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Off-Campus Study

ISEP at Nord University


Nord University lies just north of the Arctic Circle on the rugged and beautiful Northwestern coast surrounded by breathtaking mountains and fjords. The Midnight Sun in the summer and the spectacular Aurora Borealis, or Northern lights, continually dazzle local residents and international students alike.

This program is best for a student that is independent.  A student must be comfortable with advocating for themselves on campus 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 Nord University here! Read the ISEP Country Handbook to learn more about visa requirements, educational system, and culture.

Program Type

Exchange - Fall ONLY


Bodo, Norway

Languages of Instruction

English, Norwegian

Program Dates

Fall 2018: August to December

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.  


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


Bodø lies just north of the Arctic Circle and is located among breathtaking mountains and fjords. The Midnight Sun in the summer and the spectacular Aurora Borealis, or Northern lights, continually dazzle local residents and international students alike. Since Bodø is so far north, it can be cold, but not unbearably. The climate is surprisingly mild thanks to the Gulf Stream continuously bringing warm, moist air from the Caribbean. In summer, temperatures can be quite warm, and in winter, temperatures typically hang just above or below the freezing point. Residents of Bodø enjoy four distinct seasons and a full scope of outdoor recreation activities.

With its approximately 48,000 inhabitants, Bodø is the largest city in Nordland County. It is also the county capital and an important communication center. The airport, railway station and harbor are located here. Bodø is an important trading and business center with armed forces, the municipal and county administration, a hospital and many schools located here. The city including the university is large enough to offer all modern facilities and services, including great opportunities for sports, recreation, and cultural activities. 


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.

Students typically enroll in 3-4 classes per term which average to 15-20 hours in class per week. A term runs for 19-22 weeks. Students must take 30 ECTS credits to earn the equivalent of 4 Lake Forest credits.


Fall semester or full year programs in Norwegian Politics and Society, Norwegian Language, Northern Scandinavian Politics and Society, and Circumpolar Studies. 

Social sciences ( Scandinavian and Norwegian politics) 

Full-time, semester-long programs taught in English (30ECTS):

• Northern Scandinavian Politics and Society (fall)
• Adventure Knowledge (fall)
• Business in the High North (fall)
• Bioscience (fall) - junior level required
• Modern Aquaculture (spring)
• Norwegian Politics and Society (spring)
• Bioscience (fall)
• Ecology and Northern life (spring)

Link to English courses.



Norwegian is the language of instruction but some courses are taught in English in all departments. 

All Departments and Schools are open to exchange students and will tailor programs to students’ needs if they are particularly interested in some programs not taught in English.

Please note that 100 level courses are open to sophomore level students; 200 level courses require at least junior level status.



Please click on the link “courses”.


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

Full-time, semester long internships can be arranged for academic credit in Marine Biology and Agriculture, as well as in the International Office.

Student Life

Nord University is continually investing in its facilities to ensure that students, as well as teachers and researchers, are able to gain the most from their years in education. Students study a diverse range of subjects and acquire knowledge and skills in an exciting and dynamic environment. Our research and study programs are carefully designed to satisfy the needs of professions, industries, and communities in Norway and abroad.

In recent years, the international environment has grown at University of Nordland (HBO). Approximately 250 international students from all over the world are enrolled at the institution. The portfolio of international study opportunities includes degree programs, exchange programs and courses, practical training and the summer university course “Managing Diversity”.

The campus is located 10 km east of the city center. 



Orientation is held the first day. You will receive practical information relevant to the exchange program, together with all the other international students. The peer support staff will introduce the students to the buddy program for all students, national and international. The international students will especially enjoy the Arctic Escape, which has been designed for students coming to the northern parts of Norway. The international student union, the Welcome committee, and the international office work closely together to help ISEP students feel comfortable. Activities for students are held throughout the semester.


Airport pick-up is available provided the student follows the necessary registration process.


Bodø is located on the North Sea with mountains just behind and a nearby glacier. You will have the opportunity to participate in all kinds of outdoor activities. The area just outside the city is excellent for hiking, biking, mountain-climbing, canoeing and even swimming on a warm summer day. During the winter months, students can cross-country ski, play ice hockey, ice skate, ice fish, and admire the Northern lights. Downhill skiing, telemark, and snowboarding are popular as well. Fishing is possible in lakes and rivers near the university campus. The strongest maelstrom (tidal current) in the world, Saltstraumen, is famous for coalfish and cod fishing. For those interested in marine life, a stream is also an exceptional place for scuba diving.

Students are welcome to join various national and international student union on campus. There are many volunteer opportunities at the student activity house.

Housing and Meals

Exchange students will live in one of four different housing facilities near the university campus. Students will have their own room but will share a kitchen, bathroom and a common area with other students. A meal stipend will be provided to cover groceries for cooking. There is a cafeteria on campus, however, most students cook at home together with others to save money. 

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 program includes orientation, on-site director, college fees, housing and a stipend to cover 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

*Exchange students who apply by stated deadlines may be eligible for up to $750 airfare award


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 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 saw the Midnight sun and perpetual darkness, skied on feet of snow and played on the sandy beach, I went to the northernmost city in the world with my friend from ‘Down Under’. I saw whales, puffins, sea-eagles, and not to mention the Northern Lights. I made s’mores on the mountain, marched in the National Day Parade, had time to read, time to think, and made friends from all over the world. All of this in the city of Bodø, just north of the Arctic Circle.”- ISEP student from Utah State.