National Student Exchange is a study away program that gave me the opportunity to spend my Spring 2017 semester at the University of the Virgin Islands in St. Croix.
First, see if your home university is part of the program.
NSE.org has a complete list of all of the schools that are members of the National Student Exchange Program. There are over 170 universities that are members across the US mainland, Hawaii, Alaska, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Guam as well as some in Canada. If your school is a member, you are allowed to study at any of the other universities that are also apart of NSE for a semester or a full academic year. This website can search university programs by major, region of the United States, or in a specific state.
NSE is cheaper than most study abroad programs.
NSE allows two payment options. You can either pay 1). your home campus’s in-state tuition or 2). you can pay the in-state tuition for the university you will be going to. In my situation, I am an in-state student, but I paid less to go to UVI because their in-state tuition is cheaper than it was at my home campus.
NSE opens classes and opportunities.
Some students chose to do NSE because they are able to take classes in their major that are not offered at their home institution. It also allows a chance to look at potential grad schools or future places of residence. At UVI, I was able to take Business Law, Public Speaking, Intro to Finance, Calculus, and Managerial Accounting which all went directly towards my major. (I also made the Dean’s List!)
Some options require students to live on campus and other programs make off campus accommodations. I enjoyed living on campus in St. Croix to be closer to local students and other NSE students.
Pick a school and apply.
Most programs require a 2.5 GPA and allow you to exchange from your home campus for two semesters. This means you can spend a year can be spend at the same university or two different ones.
Other reasons to consider NSE.
The United States is extremely diverse in its landscapes, cultures and ethnicity. Studying within the US can be a time for dramatic personal growth and provide opportunities like any other study abroad program. NSE is closer to home and doesn’t have a huge financial burden. Different colleges specialize and offer classes that others don’t. From island living, to mountains, to deserts and anything in between, there’s something for everyone with NSE. I highly recommend looking more into National Student Exchange at NSE.org