The Daily Gamecock

NSE lets students ‘study abroad’ domestically

Exchange programs with other U.S. universities give students additional options


Dreams of traveling overseas in search of exciting college experiences have caught the attention of countless students.

But for some, traveling abroad can be terrifying and costly.

For study abroad seekers that are unwilling to go the distance, the University of South Carolina provides students with a different exchange opportunity with the National Student Exchange Program.

With 200 participating colleges and universities, the NSE program gives students the opportunity to study as close or as far away from USC as they like — without leaving the comfort of the U.S.

“The national student exchange is pretty much a way for students to study away from the University. They may not be ready or they may not want to cross an ocean yet,” said coordinator for Student Engagement Kimberly Dressler Tuesday night at the Capstone Keystone Ballroom. For students looking to get away from the state of South Carolina and try something different, there are schools that participate in the United States, Canada and the U.S. territories.

First-year marine science and photography student Delaney Drake hopes to study in Hawaii to coincide with her academics.

“In Hawaii I can wake up and take pictures of the sunrise, and I can meet a bunch of people from Hawaii that have the same interest as me,” said Drake.

Through the NSE program, Dressler said there are many unique aspects that can help students fulfill any and all of their academic interests.

“People want to go all over for all sorts of different reasons. They want to research a grad school, or they want to do an internship,” said Dressler. “We have one student who really wanted to go to a school in Cleveland because her grandparents were from that part of Ohio and she thought it would be nice to spend a semester close to her grandparents.”

First-year exercise science student Hilary Daly is interested in pursuing a program with NSE to experience another part of the U.S.

“I’ve traveled around the world a couple of times because my family is from all over but I’ve never seen different parts of the States,” said Daly. “I want to go to the University of Alabama because I’m the first person from my family to not go there.”

NSE exchange programs are available for full year exchanges, semester exchanges and sometimes summer sessions, depending on the participating university. Full-year exchanges can be divided into two separate semesters for students interested in possibly seeking more than one school. Semesters also do not have to be consecutive.

Participating schools in Canada and in the U.S. territories also provide the opportunity for students interested in getting foreign language immersion to attend French and Spanish speaking schools.  There are also exchange programs for Honors students and Resident Mentors.

“We actually have someone from the University of Arizona who has applied to come to USC through the national student exchange and has applied to be an RM. So she’s going through the RM selection process that’s going on right now, she’s being interviewed long distance,” said Dressler. Students interested in an RM exchange must be an RM at their home school for one year before applying to be an RM for another year at their prospective school.

Priority Deadline for applicants is Jan. 31. Drop in times are available on Thursday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Office of Student Exchange in Sims Residence Hall. Information can also be found on








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