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National Student Exchange


National Student Exchange LogoSo you want to travel in the USA -- NSE is the way!

What is NSE?
The National Student Exchange (NSE) is a consortium of nearly 200 four-year colleges and universities in the United States and its territories, which have joined together for the purpose of exchanging students. Since its founding in 1968, NSE has placed more than 90,000 students, 97% of all eligible students who apply each year for exchange.

Programs: NSE gives you the chance to experience a different part of the country and the opportunity to take courses that are not offered here at SUNY Potsdam. The exchange program is easy to do and can be inexpensive. You don't have to transfer, and any courses you take while on exchange will count for credit here at SUNY Potsdam and will be recorded on your transcript. Either you pay tuition here in Potsdam, or you pay in-state tuition at the host campus.

The benefits of studying in away in a different part of the country are immeasurable, both personally and professionally. In two to three months' time, you will learn more in about your home region and yourself than you have ever learned in two years staying at home. And you will make new friends, become more open to new ideas, more appreciative of and become more sophisticated and more self-reflective.

How to apply: Submit the application forms listed below (all documents are in PDF format; you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader). Complete applications are due by the second week of February at the latest. Early applicants have priority for popular sites. Post-conference placements are possible, but not at all universities.

The following forms are for student, family, and academic department use for planning purposes and are not required to be submitted to the NSE coordinator.

  • NSE Budget Worksheet (it is recommended that a separate worksheet be completed for each NSE institution chosen)
  • NSE Advising Agreement (to be completed once the student has confirmed acceptance of placement at an NSE host institution)

NSE RA Exchanges: Some NSE colleges and universities encourage and facilitate the exchange of resident assistants in their institution's residence life program. RA exchanges must be for one academic year and are open to students who are currently servings as an RA on their home campus at the time of application and in the term immediately preceding their exchange. The applicant must also meet all qualifications for the NSE program. Remuneration for RAs varies from campus to campus and is detailed at NSE's student web site. NSE RA exchange FAQs can be found here,

RA NSE Exchange minimum qualifications:

  • 2.5 cumulative GPA at the time of application and at the completion of the term prior to exchange
  • Be a full-time student at the time of application and in the term prior to exchange
  • Be in good standing (academic, financial, and social/behavioral) as defined by the home campus
  • Be currently serving as an RA at the time of application and in the term immediately preceding exchange
  • Have a positive letter of reference from the supervising residence life hall director on the home campus
  • Have written permission from the home campus residence life program to participate
  • Identify up to three institutions for exchange (All campus choices are considered to be equally acceptable to the student. NSE gives no priority to the order in which the student lists their campus choices.)
  • Complete the RA Exchange Application Form and submit it to the home campus NSE coordinator by November 30
  • Complete the NSE application procedure of the home campus and be approved by the NSE coordinator for participation in the exchange program by November 30

As indicated, in addition to completing the NSE application forms provided in the previous section, potential NSE RA exchange participants must also complete the RA Exchange Application (PDF).

Both the NSE RA Exchange and NSE application forms, and the non-refundable $300 application fee, must be submitted to Bethany Parker, Sisson 130, by November 30.

Students with Children: Outgoing students with children will need to plan ahead to find off-campus housing at many NSE universities, though others may have married-student housing on campus. Incoming students with children: SUNY Potsdam does not currently offer on-campus housing for married students or students with children. Students with families find housing off-campus in the town, using newspaper advertisements, lists from the Student Government Association office (Student Union room 213, 315-267-2588), or local real estate agencies.

Accepted INCOMING NSE Students: A completed Placement Acceptance Form (PAF) must be received and on file at SUNY Potsdam to confirm your placement and is available from your home campus NSE coordinator. The following forms also need to be submitted:

Need more information? Contact Bethany Parker in the Office of International Education,