Mobility and Exchange Students

ISEP - International Student Exchange Program

ISEP is the largest network for student exchanges worldwide. With ISEP Exchange you can study one or two semesters at one of around

in every offered field of study except Medicine and Veterinary Medicine. The only exception is participation in the ISEP Direct Program.

You remain registered at the University of Bern and deposit the money here for food and accommodation. In return, you do not pay any registration fees at the host university and will be given free accommodation and meals or a grant with the equivalent amount. The amount you deposit here enables an ISEP guest student to stay in Bern with the same conditions.



  • You must have completed one year (BA) or one semester (MA) of study at the University of Bern before starting your exchange program.
  • Excellent knowledge of English, if necessary further language skills in accordance with the requirements of the particular institutions.
  • Registration at the University of Bern at the time you apply as well as during your exchange program.


  • Application fee USD 100 to be paid to ISEP by credit card (cannot be reimbursed).
  • Placement fee USD 325 to be paid after the allocation of the place by credit card.
  • Per semester CHF 6,000: Costs for accommodation and meals. The University of Bern will invoice you for this amount as soon as you have confirmed your place at a host university with your signature. The invoice must be paid before you leave. By paying the invoice you confirm to participate in the exchange and therefore, a reimbursement of the payment is not possible. The amount of CHF 6,000 is a fixed lump sum to be paid per semester (irrespective of the length of the semester at the host university). The services provided by the different host universities can differ (single or shared room, meal plan, usage of sport facilities etc.). 
  • MER insurance (Medical Evacuation, Repatriation and Global Assistance) USD 8.- per month(2018)
  • Tuition fees of the University of Bern (at the host university no tuition fees will be charged)

Language requirements

Most universities in the US and in the Pacific Region require proof of your English language skills in the form of a TOEFL test, IELTS or U.S. GPA.  For the fall semester, the test results have to have been received by January 15 at the latest, for the spring semester by August 15. Please submit a copy of your test results with your registration documents.

Cambridge certificates (Advanced, Proficiency) are not accepted at universities outside of Europe. For students applying for an ISEP exchange outside of Europe a TOFL or IELTS certificate that is not older than 2 years is required. If you have to take a TOEFL or IELTS test please enquire early on about the test dates. 

Students studying English as their major or minor who do not have a TOEFL or IELTS certificate can apply with an ISEP language proficiency report (LPR) for universities who accept this report. If you have any questions regarding language requirements please contact Ms Hiromi Kamiya (


Conditions of registration

In terms of preparation, you have to allow yourself plenty of time for selecting the universities that suit your degree.

Involve the departmental exchange coordinator in your field of study and find out about how your academic attainments achieved during your exchange semester are recognized in your degree.

Contact details departmental exchange coordinators:


The International Office has no influence on placements at particular universities. A sound application can increase your chances of obtaining a place at the university of your choice. There is, however, no guarantee. Please take note of the document "Application Advice" below.

Application takes place in two steps:

1. Registration at the International Office at the University of Bern

Registration periods:

Exchange during the autumn semester: 1st October - 15th December 
Exchange during the autumn and spring semester: 1st October - 15th December
Exchange during the spring semester: 1st April - 15th June

Online registration

2. Online application at ISEP

Once your documents have been checked, the ISEP coordinator from the International Office creates the user account necessary for the online application. (How to apply)

After the exchange visit

At the end of your stay, you are obliged to fill out a Concluding Report. You can do that here online without it being too time-consuming. 

Preparing the exchange

In the field report of former exchange students you will find valuable tips on how to prepare your exchange visit.