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ISEP Malta

Fast Facts

Sessions Offered:

Fall, Spring, Academic Year


Msida, Greater Valletta, Malta




3.0 GPA, junior standing

Application Due:

Exchange: 1/30 for Fall, Year 8/15 for Spring
Direct: rolling through 10 days before deadline posted on ISEP webpage

Program Cost:

Click the Application tab.

ISEP Malta

Map with Malta

The university is located in Msida (pronounced im-seeda), on Malta, which is one of a group of islands and rocky islets that comprise the Republic of Malta. The island, with a population of about 400,000 and measuring about 17 by 10 miles, is in the center of the Mediterranean about 60 miles south of Sicily. The Maltese have one of the highest standards of living in the Mediterranean and an impressive record in health and education. The town enjoys a Mediterranean climate with hot, dry, sunny summers and short, cool winters.

Msida is a suburb of Valletta, the republic's capital city. Valletta is easily reached from the university by bus, affording convenient access to the capital's museums, palaces, hospital, theatres, libraries, botanical gardens and churches.

The islands have been inhabited since the dawn of civilization as the prehistoric constructions, older even than the Pyramids, attest. In fact the oldest prehistoric buildings in Europe are found in Malta. The occupation and settlement of Malta by modern humans began approximately 7,000 years ago, when the first Neolithic Farmers crossed the 50 mile-wide straits that separate the islands from Sicily.

About ISEP

The University of Iowa has been an institutional member of ISEP (International Student Exchange Program) since 1983. University of Iowa students therefore have access to the more than 200 programs in over 50 countries with other ISEP institutional members. These programs are incredibly immersive, affordable, and diverse. Many do not even require knowledge of a second language!

All ISEP program sites have an on-site ISEP coordinator with a comprehensive orientation program to help facilitate your full immersion into your host culture. You will participate in regular university classes – taught by local professors – with students from the host culture. You essentially be directly enrolled in the host institution and will also have complete access to all campus facilities as if you were a local student.

Program Types

Malta sea view

ISEP-Exchange: You pay your normal UI tuition, fees, housing and meals to the University of Iowa. This will be placed on your U-Bill just like if you were staying at the University of Iowa. You then do not have to pay anything to your host university (except various class/lab fees that your courses might have). You just have to get your passport, plane ticket and spending money because when you arrive at your host university, you’ll have housing, meals, tuition and fees covered! Typically, all of your financial aid and scholarships apply to these programs too.

One important thing to note when looking for ISEP Exchange Programs is that you are never guaranteed placement. Some sites have more/less space than others. Be sure to check the “Chance of Placement” next to the program for your potential chance. You should always list more than one potential program that you would like to be placed at.

ISEP-Direct: These programs are based on a fee paying structure, but you are guaranteed placement – assuming you meet the eligibility requirements and are accepted by the host university. Many ISEP Direct programs include housing and meals in the cost, but make sure to check what is included. You can check their costs on ISEP's Direct Costs Website (some fees will even be cheaper than staying in Iowa!). Please remember that these costs usually include tuition, meals and housing. See the Estimated Costs of Attendance of the University of Iowa for comparison.

For More Information

Visit the ISEP Malta page. Hover your cursor over the bar For U.S. Students. Go to Malta and click on the name of the university. Also be mindful of the section on Sites Available, which changes over time.
Once you have explored, proceed no further until you have met with the ISEP advisor in the UI Study Abroad office. Meet to discuss the ISEP process and receive instructions for application.


University of Malta entrance

Malta is in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, directly south of Italy. This particular location has afforded it significance since antiquity (Phoenicians, Romans, vandals and byzantines), through Arab and Norman periods in the Middle ages, into the 16th century as home-base to the Knights of Malta’s european line of defense against the Ottoman empire, later a pawn in Napoleon’s thrust into Egypt, next, voluntary member of the British empire and finally, theater of war in both World Wars.

Malta Island in the largest of the three major islands constituting the Maltese archipelago. The capital of Valletta, colloquially known as Il-Belt (or The City), is built on a finger thrusting into a large inlet on the east-central coast of the island. Valetta strictly speaking refers to the historic walled citadel, built in the 16th Century under the rule of the Knights Hospitaller – much of the subsequent baroque architectural character remains to this day.

The University of Malta is located in the larger urban agglomeration of Greater Valletta, in the bustling harbor town of Msida.

Maltese (Malti) is the language spoken on the islands though English is the official language. A great majority of the classes at the university are taught in English.

Program Options

Horse and carriage in Malta square

Please look under the “Academics” tab on the specific program’s ISEP website for further information on available academic programs for ISEP students. This information will be listed under the heading “Programs.” There then will be very important information following these programs in relation to language requirements, courses taught in English, and if there are any “Special Academic Conditions” that you will have to meet for specific programs.

Note that many ISEP programs do not require knowledge of a second language and there is typically a diverse selection of courses taught in English. Please see the specific program websites for details and contact your Study Abroad Advisor with any questions.


Please see the section titled “Program Dates” under the “Overview” tab in the individual program webpages for specific dates.

Travel Arrangements

Students make their own travel arrangements to arrive on campus by a designated date. Specific information will be provided in post-acceptance materials from ISEP. An Institutional Information Sheet will provide detailed information for travel, contacts in the international office, details about housing and other nuts and bolts.


This program is open to all UI students who are in both good academic and also disciplinary standing. Applicants must also meet the minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75

Meeting the minimum requirements for eligibility does NOT guarantee acceptance into the program. The final decision on admissions rests with ISEP and the host institution. Chances of placement for students seeking to go to Italy are generally good to excellent (meaning usually greater than a 75% chance of getting your desired placement) on ISEP Exchange but are never guaranteed.

Eligibility Policy

It is the University of Iowa’s policy that all students who study abroad must be in both good academic standing and also good disciplinary standing. Students who, even after being accepted into a program, are put on either academic and/or disciplinary probation for any period of time overlapping with the study abroad program dates are ineligible to study abroad.

In these cases, students must forfeit their acceptance and will NOT be allowed to study abroad. Any student that must forfeit their acceptance and/or attendance on a study abroad program due to a probationary status is wholly responsible for any and all financial expenses incurred.

Program Cost Sheet

Please contact Study Abroad for a current cost sheet that outlines the total estimated costs associated with participating in this program. The cost sheet will include fees charged on students’ U-Bill, as well as estimated out-of-pocket expenses. Actual out-of-pocket expenses will vary from individual to individual. Quoted estimates are conservatively high, yet realistic.

The cost sheet includes the Study Abroad Administrative Fee and Mandatory Iowa Regents CISI Travel Insurance. Please see the respective websites for further details. If the fee is inclusive of UI tuition, it is calculated by Current Tuition. Please contact your study abroad advisor with questions regarding this cost sheet – call 319-335-0353 to schedule an appointment.

Upfront, out of pocket expenses

Some costs are incurred prior to departure and will be due before financial aid/scholarship disperse. Here are the expected upfront costs for ISEP:

  • Iowa application fee $50
  • ISEP application fee $150
  • Placement fee $325
  • ISEP mandatory insurance $450
  • Airfare $1,000-$1,500
  • Passport $135

Optional additional fees paid to ISEP

These fees are all optional and not included in the course fee for the program. The cost should be paid directly to your host institution, failure to pay will result in ISEP withholding transcripts

  • Single room upgrade
  • Optional tours
  • Course fees

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Most financial aid (scholarships, grants, and loans) is applicable to study abroad programs. Please check the Study Abroad website for information on financial aid and how it may be applied to studying abroad. You are also encouraged to speak with someone at the Office of Student Financial Aid to explore financial aid options.

Scholarship Opportunities exist for study abroad participants. Please explore Study Abroad’s websites for UI Study Abroad Scholarship Opportunities, and Non-UI External Awards.

ISEP has additional scholarships available as well as budget resources: ISEP Scholarship

Withdrawal policy

After applying for a Study Abroad Program, notice of withdrawal must be made in writing to University of Iowa Study Abroad. The date on which the letter or e-mail message is received is the date by which your costs will be calculated. If for any reason you withdraw after the confirmation deadline and before or during the course of the program, the amount/percentage shown in the following chart represents what you will be required to pay to the University of Iowa.

Date of Withdrawal Student Financial Responsibility
After Confirmation of Participation is signed Administrative fee: $400
ISEP Placement fee: $395 ($495 for dual placement)
Portion of program fee: As determined by the program contract with ISEP
After Program Start Date Administrative fee: $400
ISEP Placement fee: $395 ($495 for dual placement)
Portion of program fee: As determined by the program contract with ISEP

Consult with your Study Abroad advisor for any clarification about fees and billing. Note that when you withdraw from a program, any money already paid directly to a program provider and/or a host university will potentially be forfeited. Check with your specific provider/host university for details. Additional penalties for cancellation of airline tickets may also apply. Check with your airline for further details.

Application Deadline

Spring Semester: 8/15. For best chances of placement on Exchange, students should have met with the ISEP adviser in May prior to the end of the semester, or during the summer.

Fall Semester and Academic Year: 1/30. For best chances of placement on Exchange, students should have met with the ISEP adviser in December prior to the end of the semester.

Any supplemental materials are due to the study abroad office one week later.

How to Apply

Click here for UI's online study abroad application.  On the application page, you need to choose your desired session.  Then choose the program "International Student Exchange Program" from the drop down menu.  This is generic application for all ISEP programs. Once your placement is confirmed from ISEP, Study Abroad will manually put you in the appropriate section.

Note, students must fill out two applications. In addition to UI's online study abroad application, you will also be required to fill out ISEP's application. BEFORE applying to ISEP, students MUST make an appointment with the study abroad advisor for this program. Students will not be allowed to apply unless they are first nominated by the University of Iowa. Please call 319-335-0353 to schedule an appointment.

Pre-departure Resources

Iowa have a variety of resources available to you to prepare for departure. It is recommended that you review these materials, share them with your parents, and refer back to them when you have questions.

  1. ISEP Student Handbook
  2. ISEP Malta Country Guide
  3. Parent Guide to Study AbroadPDF
  4. Health Preparation Guide for International TravelPDF


In order to prepare for your time abroad, you are required by the University of Iowa to complete two orientations. These may be in addition to orientations provided by your on-site provider. See below for more information.

Online Education Abroad Pre-Departure Orientation

You are required to complete the International Programs online “Education Abroad Pre-Departure Orientation” course distributed through ICON prior to departure. This orientation is mandatory for all students going abroad under the auspices of the University of Iowa. It covers many practical matters about living overseas, such as health and safety, communication, money, goals and much more. You will be enrolled in this course by International Programs and an email will be sent to you once enrolled. If you have any questions you can email

Program-Specific Orientation

This orientation will be facilitated by your study abroad advisor and will cover content specific to your program and host country. It could be conducted in a group setting or one-on-one depending on your type of planned activity abroad. Your study abroad advisor will send you more information about this mandatory in-person session.

There are no photos available for this program yet. Do you have any photos to share with us? If you do, please contact us at:

1111 University Capitol Centre
The University of Iowa
Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1802

Phone: (319) 335-0353
Fax: (319) 335-0343