When most people think of exchange, they think of crossing oceans and international borders which may be thousands of miles from home. These global living and learning opportunities are encouraged by colleges and universities throughout the country. Thinking globally, however, may begin a bit closer to home through the National Student Exchange.
NSE was founded as a parallel to study abroad programs, recognizing that often language, cost, and program compatibility make studying in the United States, Canada, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands more practical and beneficial for some students than studying abroad.
Through NSE, you can study for up to one calendar year at another location. With nearly 200 colleges and universities from which to choose, you should be able to find a university with just the right combination of courses, facilities, and environment to meet you’re academic and personal needs and interests.
"For me, going abroad seemed too far away; staying home seemed too close. NSE was the perfect choice!"
Sonoma State University
to the University of Northern Colorado
WHY STUDENTS EXCHANGE
Students participate in NSE in order to:
Participating in NSE can be exhilarating, culturally enriching, and one of the most significant experiences of your undergraduate education. The changes seen in student attitudes, understanding of other people in other settings, maturity, self-confidence, and decision-making are similar to the experiences of students who study internationally.
- experience personal growth
- live in a different geographic area
- become more independent and resourceful
- broaden personal and educational perspectives
- explore and appreciate new cultures
- widen university boundaries
- take courses not offered on their home campus
- learn from different professors
- access courses with different perspectives
- explore new areas of study
- investigate graduate or professional schools
- look for future employment opportunities
- break out of their comfort zones
- acquire life skills
- experience life from a different point of view
IMPACT OF THE EXCHANGE EXPERIENCE
For participating NSE students, the year on exchange is usually the most significant and enjoyable year in their education. Students return home with a fresh outlook on their education and better able to define academic and career objectives. It is also a year of dramatic personal growth and maturity, particularly for students who are not well-traveled or have lived most of their lives in the region where they are attending college. Students frequently return from exchange with more self-confidence and independence, greater decision-making skills, better able to take risks, and with a better defined view of their future.
It is not unusual for NSE students to consider, after returning to their home environment, participation in a study abroad program as well as graduate school and employment opportunities outside of their home region. Like study abroad, volunteerism, internships and research, NSE is an enhancement of your undergraduate program, demonstrating to graduate schools and future employers that you have gone beyond the expected.
Students must be enrolled at one of NSE’s Member Universities in order to apply for exchange; and exchanges are only available at other member institutions. Students apply for participation on their home campus and either pay their normal tuition to their home campus or pay at the host campus as if they were a resident.
In NSE, you work directly with your home NSE coordinator through the application, placement and pre-departure processes. You apply for participation on your home campus. Placements are accepted at host campuses on a space-available basis. Your home NSE coordinator will give you campus-specific, written requirements regarding eligibility, application, financial aid, placement, post-placement, academic advising, and other procedures appropriate to the campus at which you are enrolled. Following placement, you will be contacted by your host NSE campus coordinator and given written instructions for timely follow-through regarding housing, registration, enrollment, and payment.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Most of your general questions about NSE can be answered by information in the How It Works section. The specifics of how the program works on your own campus will be addressed by the NSE coordinator on the campus at which you are enrolled. For information on offices which administer NSE see NSE Campuses Offices.
When you meet with your coordinator, you will receive an NSE Directory which details program policies and procedures as well as provides specific information about, and limitations related to, each college and university holding membership in NSE. You will also receive an application for exchange designed by and for your campus.
"Allow yourself to break out of your comfort zone and experience life from a different point of view."
Humboldt State University
to the University of Alaska Southeast
WHAT IF MY CAMPUS IS NOT A MEMBER?
If your college or university is not listed as an NSE participant, you may want to bring the program to the attention of the appropriate administrative officers on your campus. Offices most interested in NSE include study abroad, honors programs, student success centers, enrollment management, academic advising, student services, and student government. Information for Prospective Members provides guidelines for membership which is open to accredited, four-year colleges and universities in the United States and Canada.
"Being on exchange…forces you to explore, experiment, to change, grow, and develop."
University of Massachusetts at Amherst
to the University of Montana
and Oregon State University