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National Student Exchange - Description

About the National Student Exchange Program

National Student Exchange (NSE) is a group of colleges which works together to provide students from around the country access to their programs. It is an exciting opportunity to attend one of more than 170 colleges and universities in the United States, Canada, U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and Guam for either a semester or an academic year. Access is also available to international study abroad programs around the world.

The main NSE website is at

If you qualify, you will become one of more than 110,000 students who have participated in the NSE program since its inception. Each school year the consortium averages around 4500 students exchanged throughout the system. UH Hilo was one of the first members, having joined in the 1970's.

There you will find a description of the entire program, and under Students you can search specifically for your major, as well as a listing of member campuses.

History with University of Hawai╩╗i at Hilo

Joining in 1973, only five years after the National Student Exchange was founded, University of Hawai╩╗i joined the consortium. We received one student and sent out two in the very next school year. Since then UH Hilo NSE has sent out nearly 1300 students and received around 3500 in the last forty years.

As of 2016 there has been 11 coordinators in this 43 years with National Student Exchange.

Our most common exchanges are to schools along the West Coast, though we highly encourage our students to travel according to the programs and cultures and extend beyond their comfort zone to experience a completely new environment and University setting.

Why go on exchange?

  • 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 a diverse culture
  • To recognize the value of your own culture
  • To form lasting friendships with students from other parts of the world

NSE Tools and Tips

The National Student Exchange site has lots to offer, which can make it seem overwhelming. Please visit the Researching Universities tab to learn how to navigate the search engines and lesser known options on the website.

If you are researching University of Hawai╩╗i at Hilo as your destination we encourage you to explore the Incoming Students area as we have provided some basics on climate, island life, culture, and annual events you may wish to attend.

What is my status while on exchange?

NSE students are NOT transfer students. They are still students at their home institutions while enrolled at the host school, and are subject to the rules and regulations of both institutions, which leads to the term "exchange" students.

Dual Citizenship between both colleges

Who do I Contact?

Kadian Shaw, Coordinator
Student Services Center, E-209
Telephone: (808) 932-7389