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Off-Campus Study

ISEP at Edinburgh Napier University in Scotland


Explore Scotland, famous for its historic castles, traditional Highland games, and beautiful lochs.

Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and covers the northern third of the island of Great Britain. It shares a border with England to the south and is otherwise surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east and the North Channel and the Irish Sea to the southwest. In addition to the mainland, the country is made up of more than 790 islands, including the Northern Isles and the Hebrides.

Edinburgh, the country’s capital, and the second-largest city was the hub of the Scottish Enlightenment of the 18th century, which transformed Scotland into one of the commercials, intellectual, and industrial powerhouses of Europe. Glasgow, Scotland’s largest city, was once one of the world’s leading industrial cities and now lies at the center of the Greater Glasgow conurbation. Scottish waters consist of a large sector of the North Atlantic and the North Sea, containing the largest oil reserves in the European Union. This has given Aberdeen, the third-largest city in Scotland, the title of Europe’s oil capital.

Edinburgh Napier University was founded in 1964 and achieved university status in 1992. In just three decades it has progressed from a first-class Polytechnic to a major Scottish university and one of the top new universities in the UK. Edinburgh Napier is a multi-campus university with three main sites in the city of Edinburgh: Craiglockhart, Merchiston & Craighouse. Each campus has its unique culture and sense of community while benefiting from being part of a major university. Edinburgh Napier University’s four faculties offer a wide range of professionally-oriented programs designed in consultation with commerce and industry. 

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


Program Type

Exchange or Direct-Enroll


Edinburgh, Scotland

Languages of Instruction


Program Dates

Fall 2018: Early September to Late December

Spring 2019: Early January to Early May

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.  


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.


ISEP Exchange chance of placement for US students is generally Very Limited.

ISEP Direct chance of placement is generally Excellent for US students.


Edinburgh Napier is situated within Scotland’s beautiful and cosmopolitan capital city of Edinburgh. In addition to being home to the Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh hosts the largest international arts festival in the world and offers numerous cinemas, theatres, restaurants, bars, clubs, and shops. At the heart of the city is the famous Edinburgh castle. Edinburgh is a good communications hub for travel to other parts of the UK, Ireland, and continental Europe.


Edinburgh Napier University is one of the largest universities in Scotland with almost 4,000 international students from over 100 countries studying in Business, Creative Industries, Science and many more innovative areas. The setting of Edinburgh is itself an incredible asset for enhancing programs in unique and dynamic ways. The excellent support services for international students make the journey to Edinburgh and beyond an unforgettable one!

Edinburgh Napier University has particular strengths in the fields of Business and Management, Biological and Health Sciences, Digital Technologies, Sports & Exercise Science and Communication Arts (Communication, Photography & Film, Design, and Music). 

Edinburgh Napier’s graduates have a high record of employment, demonstrating the university”s achievement of its primary mission: preparing students for the world of work. 


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.

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

Edinburgh Napier has a flexible modular structure allowing visiting students to devise programs tailored to their own needs. Modules (classes) in most undergraduate disciplines can be combined with one another. Participants are required to carry a normal workload of three modules per semester, but should also choose 2-3 backup classes for their application in case some modules are not available. 

There is limited availability for student placements in the following fields: Journalism, Design, Music, Photography, and Film. For consideration, students who wish to take classes in one of these fields while at Edinburgh Napier must:

1) Be majors in the subject at their home institution
2) Have junior or senior-level status
3) Provide a portfolio, audition, or interview where appropriate to demonstrate prerequisite knowledge and skills
4) And be willing to commit to studying all their modules at Napier per semester within that field (for example, a request to combine one design class, one business class, and one Scottish studies class would likely be denied because the subjects are spread across multiple departments).

For students taking courses within the field of Music, specifically instrumental courses, it will be the student’s responsibility to pay any extra fees associated with these courses.



Students can refer to the Guidance Notes For Students Applying to Study at Edinburgh Napier University on an Exchange for information on selecting classes. 

For information on modules (classes) available at Edinburgh Napier University, please visit our Module Guide.

Using this catalog you can search by subject, school or faculty to see which modules we offer. Once in the module descriptor, you will be able to see if a module is offered in semester 1, 2 or both. You can use the catalog to find modules offered within our faculties that would be approved by your home University. Students who come to Edinburgh Napier through ISEP have the flexibility to study on modules from across all 3 of our faculties., except in the cases outlined above. Please note Level 7 modules = Freshman, Level 8 = Sophomore, Level 9 = Junior and Level 10 = Senior. Level 11 classes are postgraduate and NOT available to ISEP students.

All Edinburgh Napier classes are 20 credits = approx 5 US credit hours.  Students must take a minimum of 60 credits at Edinburgh Napier to achieve the equivalent of 4 Lake Forest credits.

Course Approvals

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

Student Life


Orientation is held within the first week of official arrival at Edinburgh Napier University and is mandatory for students. Students will officially matriculate (register) as Edinburgh Napier University students during this week, which will allow students to enroll in classes. In order for students to enroll in modules (classes), students will be assigned an “advisor” who will discuss the module selections and enroll the student in the agreed modules.

Matriculation week will provide students with an opportunity to sign up for organizations, register with a local doctor, and become familiar with transportation. Matriculation week is also a time to meet fellow international students by participating in events organized by the University and Napier Student Association.


Airport pickup will be available to students, and students will need to arrange this as per instructions are given by the host. The host will provide arrival directions with acceptance packet.


Students at Edinburgh Napier International Club (SENIC) organizes trips around Scotland throughout the semester. Students can join SENIC for £2 and are eligible for a discount on all trips. Students can still join in any of the excursions without joining SENIC. SENIC gives all students the opportunity to meet new international students and participate in events such as ceilidhs, explore the highlands and islands of Scotland, and to socialize with other International students. During Induction week the Student Association organize several events for all new students.

The Student Association run the many Sports Clubs and Societies on offer to our students. For further details please see http://www.napierstudents.com.

Housing and Meals

University housing is available and is situated within easy reach of the city center. It is mainly composed of modern apartments with individual study bedrooms and a shared lounge/kitchen for cooking and socializing. A stipend is provided to ISEP exchange students to purchase or prepare meals. Please note that ISEP students DO NOT use the online application form for Housing. Edinburgh Napier will contact you directly with application instructions. 

Students on ISEP Direct receive housing and insurance, but do not receive the meal stipend.

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 Edinburgh Napier University 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 Edinburgh, the program fee includes housing and insurance, but no meals.

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 February 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


“From its rich history and wonderful people, Edinburgh exceeded my expectations. Imagine waking up every morning with a view of King Arthur’s Seat. Walking through the cobblestone streets of Edinburgh was like walking through history, with new stories and sights surrounding your every move. Imagine sitting in a lecture hall, seeing the magnificent Edinburgh Castle behind the professor, this is the way to have class! This is the daily life you live when you attend Edinburgh Napier University as an ISEP participant. I would highly recommend Edinburgh Napier University for any study away experience.”

Ashley Ryan, Spring 2010 student from Missouri State University