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Off-Campus Study

ISEP at Tecnologico de Monterrey (ITESM) – Monterrey


The Tecnológico de Monterrey known simply as ¨The Tec¨ is one of the most recognized universities in Mexico and Latin America. The Tech is well known for its degrees in science and technology and offers a variety of coursework in humanities. Committed to internationalization ITESM boasts a large international student population and uses both English and Spanish as languages of instruction. Internships are available to ISEP students allowing for practical preparation.


There is a current State Department Travel Warning to Monterrey, and so it is possible that students may not be approved to participate in this program until it is lifted:

Nuevo Leon: Monterrey is a major city/travel destination in Nuevo Leon – Exercise caution in the state of Nuevo Leon. Although the level of organized crime-related violence and general insecurity in Monterrey has decreased dramatically within the last two years, sporadic incidents of violence have occurred. Security services in and around Monterrey are robust and have proven responsive and effective in combating violent crimes; however, instances of violence remain a concern in the more remote regions of the state. U.S. government personnel and their dependents may travel outside the city of Monterrey only during daylight hours on toll roads and must return to the city of San Pedro Garza Garcia municipal boundaries to abide by a curfew of 1 a.m. and 6 a.m., except for travel to the airport after 5 a.m.


Learn more about Tecnológico de Monterrey here! Read the ISEP Country Handbook to learn more about visa requirements, educational system, and culture.

Program Type



Monterrey, Mexico

Languages of Instruction

Spanish, English - Depending on the program you choose: 0-4 semesters of university-level Spanish or the equivalent. Native Portuguese speakers need minimum 2 semesters completed

Program Dates

Academic Year: Late July to May

Fall 2018: Late July to Early December

Spring 2019: Early January to 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.  
  • Language Requirement: A minimum of 4 semesters of university-level Spanish or the equivalent must be completed prior to the program to take classes with locals in Spanish. Students must have an advanced level of Spanish. Native Portuguese speakers must have completed a minimum of 2 semesters of university-level Spanish prior to the start of the program.  
  • For students taking Spanish-as-a-second-language coursework and some coursework in English, no prior Spanish is required, and it is recommended that students have no more than 3 semesters of Spanish completed.
  • Students must submit ISEP language proficiency report in application, even if native speaker


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


Monterrey, the capital of the state of Nuevo León, is located in northern Mexico; it is a two-hour drive to the U.S. border. Monterrey is Mexico’s third-largest city and one of its most important industrial, economic, and educational centers. All University buildings are located in the city center of Monterrey, with easy access to most amenities. They are located 5 minutes from the Macroplaza and the old town of Barrio Antiguo, where students can find cafes, restaurant, bars, cultural events, museums, and a vibrant nightlife. It is also a favorite student hangout on weekends.


Founded by a group of Mexican businessmen in 1943, and now considered one of the best universities in Mexico, ITESM is a 33-campus educational system with satellite offices in Asia, Canada, Europe, Latin America, and the United States.

Areas of interest to ISEP participants include agriculture, architecture, computer science, engineering, food technology, management, Mexican culture, Mexican business and Spanish.  

Fields of study include agriculture, architecture, computer science, food technology, management, and Spanish. Since 1950, ITESM has been accredited in the United States by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). Class attendance is required in order to receive credit. Several partial tests and a final examination compose the final grade. Seventy (70/100) is the minimum passing grade, not less, as in most Mexican institutions. 

Semester and Academic Year: Students generally enroll in six courses per semester, and spend 18 hours a week in class. Semesters are 18 weeks in length.

Option 1: ISEP Exchange-Regular University Courses (Spanish)
Language Requirement: A minimum of 4 semesters of university-level Spanish or the equivalent must be completed prior to the program.
Language Courses: Intensive Spanish language courses are offered in addition to regular classes during the academic year from Beginner to Superior levels. Most courses meet for three hours a week, while some may meet for as many as six hours a week. Spanish language courses are only offered during the academic year and are not available during the summer.

Option 2: ISEP Exchange-Spanish as a Second Language Courses and Regular University Courses Taught in English
Language Requirement: No prior Spanish is required to enroll in this option. Students with 0 to 3 semesters of university-level Spanish or the equivalent may only participate in this option.
Language Courses: Intensive Spanish language courses are offered in addition to regular classes during the academic year from Beginner to Superior levels. Most courses meet for three hours a week, while some may meet for as many as six hours a week. 


1. Click Course Information.  
2. This will bring you to a page in English where you can choose from three types of courses offered. They are Courses from the International Programs Department, Regular Courses in English, and Regular Courses in Spanish. Clicking on one of the first two categories will immediately take you to course listings.  
3. If you click on “Regular Courses in Spanish,” you will get to a list of majors. Click on a major and that will give you the courses available in that major. 
4. Click a course title for more detailed information including a course description if available.

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

Internships are available in many different fields for students with advanced speaking skills. For more details visit this link. Please note that internship applications are due several months before the program start date. For this reason, ISEP recommends applying for an internship at the same time as applying for the exchange.

Student Life

NOTE: Orientation is mandatory for all students.
Example (may vary from semester to semester):
Day 1: Official Welcome, Spanish Placement Test, Academic information, schedule interpretation. In the afternoon we offer an information session in Spanish and English: Registration and Payment process, Immigration Services, Culture Shock, Academic Life, Student Regulations, Housing Policies (both Campus Residences and Host Families.
Day 2: Payment & Registration Process, Spanish Test results, Academic Advising.
Day 3: Welcome event for Foreign Students. 
*Subject to change.

Tecnológico de Monterrey has modern sports facilities including a gym, pool and exercise classes. Students can also participate in team sports. There are also over 200 student organizations at Tec de Monterrey through the student development department.

The International Programs Office organize trips and excursions during the semester to other cities including places like Guanajuato, Zacatecas, Merida and Playa del Carmen. Trips have an extra cost and vary depending on destination. Also, local field trips to place like museums, natural parks, etc are offered to the students during the semester with an additional cost.

Housing and Meals

Students live with host families. Meals are provided by the host families.

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 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

Got questions? Contact an ISEP Student Ambassador who studied in this region.