National Student Exchange (NSE)

Have you dreamed of studying in the United States? NSE's member campuses represent an untold diversity of people, culture, and geography among the 48 states, the District of Columbia, 3 US territories and 5 Canadian provinces.

The National Student Exchange program was established in 1967. Today, students can study at one of 135 partner institutions in the USA, Puerto Rico, Guam and the US Virgin Islands! Students can spend a semester or a year at one of the member campuses open to Plan B.

Each member campus has its own profile on the NSE website with details of the campus, the location, programs offered, etc. Before searching member profiles, please be sure to sort the list by "Receive from Canada" as not all NSE members exchange with Canada.

Key information


Choose from 100+ schools in the USA and US territories. 


English, Spanish (in Puerto Rico)


Fall, Winter, Academic year

Program type

Exchange (consortium based, see advisor for more details)

Application information

Application status



2024-2025 applications

Open November 1, 2023

Priority Deadline: January 10, 2024


University-specific additional requirements

Make sure you review the "Academics" and "Conditions" tabs on the individual school profile you can find through the main NSE website

2025-2026 applications

Open November 1, 2024

Student experience

How UCCS Changed My World - Studying Abroad in Colorado

Submitted for the 2014 International Video Contest by Laura Ross

Info sessions

NSE regularly hosts online info sessions for students interested in applying. Every January and September, they also hold themed sessions as part of their Exchange Fair; recordings of past Exchange Fair sessions can be found online. Themes have included Historically Black Colleges & Universities, LGBTQ+ Friendly Campuses, Wilderness & Adventure Campuses, STEM at NSE, and many more. 


Useful links

Host university website

Campus Finder

How to apply

Click here to access our online application system, RAISA. You will need to search and apply to the "NSE" general program as we don't have applications for each school. You can apply for up to eight NSE partners! You will need to submit course lists for each partner using the NSE supplemental application form, submit a copy of your unofficial transcript, and answer the questions in the online application. For instructions on how to submit your unofficial transcript, click here.


Areas Of Study: 

Undergraduate programs are available in all disciplines, including many not offered by the University of Calgary (i.e. journalism, oceanography, peace studies, criminology, ecogastronomy, entertainment management, forensic science, speech pathology and more).

Closed Programs: Graduate students cannot participate in this program. In the United States, law is considered a graduate program and is therefore not available through our NSE partners. 

Please check the "Conditions" tab on each school's profile for specific programs closed at each individual institution. 

Course Information: 

Start with the campus finder on the NSE website which also allows you to search by major. When you are asked for your home campus please enter 'University of Calgary'. All available NSE partners by State are displayed in the right sidebar. Click on each school to see their profile. Scroll down to see the Academics tap which has information on any restricted or closed programs as well as a link to the course catalog. For specific transfer credit information contact your academic advisor.

Unique and Notable Programs

Make sure you explore the Unique and Notable programs section of the NSE main website. Here are a few example programs that are unique for many reasons and offer opportunities for UCalgary students: 

Please note that the University of Calgary generally recommends that students avoid taking 1st year courses while on exchange at one of our NSE partners. Please focus on senior-level (2nd, 3rd and 4th) year courses.

Exact semester dates vary by institution and whether they are on a semester or a quarter system. Generally, the fall semester runs from late August/early September to late December and the spring semester (our winter semester) runs from early January to late May/early June. For details check the program pages for each school (right sidebar) using the campus finder

Universities on the quarter system have a calendar year that is divided into four equal sessions with fall, winter, and spring making up an academic year which is the equivalent of two semesters. Quarter credit hours generally earn one-third less value than semester credit hours.

  1. Costs

    The campus profile pages for each NSE partner list the cost of on-campus housing under Rooms/Meals at the bottom. The NSE page also has more information about campus budget for each partner. 

    Exchange students pay their tuition and academic fees to the University of Calgary. Other expenses are paid directly to the service provider. 

    Also, remember to include things like visas, insurance, vaccinations etc. in your budget planning.

  2. Funding

    The Killam Fellowships Program, which is administered by Fulbright Canada, allows undergraduate students from the University of Calgary to spend either one semester or a full academic year as an exchange student in the United States.  The Killam Fellowships award, valued at $5000 per semester, can be used in addition to any other financial support, scholarship or bursary.  In addition to this, all Killam Fellows from across North America participate in the Fall Orientation program in Ottawa and the Spring Seminar in Washington, DC (or virtual). 23-24 Academic Year Application Deadline: December 16, 2022 for the open competition (the correct one for NSE applicants)

    Did you know that you can take your University of Calgary funding with you on exchange? Since you remain a degree seeking student at the UCalgary while on exchange you remain eligible for any awards and scholarships you are eligible to receive from the university as well as student loans.

    Our office administers several awards, including the Global Access Fund (based on a funding-first model where students apply prior to committing to a global learning program) and the Global Learning Award (students apply after being accepted to a global learning program; the amount varies year-to-year as the money is split among chosen recipients). Students may only receive these awards once. Please see the funding page, linked below, for more information.

Accommodation options vary from institution to institution, but most universities have on campus housing available. You can find details for every campus on campus profile pages under "Room/Meals" at the bottom of each page. 

This exchange is open to regular, full-time undergraduate students in any faculty at the University of Calgary, who have completed at least one full year (10 courses) at the post-secondary level, with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 (B-). Some campuses have higher GPA requirements. For details for each campus check under 'Conditions' at the bottom of each profile page

The NSE supplemental application form is required for a complete application.

Students may be asked for an academic reference at a later time depending on the campus they are applying to. 

Students studying in Puerto Rico must meet additional language requirements if the language of instruction is Spanish. Students must have completed a minimum of Spanish 303 (4 semesters of Spanish) or the equivalent to take courses in Spanish.

Special Programs

Some NSE campuses offer unique opportunities beyond traditional classroom learning, including internships, research, field study and experiential learning opportunities. Check out the link above for program examples and more details. 

How do I find out what courses are available through NSE?

Start with the campus finder on the NSE website which also allows you to search by major. Click on each school to see their profile. Scroll down to see the Academics tap which has information on any restricted or closed programs as well as a link to the course catalog. For specific transfer credit information contact your academic advisor.

Can I study at any NSE partner institution?

University of Calgary students can only exchange with NSE institutions that exchange with Canada on payment plan B (students pay tuition at their home institution). When you enter "University of Calgary" as your home campus when first using the NSE campus finder, only campuses that are available for you will show up.

I can't find the online application for the NSE university I'm interested in...

Our online application system does not have an application for each NSE partner. You will need to search and apply  "NSE" (the general program). You can apply for up to eight NSE partners! You will need to submit course lists for each partner using the NSE supplemental application form, submit a copy of your unofficial transcript and answer the questions in the online application. For instructions on how to submit your unofficial transcript, click here

Are there smoke free Campuses?

Yes! See this List of Smoke Free Colleges and Universities. (2019)

Are there universities in this region that have good LGBTQ+ communities/supports?

Yes! Here are a few examples: 

University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire in ranked #3 of the top 50 universities in the USA for LGBTQ+ students, offering an LGBTQ Resource Centre, Safe Space Training to the campus community, an annual Eau Queer Film Festival, annual Drag Ball, gender-inclusive housing, faculty training, and an inclusive curriculum that offers classes on queer theory, sexual politics, gender/sex in history, and more. 

University of Minnesota – Twin Cities in Minneapolis one of the 25 best universities in the USA for LGBTQ+ students, and is also ranked #35 of 50 universities in the USA for LGBTQ students. They offer an LGBTQ+ International Student Drop-in Center as a part of their resource center (the Gender and Sexuality Centre for Queer and Trans Life), and excel in healthcare provision, diverse housing options, academic inclusion, and support of LGBTQ students, staff, faculty, and administration. 

The University of Minnesota - Morris is also ranked #48 of the top 50 universities in the USA for LGBTQ+ students. They have a formalized Queer Issues Committee, a Safe Zone training program, events and speaker series. The university is a small public liberal arts college, and offers a caring campus community for all students. 

Southern Oregon University and University of Oregon are two of the top 25 U.S. universities for LGBTQ+ students. Southern Oregon (number 21 of the top 50 LGBT universities) offers a Queer Resource Center with resource library, gender-inclusive bathrooms, a Queer Carnival, Trans Training Workshops, and more. 

University of Oregon (number 28 of the top 50 LGBT universities) has a Standing Committee for LGBT Concerns which has been in operation since the early '90s and continues to serve the community to create a welcoming and supportive experience for LGBTQ+ students and staff. They also offer a LGBTQ Greek community, Theta Pi Sigma, and also offers a unique program called the Bridges Panels designed to facilitate intersectional dialogue.

How many spaces are available at the University of Hawaii?

The University of Hawaii at Manoa and at Hilo are both extremely competitive and the University of Calgary is not guaranteed places at either university.

Please discuss your campus choices with your Global Learning Advisor as you are putting together your exchange application.

Have questions?

Global Learning 101

Please watch this short YouTube playlist before reaching out or booking an appointment. In these videos, you will learn much of the basics about Global Learning, which may answer your initial questions.

Watch Global Learning 101

Academic Advising

Before applying to study abroad, you should ask your academic advisor how this program might align with your degree (e.g. best time to go, what courses you need).

After you are accepted, you should ask your academic advisor more specific questions about courses/transfer credits. It’s also recommended to follow up with your advisor again once you return to Calgary.

Find your academic advisor

Global Learning Advising

If you have questions, please reach out to our office! We offer drop-in advising for general inquiries, and if you have questions about this specific program or any others, you can book an appointment with the responsible advisor.

Please use the link below to find the most up-to-date information about our current advising options.

View the Global Learning Advising page

The advisor for the program is: Veronica V. Cardoso

How to Apply

Download the application guide

This PDF contains information on how to complete your application and what to do after you have applied.

Application guide

Identify three programs of interest

We recommend applying for your top three programs for the priority application deadline, as placement may be competitive. We will assess your applications in ranked order.

Check requirements and deadlines

These may vary by program, so check the individual program pages and make sure that you are aware of any different application deadlines or eligibility requirements.

Start your application

Once you have gathered everything you need, you can begin your application!

Please note: Applications will not be considered complete until all required documents are submitted in full.


International travel presents challenges that may not be found when attending classes on campus. There may be a lack of resources, emergency services, hospitals, accessibility issues and/or demands on the physical and the mental self, all of which can challenge individuals when away from their usual support systems and structures. Adequate preparation is essential.

For this reason, it is imperative that you evaluate all aspects of your own physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual condition against the rigors of the particular global learning program you are selecting. If you are unsure of whether or not this program is a good fit for you and/or if you have any circumstances that could impede your enjoyment of the program, please contact us. Our Global Learning Advisors will be happy to assist in finding the best options for you and arrange any supports or accommodations necessary to ensure your success.

If you have or are seeking a certificate from Student Accessibility Services, you should provide this early to your Global Learning Advisor to ensure that the option that you are seeking can support your needs.

Please note: All participants must adhere to COVID-19 and other vaccination-related requirements for the destinations visited on this program. Failure to do so may have consequences such as being denied access to accommodation/housing, program activities, or to the host country itself.