Skip to content

National Student Exchange

What is National Student Exchange (NSE)?

The National Student Exchange (NSE) was established in 1968 to provide exchange opportunities for the multitude of undergraduate students for whom an overseas experience is not appropriate, comfortable or affordable. Instead of crossing oceans, NSE students cross state, regional, provincial, and cultural borders.

Through the NSE, students may study for up to one academic year at another location while paying regular tuition and fees. With nearly 200 colleges and universities from which to choose, students are able to find a university with just the right combination of courses, facilities, and environment to meet academic and personal needs and interests.

Why Study Away?

National Student Exchange is a consortium of U.S. and Canadian colleges and universities, including the University of Minnesota. (See the NSE consortium's website here.) Students who attend a school within the NSE consortium can go on exchange to any other member school. That means you can go on exchange for a semester, summer or year to schools all over the United States (including Hawaii and Puerto Rico), as well as Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Canada!

NSE provides academic opportunities and adventure. Imagine the academic choices you have when you can access courses from nearly 200 schools! Think of the adventure, the diversity you can find among classmates and professors in new regions, and the cultural and geographical differences you can explore.

NSE offers a unique chance to enhance and expand your personal and academic horizons

  • To learn more about yourself.
  • To live in a different geographic environment.
  • To experience another college setting.
  • To explore a particular academic interest.
  • To gain knowledge about other cultures and people.
  • To recognize the value of your own culture.
  • To form lasting friendships with students from other parts of the world.

Is NSE Right for You?

There are many benefits to participating in NSE, but you also need to figure out if it's right for you specifically. Below are questions you should ask yourself when you're considering and researching NSE:

  • What do I hope to gain from the NSE experience? What are my educational and personal objectives for going on exchange?
  • Can my objectives be accomplished at the host campus?
  • Do I have a flexible academic plan for exchange? (NOTE: If you are dependent on a specific course or courses for graduation, exchange may not be appropriate. Registration in courses at the host campus can't be guaranteed and is based on availability.)
  • Has my academic advisor approved the appropriateness, timing, and location of my NSE exchange?
  • Will participating in an NSE exchange delay my graduation? Does the host campus offer access to classes that will allow me to continue and maintain my academic progress?
  • How will specialized or unique course offerings at the host campus enhance my academic program and career goals?
  • Is the host campus sufficiently different from my home campus to make it an interesting experience?
  • Will the time I've allowed for exchange give me enough time to get acquainted with my new academic environment, as well as the region, its people, and its culture? (NOTE: Whenever possible, NSE students are encouraged to go on exchange for a full academic year.)
  • Are my financial resources sufficient to cover the cost of tuition and fees; room and meals; as well as transportation, travel, and other personal expenses at the host campus?
  • Am I comfortable with the housing options that are available to me? (NOTE: Some NSE campuses have limited or no on-campus housing, so NSE students are sometimes expected to find their own off-campus housing.)
  • Do I have any special needs (visible or invisible disabilities, health concerns, etc) that might require special accommodation? If yes, does my host campus/community have the support resources I may require?

How It Works:

  • Students are welcome to apply for fall, spring, and summer semester or full academic year exchanges (fall and spring).
  • Students can participate in the NSE as early as their sophomore year.
  • In order to qualify, students must be in good standing and have a minimum 50 cumulative GPA.
  • In order to receive an application, students must come to our office for an in-person meeting with the NSE Coordinator.

All prospective students must begin by meeting with their academic advisor to review transfer policies, restrictions on how non-Alabama A&M credits can be applied to major/minor requirements, and other school-specific policies that may impact an exchange experience. Afterwards, they are welcome to contact Atari Steele for more information.

Alabama A&M University participates through “Plan A,” which means students pay in-state tuition at the host school. We also participate through “Plan B,” which means students pay tuition and fees for home school. For a list of “Plan A” sites, please see our list located within Online Resources. Please note, some member institutions are “Plan B Only.”

It's still possible to go on exchange next semester!  Email for a list of schools and deadlines.

Now accepting applications for the 2020-2021 academic year!

Photo of Atari Steele
Atari Steele
National Student Exchange Coordinator
Ralph Lee 113
Phone: (256) 372-5418