total immersion program. In most cases, ISEP participants register along with host country students, and complete the same course requirements. Accordingly, ISEP offers the opportunity to experience an entirely new academic system. The Office of International Programs will help you complete the Credit Transfer process.

For more information on ISEP exchanges visit their website


Southwestern University and its students enjoy the benefits of a long-standing annual student exchange with the Universitat Osnabrueck which is situated in northwestern Germany in the state of Niedersachsen (Lower Saxony). This location was chosen in large measure because of the standard Hochdeutsch (high German) spoken in the region (the dialect taught at Southwestern and all other American universities) and also because of the natural beauty of the countryside and friendliness of the people.

The city of Osnabrueck is an ideal location for a study abroad program in many ways: it is not too large or too small; it is easy to get to know and students come to feel at home there quickly. The university campus is integrated into the town, and public transportation is readily available. Osnabrueck is also a good hub from which to travel to other parts of Germany (Hamburg, Hannover or Berlin) or to other destinations around Europe (Amsterdam, Paris, etc.).

In addition to a prime location, the Osnabrueck exchange program offers a unique experience for the Southwestern student who chooses to participate. The faculty and staff of the Universitat Osnabrueck know Southwestern and its students well. This comes as a result of many years of exchanges in which students on both sides of the Atlantic have exhibited a sincere desire to learn from each other, to teach each other, and to share friendship possible only through the personal contact developed in exchange programs like this.

Plan of Study / Classes

The semester or year-long Universitat Osnabrueck exchange is a one-for-one student exchange. This option is ideal for students who wish to immerse themselves more deeply in the language and culture for an extended period, and who are willing and able to attend regular classes at the university. Generally, students who take advantage of this program should have completed a minimum of German I-IV (or the equivalent), and preferably some upper-level courses. It is important to remember that on the semester or year-long exchange the Southwestern student is directly enrolled in regular university courses alongside the German students and thus a fairly high level of language proficiency is required for participation in this exchange. Credit Transfer is facilitated by Southwestern University.


As a reciprocal exchange program, the costs of participation in the Osnabrueck exchange are the same as on-campus tuition, room and board. International airfare is an extra expense. In essence, the outgoing Southwestern student pays all fees to Southwestern, a student at Osnabrueck does the same in Germany, and the students trade places. Southwestern students retain all Financial Aid except work/study awards.


Southwestern University has an exchange relationship with the University of Kansai Gaidai in Hirakata, Japan. Kansai Gaidai is a private, nonprofit institution originally established in 1945 as a language school. It has since expanded into a number of different facilities. Foreign students, however, participate in the Asian Studies Program, which is the portion of the University designed for international students in an effort to help them gain firsthand knowledge of and exposure to Japan and East Asia. Kansai Gaidai has earned a excellent reputation for high quality education in its relatively short history.

The Asian Studies Program

The Asian Studies Program was established as a one-year study abroad experience. All of the classes in the Asian Studies Program are conducted in English. Although previous language training is not an absolute requirement, most students have received instruction in the Japanese language prior to enrolling in the Asian Studies Program. The focus of the Asian Studies Program is the study of the Japanese culture and language. The Office of International Programs will help you complete the Credit Transfer process. Most forms of Financial Aid can be applied toward enrollment in the Kansai Gaidai Asian Studies Program.


Student housing can be arranged either in a Japanese-style dormitory on campus, or in a homestay program. Homestays should not be requested unless students are sincerely motivated to participate in the homestay program and are willing to adjust to the new lifestyle in a Japanese home. For more information on Kansai Gaidai University visit their website.