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Off-Campus Study

ISEP at Karlshochschule International University


Germany’s diversity is best explored by experiencing the country firsthand, the old and the new: Gothic cathedrals vs. 21st-century skyscrapers; Oktoberfest, Carnival, and Christkindlmarkets vs. the Documenta art fair and Love Parade; soccer worship vs. the deep appreciation for museums, opera houses, theater, and literature.

Karlshochschule International University is a private, state-accredited university providing a career-focused management education, with a strong international and intercultural orientation. Students enjoy an individualized education, with small classes and student-focused advising. Study entirely in English in fields of Business, Management, Communication, and Tourism and spend your free time in one of the city’s numerous cafés, shopping streets or on a trip to the vineyards of the Black Forest.

This program would be suitable for students that are ready to be abroad, but would still like some of the academic services that a U.S. college provides.  It is a good choice for someone that is a world traveler OR has never left their hometown.

Learn more about Karlshochschule International University here! Read the ISEP Country Handbook to learn more about visa requirements, educational system, and culture.

Program Type



Karlsruhe, Germany

Languages of Instruction

English/German - 4 semesters of German required IF taking courses in German

Program Dates

Fall 2018: Late September to End January

Spring 2019: End of February to End of June

All dates are tentative and may change. ISEP will alert all accepted students of final dates.


To be eligible to participate in this program, students must meet the following requirements:

  • Good academic and judicial standing during time of application AND time of participation in program
  • Undergraduates must have completed at least two semesters of study at Lake Forest College AND have junior status or higher before participation. 
  • At least 18 years of age by the program’s departure date. 
  • Be able to stay at the host program for the duration of the semester, including through the exam and travel periods
  • Minimum GPA of 2.75.  
    • A minimum of 4 semesters of university-level German or the equivalent must be completed prior to program in order to enroll in university-level courses taught in German
    • Students must submit ISEP language proficiency report in the application, even if native speaker.


Students applying to ISEP must apply for an Exchange option (in any country) as a first choice but may apply to a Direct option as a back-up.  Direct options may have an additional cost.


ISEP Exchange chance of placement is generally Excellent for US students


Karlshochschule is located in the center of Karlsruhe, a lively cultural and academic hub situated in the Rhine river plain, between the Black Forest and Alsace. The region is well known both for its mild climate and many attractive tourist destinations such as Heidelberg, Baden-Baden, and Lake Constance and for its dynamic industrial and technological development, with the highest concentration of researchers in Europe.


Karlshochschule International University is a private, state-accredited university providing a career-focused management education, with a strong international and intercultural orientation. Students enjoy an individualized education, with small classes and student-focused advising. Study entirely in English in fields of Business, Management, Communication, and Tourism and spend your free time in one of the city’s numerous cafés, shopping streets or on a trip to the vineyards of the Black Forest.

Karlshochschule International University welcomes students from all over the world to Karlsruhe. The university is shaped by students and employees, who come from China, Chile, Egypt, Finland, France, Great Britain, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Mexico, Russia, Spain and the United States – making us an inter­national and open-minded university! Students will participate in lively discussions with international and German students. Karlshochschule invites you to ask questions both in and outside the classroom. 


Students should expect to take 30 ECTS credits to earn the equivalent of 4 Lake Forest credits.

Please note that for advising purposes Karlshochschule can be considered an English language site. All academic programs are taught in English from sophomore year (second year) on. International Business is taught entirely in English. 

Faculty of Business Administration and Management

  • International Business
  • Intercultural Management and Communication
  • International Marketing Management
  • International Energy Management
  • Management (Master program)

Faculty of Management and Performance

  • International Tourism Management
  • International Event Management
  • Arts and Cultural Management
  • International Media Management
  • Management (Master program)

For more information and the course catalog, click here


The course catalog contains brief descriptions of all modules. More detailed module descriptions, including the form of assessment, workload, literature, etc., are available on the program pages of our website: 


  1. From the main website, choose “My studies”
  2. You will then find a list of all degree programs offered. Choose the program you are interested in
  3. Click on “Course Structure” on the left bar
  4. On the right-hand side, you will find a section called “More information?” with links to a number of documents relating to the structure of the degree program in question. From these, choose “Description of modules”
Researching courses in English on a German university homepage can be difficult and confusing. Here find a quick guide to navigating a university website, finding courses in both English and German, and some translations of common words and major fields of study. 

Download the ISEP Guide to Course Selection


Semi-Intensive German language courses are offered in addition to regular classes during the academic year and/or semester for Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced levels. [4 contact hours week: 4 ECTS.]


Academic Environment and Teaching Style

Please review country handbook for more information on the education system, grades, class hours, and classroom etiquette.

Please understand that the academic system is quite different. Classes are usually lecture-based, instead of discussion or group work. Classes are often much larger than those found at Lake Forest College. Grades are based heavily, at times almost entirely, on one end-of-term exam, though some courses will also offer a midterm.  Professors are often more formal than those in the United States.

All courses/modules may have prerequisites.  Some departments may have limitations on numbers of courses that can be taken within or outside it.  Be aware of these limitations.

Can review the country handbooks for ISEP here as well:



ISEP Placement info: http://www.isep.org/Coordinators/us_placement_notes_english.asp


Teaching at the universities includes lectures and seminars. Vorlesungen (lectures) will, as a rule, take up the full amount of time designated, and the number of students is not limited. Discussion and questions concerning the lecture take place during the accompanying Übungen, small discussion groups. The Übungen usually feature homework assignments, research and the writing of papers.

The Seminar, dedicated to small-group learning, is headed by a professor. It covers a subject area in more detail and requires that each student contributes, by way of an oral presentation on a specific topic. Students are encouraged to participate intensively in two to four seminars per semester. Proseminare makes up the Grundstudium (first few terms of study) until successful completion of the intermediate exam, after which Hauptseminare are taken to finish the course of study. Proseminare may also be taken in the Hauptstudium.

A common practice is the akademische Viertel. Classes are scheduled on the hour, but do not actually begin until 15 minutes past. This is signified by a “c.t.” (cum tempore) after the listed time of a meeting. If this practice does not apply to a particular meeting, an “s.t.” (sine tempore) will appear after the posted time. Check with other students before assuming that the akademische Viertel is practiced by individual instructors.


Independent, self-directed study is heavily emphasized at German universities. There are usually no definite assignments of a certain number of pages to read in textbooks. German students are expected to do independent primary and secondary reading during the course of their studies. Independent study is a crucial element of the academic freedom of a German institution and is designed to encourage self-motivation and promote interesting discussion since not everyone has read the same material. While less demanding on a daily basis than study at a U.S. institution, independent study may ultimately be more rigorous in its demands. Assessment is based on oral and written reports in seminars.

Course Approvals

Check to see if your department has pre-approved courses here. If not, don’t worry. You can work with your advisor.

Experiential Opportunities

The Karlshochschule SIFE team offers opportunities for supporting outreach programs. Students interested in combining theory and practice in their studies can participate in one of our company projects (6 ECTS) during the semester, which are real cases presented by companies, on which students work in teams mixed across study programs, supervised by a professor and supported by professional coaches.

Student Life

As a private, dynamic university with an international outlook, Karlshochschule offers personal and direct contact with professors as well as a service-oriented administration. Karlshochschule International University is permanently state-recognized and has received excellent results in the latest CHE ranking of German business programs.


The orientation program covers a meeting with the student advisors and the International Office, organizational issues (health insurance, registration in the city, opening a bank account, technical facilities, library), academic issues (information about classes and scheduling, language placements, introduction to scientific work), information about social activities, language tandems, sports and events, as well as a guided tour through the university and the city. In the fall semester, the orientation program is more comprehensive and also includes company visits and special workshops, e.g. a creativity workshop. 

Students arriving on the Official Arrival Dates will be met at the local train station by the Student Advisers if given notice at least TWO WEEKS before the official arrival date. Otherwise, students should follow arrival directions in Guide for International Students which will be provided by the host with acceptance packet.


Karlshochschule sets a high value on student activities. Students can participate in various projects organized by our student organizations, such as enactus (outreach projects supported by students), cirKA 30.000 (podcast project), theater group, KarlsBeratung (consultancy run by students), Erlebnisrausch (an event agency run by students) and the choir. In cooperation with the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, we offer a wide range of sports courses. 

In addition, the International Office organizes a variety of events for international and local students such as get-togethers and excursions to cities and sights in the region, e.g. the Christmas market in Strasbourg, Heidelberg and the Black Forest. Furthermore, there are several excursions offered within the regular courses and a special excursion for all students who participate in the German Culture class. Additionally, the International Office celebrates a Christmas get-together, a farewell evening, etc. together with international and local students. One special opportunity for international students to present their home countries and own culture is the Intercultural Day that takes place each semester. 

International Students will be matched with a Student Adviser, as our student buddies call themselves. Besides assisting international students with practical matters and helping them to adapt to life in Karlsruhe and at Karlshochschule, Student Advisers offer regular meetings and get-togethers. In addition, international students can participate in our TANDEM program, where they will be matched with a German student; the tandem partners organize private meetings during which they can practice their language skills and explore different cultures. 

Additional activities for international students of all universities in the Karlsruhe area are offered by the local Student Union.

Housing and Meals

Most students live in their own room in an apartment shared with other (German or international) students. Other available options include residence hall rooms or a room with a host family. We try to fulfill individual wishes of all incoming students as much as possible. Chances of getting the requested option depend on when the housing sheet has been submitted and also on whether the student responds quickly to any questions we may have. All housing options are also available during the Christmas vacation and the semester break in February. Karlsruhe has an excellent public transport system, and all housing options can be easily reached by tram, bus or train. The fare for local transportation is included in the “semester ticket” that students receive as part of the city’s welcome package upon registration. 

Students receive a meal stipend that to prepare their own meals. As the university is located in the city center, many shops and restaurants are within walking distance.

Financial Information

For all approved programs for guaranteed financial aid transferability, students pay their Lake Forest College tuition plus a program fee.  The program fee for a semester with the ISEP Exchange includes orientation, on-site director, college fees, housing, and the equivalent of 19/meals per week.  

Here is an estimated budget for the Fall 2018/Spring 2019 semester:

Budget Item


Lake Forest College Tuition


Program fee (estimated)

Note: Spring may have added cost


College Deposit (credit)


Total Expected Billed by Lake Forest College


ISEP Fee due on Stage 2 Application


College Deposit due on Acceptance (non-refundable, but shows as credit on bill for off-campus term)


ISEP-required health and repatriation insurance ($90/mo estimated) Note: Some countries require national insurance. Check ISEP


Additional Meals


Estimated Airfare


Estimated Personal Expenses (passport, visas, immunizations, textbooks, supplies, personal expenses, additional national insurance, if required, travel insurance, additional travel etc.)


Total Out-of-Pocket Expenses




 Tuition rates and program fees are subject to change each year, but this information was up-to-date as of January 2018. We will notify applicants, and update this page if the program fee or other estimates change.

Keep in mind that you may spend more or less in certain areas like personal expenses, travel, meals, or airfare, depending on exchange rates and your own spending habits. Classroom or lab fees are not included in this estimate and will depend on your course registration choices.  

Don’t forget to apply for scholarships! A great listing can be found here.  

Do check your student account on My.Lakeforest for your aid awards, as much of this will go with you. If you want to compare your program to the cost of being on campus, those numbers can be found here: https://www.lakeforest.edu/admissions/tuition/fees.php

You can discuss with Financial Aid your specific aid package and your expected family contribution.