You've probably heard of international student exchange and study abroad programs, but did you know that when you're in college, you can actually explore what it's like to live in a different culture without having to cross an ocean?
National Student Exchnage (NSE) is a domestic exchange program for college students. Any student enrolled at a participating college or university can choose to attend an NSE member school elsewhere in the U.S., Canada, Guam, Puerto Rico, or the U.S. Virgin Islands.
According to organization president, Bette Worley, the National Student Exchange was founded in 1968 and has served 95,000 students. About 2,800 students are enrolled annually. While the majority of NSE students choose to spend an entire academic year at their host school, single semester and summer exchanges are also possible.
So why choose NSE and why ask about it on your college visit?
Because maybe you:
- Have always wondered what it would be like to live or work in part of the country different from where you are.
- Have never lived outside your home state or region.
- Are interested in exploring geographical cultural differences (deep south vs. northwest, urban vs. rural, etc.).
- Can take courses not offered at your home institution.
- Or, have always wanted to go to school out of a state, but could not afford it.
Tuition reciprocity is another one of the key benefits of the program. An NSE student can pay the host institution the same tuition amount charged by their home institution. For example, an in-state student would not have to pay out-of-state tuition fees at a host college outside their home state.
Experiencing personal growth, facing new challenges, and making lifelong friends are other reasons students site as benefits to the program.
NSE Student Achievement Award Recipient: Lacie Richardson (Western State
College of Colorado exchange student to the University of Alaska Southeast, academic year 2008-2009, Major: English) praises the program for helping her expand her horizons. “NSE has given me the single most amazing growing experience I’ve encountered to date because it provided me the opportunity to do things I didn’t even know I was capable of.”
NSE gives you the opportunity to broaden your travel and learning
experiences without incurring high costs or causing major disruptions
to your life as a college student. Appoximately 200 institutions
participate in NSE. If you think domestic exchange may be something you'll want to explore in the future, then be sure to ask if the college you're visiting is a