National Student Exchange

National Student Exchange offers study away at colleges and universities throughout the United States, Canada, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. You can study at another campus for a semester or year. If you are interested in new academic challenges or just need a change of pace, NSE may be an ideal option for you. Applications are now being accepted for Fall 2023 and Spring 2024 Online.

Academic Benefits
  • take classes not available at your school
  • study with new professors and experts in your field
  • broaden your educational perspective
  • pursue research, field study, and internship opportunities
  • investigate graduate schools
Personal Benefits
  • experience personal growth and independence
  • live in different geographic and cultural settings
  • gain international and/or intercultural understanding
  • explore the historical and cultural makeup of the U.S. and Canada
Professional Benefits
  • make connections in a new job market
  • develop practical skills for use in your professional development
  • increase collaboration experience
  • prepare yourself to live and work in a culturally diverse society

You are encouraged to select colleges and universities that will provide learning opportunities to supplement and complement those of your home institution and assist you in reaching your educational goals. You are also encouraged to select campuses that will stimulate personal growth and development and allow you to experience the educational, geographic, and cultural diversity found among NSE's members.

Read below for essential tips for researching your exchange and deciding on and NSE campus.

Understand exchange policies and procedures

Contact your home campus NSE Coordinator with key questions.

  • Which tuition plan is available to me? NSE students pay HOME or HOST tuition, not both.
  • What are my campus eligibility requirements?
  • What is the deadline and application process?


Who is my home coordinator?

Nora Cruz Dole
University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
ESTAC 3.128
(956) 665-3572 |

Understand Academic Choices

Review the Academics tab and Course Catalog on the campus profile of any school you are considering.

Academic questions:

  1. Do I have a flexible academic plan for exchange? If you are dependent on a specific course for graduation or to maintain academic progress, exchange may not be appropriate. Registration in host campus courses is based on offerings and availability and cannot be guaranteed.
  2. Has my academic advisor approved my plan for exchange?
  3. Will the host campus offer access to adequate courses for maintenance of academic progress?
  4. Will participating in the exchange delay graduation?
  5. How will specialized or unique course offerings at the host campus enhance my academic program and career objectives?
  6. Am I proficient in the language of my prospective host campus? Classes are taught in Spanish at all campuses in Puerto Rico. At most campuses in Quebec, classes are taught in French.
  7. Is the host campus on the same academic calendar as my own? If you are moving between quarter and semester calendars, you are encouraged to plan an academic year exchange to maintain academic progress.

Understand Finances

Review the campus profile of any school you're considering.

Key questions:

  • Which tuition plan is available to me?
  • How will exchange affect my financial aid?
  • Are my financial resources sufficient to cover the cost of exchange?

Understand Placement

Review Placement to understand the process for choosing and prioritizing your exchange school. Your home campus NSE coordinator has access to campus placement history and will advise you on choosing a first-choice campus and back-up choices.

General Eligibility Requirements Prior to Exchange
1. Baccalaureate degree seeking undergraduate (matriculating) student at an NSE member campus
2. Completion of one term of full-time attendance (12 semester or 12 quarter hours) at NSE member campus prior to application*
3. Completion of one academic year (24 semester hours or 36 quarter hours) at an NSE member campus prior to exchange
4. Full-time (in classroom) enrollment at your NSE home campus
5. Minimum home campus cumulative gpa of 2.5 (4.0 scale)*
6. Good academic standing as defined by your home campus
7. No incomplete grades from previous terms
8. No outstanding financial obligations to your home campus
9. No current or pending campus probationary status or disciplinary action due to academic dishonesty, civil, or criminal misconduct
10. No current or pending non-campus related probationary status or disciplinary action due to civil or criminal misconduct

* Transfer students may apply for NSE during their first term at the home university at the discretion of the home campus NSE coordinator and potential host campus NSE coordinator. Student may be able to participate in exchange during their second term if they meet and maintain all general eligibility requirements (see above). Student should work with the home campus NSE coordinator to determine specific campus eligibility. Not all NSE member campuses may be able to accept transfer students in the first term.

The potential host campus may have different and/or additional eligibility requirements: Consult the Campus Profile for exchange requirements, limitations and restrictions which apply to incoming exchange students at the school(s) you are considering for exchange.

Each member campus has its own application process and selects its own outgoing candidates for exchange. Applicants must meet NSE's eligibility requirements as well as any additional criteria imposed by home and host institutions.


Application and Selection

Application Process

NSE participation is a privilege, not a right. Meeting minimum eligibility requirements and submitting an application do not guarantee your selection or placement.

Your home campus has designed an application and selection procedure to ensure that both NSE and campus standards are met. It is likely that you will be expected to provide a current transcript, letters of recommendation, goal statements for your exchange, and basic biographic data. The application is processed at your home campus and may require a personal interview. Consult your home campus NSE coordinator for details concerning the process and application deadlines on your campus.

Your home campus will assess a fee when you submit your application for exchange participation. This is an application fee and it is not refundable. Your coordinator will not submit a request for placement until the fee has been paid. No refund will be given whether or not you are placed, accept or decline your placement, or withdraw or become ineligible. If you reapply for NSE participation, you may incur an additional application fee.

Once selected and placed by the home campus, NSE applicants generally are not subjected to a further selection process by their host campuses unless they have chosen academic programs requiring auditions, portfolios, or higher gpa than required by the sending campus. Information on requirements of this nature is available at the Conditions tab of the Member Campus Profiles. Carefully review program requirements and limitations prior to submitting an application.

Program Options

Program options (such as study abroad, internships, student teaching, and resident assistant exchange) must be explored with your home coordinator eight to ten months prior to the actual exchange. These options require advanced planning, special arrangements, and, in some cases, additional application materials.

Special Needs

If you will need host campus classroom, housing, or other accommodation due to a physical challenge, learning disability, or medical condition, you are encouraged to identify yourself at the time of application for assistance in selecting an exchange site that can best meet your needs.


It is important that you explore your exchange participation very carefully prior to actual placement. Select only campuses to which you are willing to exchange, including those which may be second, third, or other choices. Explore exchange participation, including financial resources, with your parents, significant others, academic advisor, and financial aid officer prior to placement, not after.