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Off-Campus Study

ISEP at University of Malta


Located in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea, Malta has 7,000 years of history and culture in which students can be immersed. The Maltese Islands have been described as “one big open-air museum” because so much of their past is visible today.

Students wishing to study at the University of Malta should be very flexible with classes and life, interested in the humanities fields and open to the adventures of travel and Mediterranean life. Not only will you study in Malta, you will experience it!

This program is best for a student that is independent.  A student must be comfortable with advocating for themselves on campus and comfortable with the local language to thrive in this location. Please be aware that there may not be the same access to internet or amenities to which you may be accustomed.  Student services and especially class registration may not be at all similar to what is done at the College and may be difficult for some students to adjust.  

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


Program Type

Exchange or Direct-Enroll


Msida, Malta

Languages of Instruction


Program Dates

Fall 2018: September to February (Note: This is not feasible for Lake Forest students)

Spring 2019: February to July

Academic year: September 2018 to July 2019 - Direct-Enroll only!


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


Early departure for fall term may be possible. Please contact the ISEP coordinator of the host country for more information.


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
  • Students applying on ISEP Exchange should have a GPA of 3.0 or higher, as placement is typically competitive. Students with a GPA of 2.75 or higher are welcome to apply on ISEP Direct.   
  • Seniors who intend to graduate within six months of the end of their program in Malta should not apply due to transcript delays. 


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.  See the Finances section below for more information.


Chance of placement Exchange for US students is generally Limited.
Chance of placement on ISEP Direct is generally Excellent. 


The university is located in Msida (pronounced in-seeda), on Malta, which is one of a group of islands and rocky islets that comprise the Republic of Malta. The island, with a population of 375,000 and measuring about 17 by 10 miles, is in the center of the Mediterranean about 60 miles south of Sicily. The Maltese have one of the highest standards of living in the Mediterranean and an impressive record in health and education. The town enjoys a Mediterranean climate with hot, dry, sunny summers and short, cool winters. 

Msida is a suburb of Valletta, the republic’s capital city. Valletta is easily reached from the university by bus, affording convenient access to the capital’s museums, palaces, hospital, theatres, libraries, botanical gardens, and churches. 

The Maltese archipelago mainly consists of three islands: Malta, Gozo, and Comino. Malta, Gozo, and Comino cover a total population of over 400,000 inhabitants in an area of 316sq km and a coastline of 196.8km (not including 56.01 km for the island of Gozo). 

The islands have been inhabited since the dawn of civilization as the prehistoric constructions, older even than the Pyramids, attest. In fact, the oldest prehistoric buildings in Europe are found in Malta. The occupation and settlement of Malta by modern humans began approximately 7,000 years ago, when the first Neolithic Farmers crossed the 50 mile-wide straits that separate the islands from Sicily.


Established in 1592, the University of Malta is the oldest university outside the United Kingdom and is Malta’s only university. The present campus, opened in 1968, has recently been greatly extended to include theater-type lecture rooms, language and computer laboratories. The sports complex includes an Olympic-sized swimming pool and separate diving pool, a football ground, tennis courts, and a track. There are some 11,000 students including over 650 international students from 77 different countries, following full-time or part-time degree and diploma courses, many of them run on the modular or credit system. 

The University of Malta is the highest teaching institution in Malta. It is publicly funded and is open to all those who have the requisite qualifications. English is the language of instruction at the University of Malta.

The University of Malta is a good site for liberal arts students who are very flexible in their course selection. Strong fields of study include Mediterranean studies and civilization, and Near Eastern studies. 

The University of Malta’s academic calendar is organized on a full year basis; as a result, students studying at Malta for one semester should be aware that course availability may be limited requiring extra flexibility in course selection. ISEP students can find useful course information here. 

There are two 15-week semesters per year. 14 weeks of the semester are devoted to teaching and one week is for private study, tests/assessments. Courses are full-time unless otherwise noted.

Students will be asked to get in contact with their departmental administrator well in advance of their departure to confirm that they are allowed to take the classes they wish to register for. Prospective students should also be in constant contact with their home University on the classes they would be approved to register for at the University of Malta, in order to ascertain that the classes chosen are appropriate to their academic level. Students are also encouraged to have additional classes in mind in case of scheduling conflicts.

Please see the academic entities page for more information about specific faculties. Please be advised that students must have some course flexibility as not all courses are offered every semester. Due to internal restrictions, ISEP students may not take courses in Engineering, Sciences, or Health Sciences (including Nursing and Medicine).

Courses in the fields of Medicine, Nursing and Sciences are not open to ISEP students.



From the University of Malta web site: 

1. Go to Courses 
2. Choose Area of Study: select your field of interest – note that Some courses may be listed under multiple areas of study (i.e. Christianity is listed under Theology and Religion Studies) 
3. Show Course Information for select year 
4. Choose Study Level: select undergraduate 
5. Choose Attendance Mode: select full-time 
6. Click the Find button 
7. A list of Bachelor of Arts programs within the selected area of study will appear. Click through different programs that might offer classes of interest. 
8. To search for classes offered within a specific Bachelor of Arts program, click on the title of the program 
9. On the Overview Description page, scroll down until you see ‘Click here to access the Programme of Study for (…) applicable from 2013/4.’ Click on the given link 
10. On the Programme Description page, you can read about the different course offerings

Academic Environment and Teaching Style

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


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


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

Students may volunteer through the Degree Plus program. Students who complete the semester are awarded a certificate at the end. Volunteer work is not credit bearing. More information is available here.

Student Life


An Orientation Day is held for international students prior to the commencement of each semester. On Orientation Day international students are introduced to different sectors of the University of Malta and are guided through their registration process. Moreover, students are introduced to various aspects of life in Malta. International Students are also given a tour of the University of Malta on this day. All International Students are requested to attend orientation day. 


Airport pickup is available if the student notifies the host coordinator sufficiently in advance.


The University of Malta has several student organizations and faculty associations. These societies are an integral part of university life: they represent students and provide services which enhance campus life. When students become involved in non-academic interests at University they develop a network of friends besides broadening their outlook to life.

Students may also participate in courses offered through the Degree Plus program in the areas of Entrepreneurship, Sport, Culture, and Heritage, Development Education, Languages, Music, Creative and Performing Arts and much more. A small fee is associated with the participation in these courses (approx. 15 euros). These courses are not credit bearing, but students receive a certificate upon completion. More information is available here.

Housing and Meals

ISEP Exchange and ISEP Direct students are housed in shared apartments in a university residence hall off-campus. Free transportation is provided from housing to the campus. A stipend is provided to cover meals. 

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 to the University of Malta includes orientation, on-site director, college fees, housing, and a stipend to cover the equivalent of 19/meals per week.  

ISEP costs for Exchange are usually the most cost-effective, as it is intended to promote mobility of students around the world.  Direct options are available for those students that prefer to attend a school with limited availability for Exchange, though costs may be different as they are set by the host school. For students that participate in ISEP Direct to Malta, the program fee includes all of the above plus insurance.  However, the program fee may be different than that of Exchange.

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, nor fees to enroll in courses at partner institutions, 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.

Experiences of Former Students


“I chose the University of Malta for a Mediterranean experience in English. The University of Malta is a wonderful place, full of hospitable people who are eager to accept those who come from a different culture. I have been able to make friends who come from all over the world and take courses that I could never have taken at home. I love hearing about the history and the opinions of people who have been raised so differently for me.” -Bridget, Roanoke College