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Off-Campus Study

ISEP at Massey University


Temperate climate…Natural beauty…Easygoing lifestyle…Mixture of European and Maori cultures…So many reasons to study in New Zealand! Learn to go with the flow and accept that things will happen, even if not immediately. Learn to take initiative meeting people who are friendly yet shy. Enjoy the ease of getting around, whether using public transportation or services like banking.

Massey University has a tradition of excellence across a wide range of disciplines. Choose one of Massey’s three campuses based on your course needs.

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

Program Type

Exchange or Direct-Enroll


Auckland, Palmerston North or Wellington - New Zealand

Languages of Instruction


Program Dates

As Macquarie is located in the Southern Hemisphere, their autumn term (SM1) translates to Lake Forest’s spring term, and their spring term (SM2) coordinates with our fall term.

Fall 2018: July to November

Spring 2019: February to 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.  


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.

Very Limited chance of placement on ISEP Exchange. To increase your chance of placement on Exchange, ISEP recommends listing this site as your first choice. 

Excellent chance of placement on ISEP Direct. 


Auckland is an international city built around a stunning harbor. It is New Zealand’s largest urban area with a diverse multi-cultural population and world-class features and facilities. The Auckland Campus is part of the North Shore, which is just 20 minutes drive from the center of Auckland. The North Shore City region covers 120 km of coastline and includes more than 30 sandy swimming beaches. The area in which the campus is located has a wide range of amenities, numerous cafes, shopping centers, cinema complexes, art galleries, libraries, a Theatre of the Arts, and extensive leisure and sports facilities. A motorway links the North Shore with Auckland’s CBD and the International Airport. City bus services are efficient, well developed and relatively inexpensive.

One-third of the people living in Palmerston North are between the ages of fifteen and thirty. Many are students, making Palmerston North a young person’s city with a lively social scene. The city center is vibrant with its many cafes, pubs, live theatre and lives music. Sport and off-campus adventure are also part of the city’s attraction. Minutes from campus are some of the best mountain bike tracks anywhere. Further afield you will find bungy jumping, river kayaking, rafting, trout fishing, horseback riding and tramping. It’s only two hours’ drive to the capital city of Wellington, to vineyards and beaches in Hawke’s Bay, or to snow-covered ski slopes at Mount Ruapehu in winter time.

Resting on the edge of a spectacular harbor, encircled by green, towering hills, Wellington is a stunning and compact city. Vibrant, exciting and cultured, the nation’s capital combines the stimulation and sophistication of a big city with the quirkiness of a charming village. Extending just two kilometers in diameter, Wellington is a truly “walking city.” Here you’ll find a unique blend of national treasures, arts and culture, gastronomic delights, shopping sensations and scenic beauty, all conveniently located at the bottom of the North Island.


Massey is New Zealand’s only multi-campus university, with locations in Wellington, Auckland and Palmerston North. With an 80-year tradition of academic excellence, Massey offers a vast range of subjects, with key emphasis on natural sciences, engineering creative arts, and business. Enjoy NZ’s spectacular outdoors, with skiing, tramping, surfing, and vineyards all just a day trip away!

Many participants enjoy studying New Zealand-focused courses, such as Maori Language, New Zealand Economy, Bicultural Perspectives in Psychology, New Zealand Fauna and Flora, Ecological Studies, Law, Government and Social Policy, and Women in History: Australia and New Zealand. 

The typical course load is four papers (classes), or 60 credits, per term.  Students must take 60 credits to earn the equivalent of 4 Lake Forest credits. Each term runs 18 weeks long. Students will be enrolled into selected, approved papers prior to their arrival on campus whenever possible. During orientation week, students will have the opportunity to make changes to their schedules. 


Academic Environment and Teaching Style

Your classes will involve a combination of fairly formal lectures (often with large numbers of students in attendance), discussion-oriented “tutorials” (with around 10-15 students usually), and outside work. Professors present core material during lectures but students should not expect to ask questions (unless otherwise indicated by the professor); the tutorials are the time to work through the material in small groups and student participation is encouraged then. Laboratory sessions for students in the sciences and practical studio time for design students are also incorporated into the curriculum.

Kiwi students tend to specialize in their field of study early on. They may even start specializing in their majors during the final year of high school. The curriculum is usually established by the university for each degree program offered, most of it usually within the same subject, therefore there is not much flexibility when it comes to course selection.

Please note the New Zealand education system generally emphasizes independent study over class time, attendance, and participation. Coursework may be less structured than in other countries and students may be assigned significant outside reading that they will not be tested on until their final exam. Furthermore, there are usually fewer assignments counting towards the final grade, so a final exam or paper carries much more weight. For all these reasons, independence and self-discipline are very important in keeping up academically.

In New Zealand, students will generally not encounter continuous assessment. Rather, students are expected to be independent in their studying and keep up with outside reading throughout the semester, even though professors will not necessarily be checking up on them regularly. Self-motivation and strong time management skills are a must to avoid falling behind.

It is common for grades to be based solely on two papers and a final exam. Essays must be well-written and academic; professors will not be looking for “reflection papers” among these relatively few assignments. It is recommended that students talk with their professors about what is expected for their first essay. Professors will often offer to review drafts as well.

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.



Business; Engineering; Humanities and Social Sciences; Sciences.

Turitea site - Agriculture, Animal Science, Biotechnology, Business, Computer Science, Engineering, Food Science and Technology, Horticulture, Humanities and Social Sciences, Life Sciences, Material Sciences, Media Studies, Sciences and Sports Studies.
Hokowhitu site - Education.

Business; Communications; Creative Arts and Design; Health; Humanities and Social Sciences; Music; Sciences.



REMEMBER that this site operates on the Southern Hemisphere calendar! Be sure to search for courses using the correct semester parameters: Southern hemisphere SM1 (NH SM2) is February – July; Southern hemisphere SM2 (NH SM1) is July – November. 

From the Study at Massey page, you may search by field of interest, a programme (degree program) or paper (course). Click on any paper number for a course description and other details. 

When selecting courses, students should note the fourth digit of the course code. This number indicates the level of the course: 0 - sub-degree, 1 - first year, 2 - second year, 3 - third year, 4 - fourth year (only applies to a few subjects because undergraduate degrees are typically three years in duration), and 7 - postgraduate. 

It is not possible for students to study at more than one campus at a time, so students should select the campus they wish to study at based on the availability of courses. If you strongly prefer one campus over the others, you might want to enter this parameter into the course search engine before searching.

Experiential Opportunities

Communication internships for academic credit are offered at the Palmerston North and Wellington campuses. The internship is worth 15 credits (= 4 U.S. credits/1 LFC credit) and is available to students who have successfully completed a junior-year communications class in the U.S. This option is at no additional cost but will be part of the four-course load for the semester. Please see here for more information.

Student Life

Massey University, Auckland, is a compact and modern campus, architecturally designed in the Spanish Mission style. Lecture facilities are state-of-the-art, and facilities are both spacious and contemporary. Classes are small, teaching is interactive, and the atmosphere is friendly and relaxed. 

Home to around 9,000 students, Massey’s original campus is bicycle-friendly and set among beautiful park-like grounds. It is made up of two locations split by the Manawatu River: Turitea across the river from the city and Hokowhitu on the city-side.

The University’s magnificent Museum Building heralds its presence in Wellington. Perched at the crest of Mount Cook alongside the National War Memorial and Carillon, the former National Art Gallery and Dominion Museum overlooks the stunning vista of the capital city and its harbor. Following an award-winning heritage restoration, this magnificent building acts as the University”s front door to the capital city.



A mandatory orientation program is organized and run by the Massey International Student Support team. Activities typically include a traditional New Zealand BBQ and dinner, city tour and advice sessions designed to assimilate international students into university study within the next of wider New Zealand culture. During the orientation week, students need to confirm their final paper (class) enrollment for the semester. Students are able to make adjustments to their pre-approved selection of papers by visiting the relevant College administrators. 

Airport pickup is available and differs for each campus. Additional information will be provided by the ISEP Coordinator at Massey.


Massey University offers a wide range of extra-curricular student activities available for all students, from basketball to boxing or surfing, to cultural activities. Clubs Day, during the first week of the semester, is a great opportunity for students to peruse what’s on offer, but there is also a list of Massey University Clubs. Massey also has excellent recreation center facilities available

Massey University offers a wide range of extra-curricular student activities available for all students, from the Alpine club to Fire-Spinning, to Waterpolo. Clubs Day, during the first week of the semester, is a great opportunity for students to peruse what’s on offer, but there is also a list of Massey University Clubs. Massey also has excellent recreation center facilities available.

Massey University offers a wide range of extra-curricular student activities available for all students, from the Alpine club to Fire-Spinning, to Waterpolo. Here is a link to Sport and Recreation at Massey Wellington.The International Student Support team organizes a trip to Queen Charlotte Sounds for dolphin watching and a Martinborough winery tour every semester.

Housing and Meals

ISEP Exchange students live in single-occupancy rooms in self-catered residences with communal bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry facilities. Palmerston North campus housing is within a short walking distance (5-10 minutes) from the campus center. ISEP Exchange students receive a one-time meal stipend at the beginning of the semester. The stipend can be used to prepare meals or purchase meals at the cafeteria. It is meant to cover 19 meals/week.


ISEP Direct students are housed in single-occupancy rooms in residences with communal bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry facilities. Auckland campus housing is a 15-20 minute walk from campus and free shuttle bus services are provided. Wellington campus housing varies in location and is a 5-15 minute walk from campus. The ISEP Direct program does NOT include meal benefits; students are responsible for their own meals. 

For southern hemisphere programs, ISEP benefits do apply during the recess between semesters (June-July), whereas they do NOT apply between the end of one academic year and the beginning of a new academic year (December to February). 

Financial Information

The program fee for a semester with the ISEP Exchange to Macquarie includes orientation, on-site director, university fees, housing, and 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 Massey, the program fee includes orientation, on-site director, housing, and insurance, but no meals.  Many of the other estimated out-of-pocket costs will be similar.  Please look below the table for program fee estimates for Massey.

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

Budget Item








Lake Forest College Tuition



$23,160 $23,160

Program fee (estimated)

Note: Spring may have added cost



$3,060 $4,610

College Deposit (credit)



($250) ($250)

Total Expected Billed by Lake Forest College



$26,470 $28,020

ISEP Fee due on Stage 2 Application



 $325  $325

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



$250 $250

ISEP-required health and repatriation insurance ($90/mo estimated)

Note: Some countries require national insurance. Check ISEP



included included

Additional Meals



$1,300 $1,300

Estimated Airfare



 $1,800  $1,800

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



$3,300 $3,300

Total Out-of-Pocket Expenses



$6,975 $6,975






$33,445 $34,995

For students that participate in ISEP Direct to Massey University, the program fee will differ depending on the campus chosen. This fee includes housing and insurance, but no meals.  Many of the other estimated out-of-pocket costs will be similar.  However, as Direct does not include meals, you can assume you will spend an additional $500/month on meals; this estimate should increase for Wellington or Auckland.

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.