National Student Exchange

National Student Exchange (NSE) is a consortium of U.S. and Canadian colleges and universities, including the University of Minnesota. Students who attend a school within the NSE consortium can go on exchange to any other member school. That means students can go on exchange for a semester, summer or year to schools all over the United States (including Hawaii and Puerto Rico), as well as Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Canada! 

NSE provides academic opportunities and adventure. Imagine the academic choices students have when they can access courses from 190 schools! Think of the adventure, the diversity students can find among classmates and professors in new regions, and the cultural and geographical differences they can explore. NSE offers a unique chance to enhance and expand their personal and academic horizons.


  • new class opportunities
  • professors and experts in your field
  • research, field study, and internship opportunities
  • investigate graduate schools
  • personal growth/independence
  • international and/or intercultural understanding
  • explore the historical and cultural makeup of the U.S. and Canada
  • connections and professional development
  • live and work in a culturally diverse society

Frequently Asked Questions

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Frequently Asked Questions

How long can I go on exchange?

You can participate in an NSE exchange for up to one full academic year or a shorter term. For schools on the semester system (as opposed to quarters), this includes fall, spring and summer terms. For schools that have quarters, this includes fall, winter, spring and summer quarters.

Can I divide up my exchange between more than one institution?

You can go on exchange to two different institutions during one or more academic years with the permission of both home and host coordinators as long as the cumulative total period for the exchanges does not exceed one calendar year. Two NSE applications must be submitted (one for each school) and two application fees ($200) will be required.

Where will I live?

Most schools have on-campus housing available for incoming students. Some schools have highly competitive or limited housing availability, which may mean you'll need to live off-campus. On-campus housing is not mandatory but it is recommended. On-campus housing helps provide you with full immersion. The NSE Directory has housing information about specific schools. The directory is available in the Off-Campus Study Programs office.

Can I go on exchange to a school not on the list?

NSE is a consortium of specific institutions. Students cannot go on an exchange (through NSE) to non-participating schools. Contact the Off-Campus Study Programs office for other domestic off-campus study and exchange opportunities.

Can I go on exchange with a friend?

Yes. You and a friend can apply to go to the same school. Keep in mind that doing so reduces your chances of being placed at certain institutions. Talk with an NSE advisor to learn more.

How does the U of M recognize I am still attending the school if I am studying at a different campus?

The NSE office will register you for an off-campus study course. This will maintain your U of M status and help you collect financial aid more readily.

How will the U of M stay in touch with me while I'm on an exchange?

You will have access to your U of M email account while you are on exchange. All official communication from the U of M will continue to be sent to your U of M email account, and it's important that you continue to check your email account while you are on exchange. You will also need to notify the U of M of your current address while you are on an exchange; this will enable you to receive any postal mail the U of M sends to you. You may update your current address through OneStop.

What other expenses should I plan for?

Expenses include, but are not limited to, housing and meal costs, travel, social events, entertainment, sporting events, and activities/lab fees at your host campus.

What if I missed the official application deadline?

There are many schools that will still consider your application even if the deadline has passed. Contact an NSE advisor for assistance. It is strongly recommended, however, that you submit your application before the official application deadline. This will greatly increase your chances of being placed at the school of your choice.