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Off-Campus Study

ISEP at Universidad de Guanajuato


Universidad de Guanajuato is a comprehensive multi-campus public university ranking 10th of 265 Mexican Higher Education Institutions (SCIMAGO). UG is a major research institution with graduate and undergraduate programs are accredited by CONACYT and other national boards. The vibrant local culture is complemented by a large international presence. Guanajuato is a wonderful place to study, and UG offers Spanish language immersion and culture programs.


Please note there is a current US Department of State Travel Warning for Mexico. No advisory is in effect for the state of Guanajuato. For more information, please click here. The College reviews each location for safety, and if it is deemed unsafe for students to participate in the program, we will notify applicants to consider back-up programs.

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

Program Type



Guanajuato, Mexico

Languages of Instruction

Spanish, English - 6 semesters university-level Spanish or equivalent; Native Portuguese speaker needs 2 semesters

Program Dates

Academic year: Late July/Early August to Early June

Fall 2018: Late July/Early August to mid-December

Spring 2019: Early January to Early 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.  
  • Language Requirement: A minimum of 6 semesters of university-level Spanish or the equivalent must be completed prior to the program. 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. 
  • Students must submit ISEP language proficiency report in application, even if native speaker

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


Universidad de Guanajuato is nestled in the mountains of the capital city of the state of Guanajuato. The city of Guanajuato is relatively small and most of the city’s life is centered on the university. The University considers the entire city its campus because its buildings are spread all over town. The School of Philosophy, History, and Literature is housed in the former Convent of Valenciana. In 1988, Guanajuato was declared a Cultural Patrimony of Humanity by UNESCO because of its historic monuments and its varied cultural ambiance, which attracts many visitors and tourists as well as students, enriching the multicultural identity of the city.


Universidad de Guanajuato, with a tradition of more than 260 years in public education, has distinguished itself for its quality of teaching.

Class attendance is required in order to receive credit. Tests and a final examination determine the final grade. Pre-Hispanic, Mexican and Latin American culture and literature courses are offered for international students. Some undergraduate courses include short internships and practicums. 

OPTION1: Students generally enroll in four courses per semester, and spend 20-25 hours a week in class. Semesters are 18 weeks in length.
OPTION 2: In semester 1, students will generally enroll in three to five classes depending on the language level, and the semester is 18 weeks in length.


1. Click on Course Information
2. Select only Campus Guanajuato (this is the only campus open to ISEP students). 
3. After selecting the Guanajuato Campus, you will be able to choose from a selection of divisions and faculties
4. Select a degree you are interested in, which will list the courses offered under Plan de Estudios .

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

The International Office can assist students in finding internships at local organizations. Project based internships and volunteer opportunities are available at the International Office. Contact your ISEP Coordinator and faculty advisor upon arrival.

Student Life

Students will be able to participate in sports such as soccer, rugby, baseball, basketball, tae kwon do, etc. and enroll in arts courses such as guitar, dancing, performing and scenic arts, etc. The program “Host Students” will help international students to adapt to Mexico culture as well to know historical places and cities. Trips to Mexico City, Teotihuacan, Tequila factories and colonial cities are included. A cultural show is organized during the semester. International students have the opportunity to show more about their home country or city such as culinary shows, dancing, singing or just talking. In addition, students will be able to participate in local and national festivities.

Housing and Meals

There are no housing facilities available on campus. Housing is arranged with host families who provide 21 meals per week. 

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

“Guanajuato, México is the most magical city I have ever been to. The level of education is phenomenal and it is a true language and cultural immersion. Contrary to what you hear these days about México, it was extremely safe and the people are SO friendly. The city is a college town, so there are always fun things to do and people come from all over the world, so it’s always exciting!” -Amanda Gaerke 2010-11