Students usually exchange during their sophomore or junior years. Seniors are generally not eligible due to WSU policy requiring a certain number of last hours to be completed here. Special exceptions can be made, but that is entirely up to your individual college. If you are a junior, talk to your academic advisor as soon as possible to find out how to approach this problem
Scholastic and other information
The application requests your current class level. Students usually exchange during their sophomore or junior years. Students should contact their Academic Advisor to discuss their exchange plans and any exceptions to University policies. Seniors are generally not eligible due to WSU policy requiring a certain number of last hours to be completed here. Special exceptions can be made, but that is entirely up to your individual college. If you are a junior, talk to your academic advisor ASAP to find out how to approach this problem.
Pay special attention to the question concerning where you want to live. Be sure the host schools you want offer the options you choose. For example, if you want to go to Salem University, you should notice in the directory that on-campus living is required. If your application says you plan to live off-campus while attending Salem University, we'll know you haven't entirely researched your decision.
Application deadline is February 1. This includes the application, $200 application fee, two reference forms and program of study statement. Checks can be made out to WSU-NSE. It is your responsibility to make sure all pieces of the application are turned in.
Exchange terms: a semester or a year?
When deciding how long you want to be on exchange, realize it is much easier to come home earlier than planned then it is to stay longer. If a school has you scheduled to stay only in the fall, they will likely have another student coming in the spring to replace you. If you want to exchange for a full year, get placed for a full year.
This part of the application is very important. You can list up to five schools in order of preference that you want to attend, but you do not have to list five schools. If you know that you only want one particular school, just list that school. Once again, be sure that if you need classes in your major, that school offers your major. Refer to the national website, www.nse.org, to see what majors each college offers.
The actual placements are handled in "rounds." During round one of the conference, only first choice placements can be considered. We complete an online placement form with your individual information and list of schools in preference order. The only information on the form is your name, address, home campus, where you want to live while on exchange and year in school. There is no information regarding gender, GPA or ethnicity as these are not items to be considered when coordinators make their decisions. This information will be shared with your first choice school. If they can accept you, they will select yes and a notification will be sent to me; if they can't, they will select no and a notification will be sent to me.
At the end of round one, the students who were not accepted at their first choice school will remain in the online database for the next round. The schools that are closed after round one will have a note indicating this in the online system. So, if your first choice is Florida International University and they don't accept you, then we will try to place you at your second school. However, if you choose a competitive school as your second choice, chances are very good they will be closed. Therefore, we would have to move on to your third choice, and so on. It is extremely important that you use viable schools for your 2nd-5th choices. Any school on a home payment plan is fine for a first choice school, but after that you need to be sure to choose a school that is not known to be closed after the first round each year. The NSE coordinator can provide you with placement statistics from previous years when you meet for your interview.
When the time comes to fill out placement forms, sometimes more than one student wants to attend the same school. In some cases, schools will take a few students from the same school, but usually they won't take many more than that. So, students must be ranked for their first choice school. The rank is determined by a score given on your application, interview and recommendations. Before the conference, we meet with all students to tell them their rank to their first choice school. The order of choices can then be adjusted if desired. When coordinators review the placement forms, it will indicate that student's rank number. If they can only take one of two, the coordinator must accept the student who is ranked #1 first, then #2 and so on.
You need to have at least two references complete a reference form. One of these MUST be your academic advisor. When getting courses approved to take on exchange, your academic advisor will play a vital role. Therefore, we want you to make contact with that person early on so they know your situation before you need their help. If you feel your academic advisor doesn't know you well, and may have to mark "Unable to Judge," you can send the form to a third person who knows you well enough to evaluate you. You can have as many reference forms completed as desired, just make sure at least one of them is from your academic advisor. The application is not complete until the reference forms are in; therefore, it is your responsibility to see to it that your references turn the forms in before February 1. Consult with your academic advisor to help identify appropriate exchange options. In recent years, course selection has become more complex and course offerings at host campuses have decreased. Please be aware that students requiring very specific courses may have extreme difficulty with course selection while on exchange.
The application process is not complete until your application fee is turned in. The fee is $200 and must be paid all at once. The majority of the fee is sent to the national office; we retain a small portion to underwrite our costs.
After your entire application is submitted (including references and application fee), you will be contacted to schedule an interview.
Plan out the cost for exchange using this helpful tool.
» Download Budget Worksheet (PDF)