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National Student Exchange - Description

About the National Student Exchange Program

National Student Exchange (NSE) is a group of colleges and universities that work 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.

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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 about 4,500 students from around the country participate in an NSE program. UH Hilo was one of the first members, having joined the consortium in the 1970's.

Check out the National Student Exchange website , where you can find participating campuses, as well as detailed information about how the process of applying for and attending another campus works.

History at the University of Hawai╩╗i at Hilo

Joining in 1973, only five years after the National Student Exchange was founded, the University of Hawai╩╗i joined the consortium. UH Hilo received one student and sent out two in the very next school year. Since then, UH Hilo has sent out nearly 1,300 students and received around 3,500 in the last 40 years.

The most common exchanges are to schools along the West Coast, though we encourage students to travel further 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 other cultures and people
  • To recognize the value of your own culture
  • To form lasting friendships with students from other parts of the world

Sherlock Holmes 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 on the right to learn how to navigate the search engines and lesser known options on the website.

If you are researching the 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 and 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.

Who do I Contact?

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