National Student Exchange
The National Student Exchange (NSE) program provides undergraduates with opportunities to exchange to more than 150 institutions in the United States, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and Canada. Whether you are interested in taking courses your home institution doesn't offer, living in a different cultural or geographical setting, or researching graduate or professional schools, the NSE experience can provide you with a fresh outlook on your education.
Note: the information below is for PSU students who are planning to participate in NSE as an outgoing student. If you are visiting this page as a prospective exchange student, learn more about exchanging to PSU through NSE.
The NSE program is available to all undergraduate PSU students who
- are enrolled full-time at their home institution,
- have a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or better,
- will have completed at least 45 credit hours prior to exchange, and
- are in good academic standing at their home institution.
Applying to the NSE program includes a $200 application fee. Once in the program, tuition and fees are assessed in one of two ways:
Student pays in-state tuition at the host institution.
Student pays his/her regular tuition (assessed at 16 credit hours per term) rate at the home institution.
Each participating campus determines whether one or both payment plans are available and how many students they'll accept under each plan. Room and board expenses are paid to the host campus, but university fees (for example, lab and technology fees) are the student's responsibility, as are all personal expenses, travel, transportation to and from the host institution, and etc.
Do Your Own Research
First, think about where you have interest in exchanging. Consider the following statements/questions:
- Spend time exploring the NSE website; you can access much information about each campus.
- Why are you considering exchange? Are you looking for a different cultural experience? To access different courses? To live in a different kind of environment? These initial questions can help you hone in on campuses that would be good fits.
- When are you interested in exchanging? Are you planning to go for one term or an entire academic year? You may study through NSE up to one academic year, though the terms are not required to be consecutive. Meaning, your time on exchange may include terms from different years, and you can also study at more than one campus.
- What support will you need while on exchange? If you are planning to study far away from family and friends, how will you build a network of support?
- Some campuses have unique requirements, such as a higher minimum GPA, major restrictions, or limitations on time of year that placements are accepted. Be sure to check out the "conditions" section for each campus that interests you.
- Is being accepted on Plan A or B particularly important to you? If so, make note of campuses that only offer placement or are limited on either Plan.
Attend an Information Session
Important note: Attending an Information Session is required to participate in National Student Exchange. You will learn more about the exchange process, application policies, and how to become a competitive NSE applicant. Below is a list of available Information Sessions:
|Wednesday, November 20||1:00pm-2:00pm||SMSU 296|
|Tuesday, December 3||12:00pm-1:00pm||SMSU 296|
|Wednesday, January 8||12:00pm-1:00pm||SMSU 296|
|Thursday, January 30||12:00pm-1:00pm||SMSU 296|
|Friday, February 7 (CANCELED due to campus closure)||1:00pm-2:00pm||SMSU 296|
How and When to Apply
Complete and submit your application and $200 non-refundable application fee to the Orientation and Campus Visits Office, located in NH 131. The application deadline is in mid-February for the fall, winter, and spring terms of the following academic year. For the 2014-2015 academic year, the application deadline is Friday, February 14, 2014.
Supplemental Application Forms
By attending an Information Session, you will receive an application for exchange. In addition to completing the application, there are other forms and documents that require completion prior to the deadline.
- Program of Study Statement (PDF)
- Reference from Academic Advisor (PDF)
- Reference from Faculty/Staff (PDF)
- Reference from "Other" Recommender* (PDF)
- Language Proficiency, if applicable (PDF)
* Please note that the "other" recommender can be a second academic advisor or faculty/staff member, or another individual - such as a coach or supervisor - who can comment on your skills and abilities.
Application Review and Placement
When you submit your application, the NSE coordinator will review it and let you know if he/she has questions, comments, or recommendations. Our goal is to get to determine that you are a good representative of PSU and that your campus selections will lead to strong placement probability. In some cases, you might be asked to meet in-person with the NSE coordinator.
Placement is based on several factors: payment options, space availability, and competitiveness for a particular site. An important factor to keep in mind when choosing your preferred schools is that some are very popular exchange sites. Remember to have strong second and third choice schools for your exchange; the NSE coordinator can advise you on how to create a strong list.
Each school's NSE coordinator sends and accepts students during the Annual National Student Exchange Placement Conference in early-March. If you decide not to exchange prior to the conference, PSU will refund your application fee; however, once the conference begins, the fee is no longer refundable. It is also very important that your exchange preferences are firm at least one week before the conference.
Once placement has been finalized, you will receive notification about your placement status. After completing brief paperwork and accepting your placement, you will be ready to begin your adventure!
- Research your options on the NSE website.
- Attend an Information Session.
- Complete and turn in your application (deadline is February 14 for the 2014-2015 academic year).
- You application will be reviewed by the NSE coordinator.
- After the NSE Placement Conference, you will be notified of your placement status.
Financial Aid Considerations
Financial aid eligibility is determined by the school at which you pay tuition while on exchange, so it's important to make note of which payment options are available at each school you're considering.
Since you apply for financial aid prior to knowing your NSE placement, we encourage you to request that your financial aid information be sent to each of the schools you're considering for exchange when completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
If you're considering exchanging to a school in a city with a higher cost of living than Portland, you're likely better off choosing the Plan A (tuition paid to host school) payment option, if that is available. You likely will be eligible for more aid than if you choose the Plan B option.
For more information, contact PSU's NSE coordinator:
Assistant Director, Orientation Programs
Orientation and Campus Visits Office, NH 105