ISEP (International Student Exchange Program)
Masaryk University is the only public university in the Czech Republic that is part of the ISEP international network, which allows students to study for the same cost as in the Czech Republic at almost 150 universities in the USA and at dozens of other universities in 50 countries around the world – for example in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and various countries in Latin America, Asia and Africa.
You can find a list of host universities on the webpages of the ISEP organisation. You can follow your study placement in the USA with a traineeship of the same length (Academic Training), which allows you to legally work in the USA in your field of study – you can find further information here. Within the ISEP programme MU does not support students at European universities, since mobility in Europe is possible via the programme Erasmus+. MU does not support additional study within the ISEP Direct programme, only ISEP Exchange.
- Participation Conditions
- Financial Conditions
- Before Departure
- While Abroad
- After Return
- Participants in the ISEP programme must be full-time bachelor's and master's degree students at Masaryk University.
- At the time the application form is filled out, applicants must be in the second to fourth years of their studies at MU. This means in years 2, 3, or 4 of the bachelor's program, in the first year of the regular master's program, or in years 2, 3, or 4 of the "long" master's program.
- The minimum length of the study placement is one semester and the maximum is two. You can follow your study placement in the USA with a traineeship of the same length (Academic Training), which allows you to legally work in the USA in your field of study – you can find further information here.
- You may participate in the program only once during the course of your studies at MU.
- For each semester of study the student has a duty to get 20 ECTS, or the equivalent in the credit system of the host university. The given programme requires of MU students that after the end of their placement they submit an application for recognition of courses/credits from their foreign placement. You can find further information here.
- We recommend that MU students of law, medicine and pharmacy consider their participation in the mobility program carefully, because of the differences in the educational systems for these disciplines both in the USA and in other countries (although participation is feasible for MU students who get permission from their home faculty).
- If a student applies to study abroad as part of a master's degree (follow-up master’s degree or the 4th and 5th year of a long master's degree), we recommend a careful selection of receiving institutions (check the availability, number and content of courses in catalogues) and subsequent consultation with the academic coordinator at the home faculty/department before closing the online CZS application.
- Throughout the time you study abroad under ISEP, you must maintain active status as a full-time student at MU—in other words, you cannot terminate or interrupt your studies, nor can you change to a status other than full-time student.
- Within the ISEP programme, MU supports studies only at universities outside Europe (Mobility in Europe is possible through the Erasmus+ programme).
- MU supports study only within the ISEP Exchange programme, not ISEP Direct.
The host institution:
- charges no tuition fees for the host institution
- provides regular full-time study with full credit at MU (more on credit for study abroad)
- offers fully subsidized housing and meals at the host institution or a stipend to cover these costs (from the host institution)
- the maximum possible grant from the CZS is 20 thousand CZK per month. Each year the CZS tries to gain the funds for the provision of these grants, but despite this the award of this grant is not guaranteed and is not a right. The CZS reserves the right to reduce or not provide the grant. In the case of a placement in the spring semester, CZS is able to pay the scholarship at the earliest in February, so it is necessary that the student is financially prepared for this possible delay.
- students must still pay their MU tuition (if they are tuition payers) according to faculty regulations
- students must contribute to paying the accommodation and meals allowance of a foreign student studying at MU for each semester they study at the university abroad
- for the 2022/2023 academic year, the cost was 48.000 CZK per semester
- an administrative fee paid to ISEP for overseeing placement at the university:
- non-returnable administrative fee for applications of 100 USD
- a fee of 425 USD for organising the placement. This is paid by the student once they agree to the place at the host university
- mandatory ISEP health insurance: around 100 USD per month (at current rates), purchased in whole months, for the entire length of studies.
- travel expenses
- study materials
- visa fees, SEVIS fee (USA)
- pocket money (between $150-$400 USD per month)
- other (varies depending on costs connected with the stay for a particular country, exam fees, etc.)
The application process for the ISEP program involves two steps:
- 1. Submission of electronic application to the CZS
- The electronic application form to the CZS application process is available here. First register using the student No. (in the case that you do not already have application data) and then complete the online application form. This will be available about two months before the deadline for the current call.
- 2. Submission of an electronic ISEP application, which the student submits only after successfully passing the CZS selection procedure. More information on filling in the ISEP application will be provided by the CZS coordinator. Please do not create an ISEP application yourself without the approval of the CZS coordinator.
- Important warning: For the application in the ISEP portal, nominated students will have to prove their language skills according to the requirements of the receiving institutions (available at each institution on the ISEP website). The vast majority of institutions recognise TOEFL or IELTS tests. Meeting the language requirements for the selection procedure within the CZS is not enough for the ISEP application. Caution: Certificates issued by the University of Cambridge (i.e. FCE, CAE and CPE) are usually not recognised! Carefully check the language requirements of your chosen institutions. We recommend that you register for the TOEFL or IELTS exam even before the end of the CZS selection procedure, so that you receive the results in time and can state them in your ISEP application. The results of these exams must be known by 15 February for the beginning of studies in the autumn semester or by 15 September for the beginning of studies in the spring semester.
CENTRE FOR INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION ELECTRONIC APPLICATION FORM
Electronic application forms will only be accepted from students if they are completed and closed by the deadline, if they contain all attachments, and if the letter of recommendation is delivered to the CZS by the closing date.
In the application form, students select the foreign universities at which they would like to study. The minimum is a single university, the maximum ten universities.
A list of receiving universities to choose from can be found on the ISEP website (in the section Find a Program> Start a search> Select university (Masaryk University)> Select semester, year, language).
The number of universities selected does not figure into the decision, but applicants should keep in mind that selecting a larger number of universities will boost their chances of successful placement (done by ISEP). Also, if you only pick universities that are highly competitive, for example universities in Australia and New Zealand, it is possible that ISEP will not be able to place you at any of the institutions on your list and will select an alternative placement option for you.
MU within the ISEP programme supports study only at universities outside Europe! (Mobility in Europe is possible through the Erasmus+ programme.)
MU supports studies only within the ISEP Exchange programme, and not ISEP Direct.
After filling in all parts of the electronic application form, you must upload the following documents through the online interface. They will become part of your online CZS application for the ISEP program:
- An academic cover letter in English or in the language in which your foreign studies will take place (there should be a maximum of three of these letters, one for each of the top three schools on your application form, to a maximum of three institutions). In the letter, explain why each of your chosen institutions is suitable for the implementation of your academic plans (max. 1 A4 page for each institution). Be specific and make clear your academic reasons for choosing a particular school. The cover letter matters a lot; general or copied information will not guarantee you an interview.
- Proof of knowledge of a foreign language. If you are interested in studying in English, it is necessary to prove your knowledge of the English language for the selection procedure at CZS.
- Accepted forms of proof include the TOEFL and IELTS certificates, as well as the CAE and FCE (level B2), or an English major at MU (Faculty of Education and Faculty of Arts).
- Students enrolled in an English programme at MU who conduct their studies in English do not have to take the test or submit any other supporting documents.
- Other students must demonstrate their knowledge by passing a test in the English language organized by CZS (see below).
- Applications for the English language test may be submitted via the online form found here.
- Students who passed the test in the previous term of the selection procedure, can have this result included in the current application. Results from older tests cannot be counted. The student must take the test again.
- The level of the test corresponds to the European B2 level. The test covers listening comprehension, lexical and grammatical knowledge, and reading comprehension. It lasts 60 minutes. Dates(s) of English tests can be found at the link above.
- Important warning: For the application in the ISEP portal, the nominated students will have to prove their language skills according to the requirements of the receiving institutions (available at each institution on the ISEP website). The vast majority of institutions recognise the TOEFL or IELTS tests. Meeting the language requirements for the selection procedure within the CZS is not enough for the ISEP application. Attention: Certificates issued by the University of Cambridge (i.e. FCE, CAE and CPE) are usually not recognised! Carefully check the language requirements of your chosen institutions. We recommend that you register for the TOEFL or IELTS exam before the end of the CZS selection procedure, so that you receive the results in time and can state them in your ISEP application. The results of this exam must be known by 1 March for the beginning of studies in the autumn semester or by 15 September for the beginning of studies in the spring semester. Information on English Language Requirement options recognized by ISEP can be found on the ISEP website.
- Letter of recommendation from a teacher at MU (even external staff) in English must be written on the given form (Academic Reference form can be found in the Documents section) and delivered in a sealed envelope, which the teacher signs across the seal. The letter of recommendation can also be sent by the teacher by e-mail from the IS by the deadline for submission of applications to the CZS, on the given scanned form (Academic Reference – both parts). In other forms the letter of recommendation will not be accepted for the ISEP programme.
- Your complete academic record from IS MU in English, along with any other relevant university course work declared in your application. Your academic record must be confirmed by the study department of the relevant faculty. The diploma supplement must be submitted for any studies completed at MU or elsewhere.
After the application deadline, the selected students will be invited to the second round of the selection procedure. This is a personal interview in English (or in another language according to the language of instruction), where the coordinators will discuss with them in detail their academic motivation, study plans at the given institutions and other details of the programme. Interviews take place approximately 10 to 14 days after the registration deadline (in the case of the December deadline, this time is extended by the Christmas holiday period) and each usually lasts 10 to 15 minutes.
Only after the end of the second round of the selection procedure will the final selection of successful candidates take place. All students will be informed of the results by e-mail.
Electronic applications are evaluated according to the following criteria:
- academic motivation letter (40 %)
- instructor’s letter of recommendation (10 %)
- proof of language knowledge (20 %)
- academic results (study percentile at MU 15 %)
- electronic application (15 %)
- You will be informed about the next steps by e-mail by the programme coordinator as soon as you are selected in the CZS selection procedure.
- The next step is to fill in the application in the ISEP portal. Based on this application, ISEP will place you at one of your listed schools. All information about this step will be communicated to you by the CZS coordinator. This coordinator will work with you in dealing with administrative steps at MU before your departure and will also pay you the scholarship. They will be your liaison with MU for you until the end of your placement. Communicate all changes in your placement with us! Remember that you will still remain a MU student while abroad.
- From nomination you will also be in contact with the ISEP coordinator (with them you will sort out your ISEP application, placement, visa documents, insurance, …) and after placement at the receiving institution also with the coordinator from this institution (with whom you will sort out courses, the Learning Agreement, …)
- Within the first 30 days of the start of the semester abroad, you must make changes to the Learning Agreement and acquire the signature of the foreign institution and the person authorized by the faculty to indicate in what way the subjects are recognized and their credit value.
The CZS (ISEP programme) requires of MU students that they submit an application for the recognition of course/credits from their foreign placement. You can find further information here.
Within 30 days after the mobility's end students must complete the final report. The report is accessed via the ISOIS application (choose “Final Reports” in the “Programme” section).
I noticed on the ISEP website that it is possible to fill in the application there as well. So where do I fill it in - in ISOIS or on the ISEP website?
You submit the application first at MU, via the ISOIS login portal. If you are selected by MU, only then will you send the application to ISEP. Do not create an application on the ISEP portal without being prompted; you will be informed about everything when the right time comes.
Can I use an old transcript of records?
The transcript of records must be as up-to-date as possible. It is necessary to use a transcript of records from the studies in which you are applying for the placement.
What if I am only studying the first semester of the follow-up master's degree?
Then please upload a diploma supplement from your bachelor’s studies as well as your current transcript.
I wrote an English test because of my Erasmus+ placement, can you recognise it for me?
A test written for an Erasmus+ placement cannot be recognised for the purposes of the ISEP programme. You must sign up for the CZS test. This test cannot in turn be recognised for Erasmus+ applications.
Can I take the CZS English test more than once?
You can take the test only once in each cycle/semester.
I have taken the CZS English test in the past, can you recognise my results?
For students who passed the test in the previous term of the selection procedure, this result can be included in the current application. Results from older tests cannot be counted. You must take the test again.
I have an FCE/CAE/CPE certificate, is it enough for me to meet the conditions of language competences?
For admission to the selection procedure within MU yes. It is important for us to make sure that the student has English at a sufficient level to manage to study abroad. But for the purposes of applying in the ISEP portal and for placement in universities, usually not. Look carefully at the requirements of the receiving institutions on the ISEP website. The vast majority of institutions only recognise TOEFL or IELTS tests. We recommend that you register for the TOEFL or IELTS exam before the end of the CZS selection procedure, so that you can include the results in your ISEP application and do not miss the deadline. An application in the ISEP portal must be complete by February 15 for the beginning of studies in the autumn semester or by September 15 for the beginning of studies in the spring semester.
What should I include in the cover letter?
In the cover letters we mainly look for information about what attracted you to the given foreign institution and why you want to go there. These are mainly academically oriented goals. Do not write whole letters using the copy and paste method. When we see three cover letters with the same text, only with the name of the university changed, they will not be evaluated well. And the visual/formal side also counts.
To whom should I address cover letters; who will read them?
Address cover letters in general. They are used for the internal selection procedure at MU (at CZS), but they can also be used for your application to ISEP at the receiving institution in case of your successful nomination.
The Academic Reference document is a bit confusing. What exactly should I fill in and what does the teacher fill in?
Download the form from the Documents section and fill in the data in the header. And do not forget to sign it! At the bottom of the form, either fill in the name and e-mail address of the pre-nomination coordinator in the box or leave the box blank. Forward the form completed in this way to the teacher.
The teacher then fills in the table and attaches an additional letter in English (signed). The teacher then sends these two documents either scanned to the e-mail address of the pre-nomination coordinator from his or her IS MU e-mail or physically in a sealed envelope directly to the CZS address.
Can you advise me how to look for receiving universities?
Certainly! In the first step, we will exclude universities where it is not possible to go via ISEP. First, MU does not send students to universities in Europe via ISEP. The Erasmus+ programme is used for this. Second, there are two types of ISEP programme: Direct and Exchange. From MU you can only apply to Exchange. Pay attention to the range of programmes offered on the school website. Many of them offer both types of programme!
When choosing universities, follow the "Chances of Placement" on the profile of each university. If the university indicates "most competitive" or "very limited/limited", be prepared that they will probably not place you at this school and put another school where you would like to go and where the Chances of Placement are better as high as possible on your list. You can find an overview of Chances of Placement here.
I am (or will be) a master's student during my placement. Are the options for choosing schools going to change for me?
Please note that not every university admits graduate students, so this needs to be found on the profiles of individual universities on the ISEP website. Go through each individual school and its study offer in your field really carefully, making sure that the range of classes you can sign up for is sufficient. Then consult your choice with the guarantor of your field or the appointed academic coordinator at the department/faculty as the authorised person.
Also, make sure that the courses offered at your selected universities include face-to-face courses, not just online (this would be a problem for visas). This problem could occur especially in subjects at the master's level of study.
What chance do I have of being selected for an ISEP placement?
If you fill in the application in ISOIS correctly and in detail and deliver all the documents on time, then it is quite large. Many students are excluded from the selection process due to shortcomings in their applications. If you make sure that your application is in order and that your academic motivation is clear from the cover letters, then it will only be a matter of competition. Each year, a different number of students apply, so it is not possible to determine the ratio between successful and unsuccessful applicants. If you are unsure about anything about the application do not hesitate to contact the pre-nomination coordinator.
How soon will I know the results after the selection procedure closes?
After the application deadline, the selected students will be invited to the second round of the selection procedure. This is a personal interview. Interviews take place approximately 10 to 14 days after the registration deadline (in the case of the December deadline, this time is extended by the Christmas holiday period). Only after the end of the second round of the selection procedure will the final selection of successful candidates take place. All students will be informed of the results by e-mail.
Will I know which school I will be going to immediately after the successful selection procedure for CZS?
No. ISEP and not CZS will place you at a specific school.
How does ISEP place students at individual universities?
The main thing for placement is to meet the conditions for admission to all the institutions that you have listed (pay attention to the proof of language competences). Then also look at what Chances of Placement each institution has and add some schools where the Chances are "fair" and "good" to your list. Then it is just a matter of capacity. You can expect to hear from ISEP about your placement in about a week or two after the application deadline.
So, if CZS does not place me directly, can I reconsider my choice of schools to have a better chance of placement?
Yes, you can change the selection of schools that you enter in the CZS application in the ISEP application. This selection is not final until the ISEP application is confirmed. Contact your ISEP coordinator if you want to be sure of the placement options.
What are the chances of getting to school in Australia or New Zealand?
The area of Australia and New Zealand is very competitive and there is little chance that ISEP will be able to place you at an institution in this area. Capacity is small and demand from all over the world exceeds it several times over. Take the time to find institutions in other countries to which your heart and your field draw you to.
Is it possible that ISEP will not be able to place me in any of my selected schools? What is the procedure then?
Yes, it can happen for various reasons. If ISEP is not able to place you at any of your selected schools, it will offer you an alternative according to your field and level of studies. If you do not like that school, you do not have to accept the nomination. However, ISEP will not offer other alternatives. Therefore, we recommend preventing these situations and putting at least one or two institutions with "fair" or "good" Chances of Placement on your list.
If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact the ISEP coordinators - they will be happy to help you!