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Off-Campus Study

ISEP at Technische Universität Graz


Study in Austria!

Austria, the heart of Europe and home to the great composers Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven is perfect for German-speaking students looking for a taste of history combined with modern studies and technology. Austria’s magnificent landscape lends itself to numerous outdoor activities such as hiking, skiing, swimming, and biking.

TU Graz is a progressive institution focusing on architecture, computer science, engineering, technology and the natural sciences. Offering over 400 courses in English, students do not need any prior German to study at TU Graz, and pre-session language courses are offered at a reduced rate to ISEP students. Numerous competence centers, the Christian-Doppler laboratories, special research fields, research focus, and large EU projects are only a few examples of the University’s extremely active and successful research. For more information, see also the STEM Featured Programs

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 Technische Universität Graz here! Read the ISEP Country Handbook to learn more about visa requirements, educational system, and culture.

Program Type



Graz, Austria

Languages of Instruction

German - Students who wish to take all courses in German need a minimum of 4 semesters of German or the equivalent

Program Dates

Fall 2018: Beginning of October to End of 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.  
  • Students do not need any previous German in order to enroll at TU Graz, although 2-4 semesters is preferred. Students who wish to take all courses in German should have a minimum of 4 semesters of German or the equivalent. Students with less than three semesters of German are required to enroll in the German pre-session and take one German language course during the semester.
  • Students must submit ISEP language proficiency report in 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 for US students is generally Excellent.


Graz, the European Cultural Capital of 2003, is situated in the southeast of Austria at the focal point of southeast Europe. The city is well situated for travel. The Old Town is among the best preserved in Europe and was added to UNESCO’s list of World Cultural Heritage sites in 1999. The city hosts numerous festivals, and the unique architecture representing styles ranging from the Middle Ages to the twenty-first century offers a fascinating mix of tradition and modernism.


Technische Universitat Graz (TUGraz) was founded in 1811 by Archduke Johann. The core areas of the university are teaching and research in technical sciences and in technical natural sciences. 

TU Graz is a progressive institution focusing on architecture, computer science, engineering, technology and the natural sciences. Offering over 400 courses in English, students do not need any prior German to study at TU Graz, and pre-session language courses are offered at a reduced rate to ISEP students. Numerous competence centers, the Christian-Doppler laboratories, special research fields, research focus, and large EU projects are only a few examples of the University’s extremely active and successful research. For more information, see also the STEM Featured Programs

ISEP students enrolled at TU Graz may also sign up for courses offered at Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz at no further cost.

The study programs Chemistry; Biochemistry and Molecular Biomedical Sciences; Biotechnology; Earth Sciences; Geo-Spatial Technologies; Molecular Biology; and Molecular Microbiology at NAWI Graz are offered as joint programs of TU Graz and Karl-Franzens Universität Graz. For students, this means that they can profit from the outstanding achievements and the competencies of two universities - an absolute novelty in Austria!

Researching courses in English on an Austrian 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 for two hours a week at the low-intermediate to advanced level are offered in addition to regular classes during the academic year at the “Treffpunkt Sprachen,” a language school that is part of Karl-Franzens-Universitat Graz. A one-semester coupon for German language instruction (grammar, conversation, oral competence, Austrian German etc.) at a reduced price is included in the ISEP benefits.
  • A three-week pre-session intensive German language course is offered in February and September for low-intermediate to advance speakers at the rate of approximately 150 Euros. Housing is included for ISEP students. More information is available online (http://www.uni-graz.at/treffpunktsprachen/).


Over 400 courses in English are taught annually. 
Follow these instructions to Search for Courses in English: Select “Englisch,” choose your term (“Winter” for the fall semester and “Sommer” for Spring) and hit “Suchen” (search).

Here is a quick link to all the courses offered in English.

Registration and Credit Issues
Students typically register for individual classes with the aid of the international office. Students often must register for each course at the institute that specializes in the target field of study.  Students must take 30 ECTS credits to earn the equivalent of 4 Lake Forest credits.
Please note that courses will not be available for registering until shortly before the semester begins.
A Transcript of Records contains the grades of all successfully completed courses. Exchange students are typically permitted to enroll in a variety of courses. However, prerequisites for all courses must be met before the time of enrollment.

Examinations and Grading Scale

Examinations can take the form of oral and written exams, project work or artistic projects. Depending on the specific purpose of the various orals, they are subdivided into supplementary examinations, final examinations, bachelor, master’s, diploma examinations and doctoral examinations (Rigorosum) for doctoral degree (in form of course examinations, Fachprüfungen or comprehensive exams); with reference to the type of examination a distinction is made between examinations on a single subject and examinations on different subjects forming a single entity (comprehensive exams). Comprehensive exams can be organized as a series of exams or as one single examination before an examination board.

Most of the examinations taken by the students are single subject examinations, i.e. end-of-semester or continuous assessment-based examinations in the individual courses which they attend. Examination dates are to be arranged for the students to be able to finish their studies within the given duration of studies as stated in the curricula. Students have to register online for exams. Examination dates, prerequisites and the period of time during which students can register can usually be found on the university homepage.

The Austrian grading scale is similar to the U.S. system except the system is numerical and a “D” grade equivalent does not exist. An individual grade (Note) is awarded for a class, thesis or part of a large exam. An overall grade (Gesamtnote) is awarded for multi-part exams.

What to Expect
Independent, self-directed study is heavily emphasized at Austrian institutions. Courses often have no set assignments and students are assessed by one examination or project. While this style of instruction is less demanding on a daily basis in comparison to study at a U.S. institution, independent study may ultimately be more rigorous in its demands.

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.

Student Life


At Graz airport, students will usually be picked up and taken to their accommodation. Otherwise, public transportation in Austria is easily reliable and students can take a bus or taxi to their location.

The ’Orientation for Exchange Students” will be held at the beginning of the semester. At the orientation, students will do their registration at the university with the Office of International Relations and will receive information about how to register for courses at the University. There will be a library and campus tour. Students will also get appointments with their academic coordinators and a special appointment at the university sports Institute (USI) where international students can register for sports courses. The office of international affairs of the student union provides mentors for the ISEP students (this is a student who the ISEP students can talk to if they need anything, who takes care of the ISEP students, etc.) and ISEP students can sign up for their pick-up service. Furthermore, the team of the office for international affairs organizes social events for international students (Welcome Party, weekly pub meetings, guided tour through Graz, trip to Vienna, etc.). There is usually also a reception for all international students at the mayors of Graz.


Graz, as a vibrant community with over 40,000 students, provides numerous opportunities for free time activities. As an ISEP student, you will be assigned a student mentor, who will introduce you to the Austrian way of life. The student union organizes regular’s tables where you can meet other exchange students, and trips all around Styria (e.g. Styrian vineyards, spa, hiking) and Austria (e.g. Vienna). The Sports Institute of Graz offers inexpensive courses for students. There are also numerous opportunities to enjoy cabaret entertainment, theatre, and the opera, as well as concerts in Graz. During the summer months, many students like to gather in the city’s biggest park (Stadtpark) to study, play sports or music, or simply hang out.

Housing and Meals

ISEP students are housed in single or double rooms in student dorms and receive a monthly stipend for 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 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


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.