Student Exchange Programs

Student exchange programs are great ways for college students to experience new parts of the country while expanding their college curriculum. There are several types of programs in which students can participate domestically, broadening their horizons while negating the need to pay for expensive international trips.

Understanding Exchange Programs

Student exchange programs are either hosted by a particular national group or by private schools and universities. Essentially, students from one location are transferred to another location in order to experience the culture on the campus, the curriculum that the campus provides and the overall excitement that traveling to a new part of the country can bring. Domestic exchange programs are available in three ways: from the National Student Exchange, through New American Colleges and Universities or through a private school or university.

National Student Exchange

The National Student Exchange is the most well-known not-for-profit group in the United States that provides student exchange programs. They have put together more than 200 schools and colleges in the US, Puerto Rico, Guam and the Virgin Islands in order to provide opportunities to students who cannot travel out of the country for financial or personal reasons. When it comes to cost, students can either pay the tuition in their host state or simply continue to pay tuition in their home state during their excursion thanks to the tuition reciprocity program. Since 1968, the NSE has provided exchange opportunities to more than 100,000 students nationwide.

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New American Colleges and Universities

New American Colleges and Universities is another great organization that provides fantastic student exchange programs for students across the country. Though their reach is not as broad as that of the National Student Exchange program with just 12 participating national campuses, each campus is carefully selected to provide students with an experience that is unique. This is especially beneficial for students who attend their secondary schooling in rural areas, as they can transfer to schools located in Chicago, New York City or even Philadelphia. Some of the opportunities available to students include field studies, internships, transferrable credits and more.

Private University Exchanges

While the NSE and NACU programs are nationwide and serve students all over the country, many colleges and universities in the United States offer their own student exchange programs. As an example, many state colleges and universities offer students the opportunity to attend an Ivy League school for a semester in order to take specialized courses, gain lifelong experience and even earn credits that may not be available otherwise. Harvard, Yale and even MIT accept a certain number of domestic exchange students each semester in an attempt to help them broaden their horizons and experience the atmosphere.

Student exchange programs are excellent opportunities for college students to experience learning outside of their chosen school. These students must often meet rigorous academic and extracurricular standards in order to qualify, and information about these programs is available from the NSE and NACU websites as well as from college admissions officers.

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