Exchanges to the US - Islands (NSE)
From volcanos to waterfalls, white sandy beaches to rainforests. The islands of United States offers its residents with dreamlike environments and year round tropical weather.
The University of Calgary has a number of phenomenal opportunities to study in Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Guam and the US Islands through the National Student Exchange program. These islands will guarantee to impress you with their ascetic landscape and culture.
The National Student Exchange program was established in 1967. 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.
Island States and territories, USA
English, Spanish (in Puerto Rico)
Fall, Winter, Academic year
Exchange (consortium based, see advisor for more details)
First come, first considered for remaining spaces!
Please speak with the advisor to check placement availability.
University-specific additional requirements
One academic reference and the NSE supplemental application form required - see the Eligibility section below.
Open Nov. 1, 2020
University of Calgary students can go to the following schools on the Islands of Hawaii, Guam, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. Click on each school to see their profile. Scroll down to see the Academics tab 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.
You can also use the campus finder on the NSE website which 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.
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.
Hawaii: (one space at Hilo, first come, first considered)
Puerto Rico (Spanish): (some schools still open for 20-21)
- Inter American University of Puerto Rico, Arecibo
- Inter American University of Puerto Rico, Barranquitas
- Inter American University of Puerto Rico, Metropolitan
- Inter American University of Puerto Rico, San German
- Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico
- Universidad del Sagrado Corazon
- University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez
- University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras
Guam: (some schools still open for 20-21)
US Virgin Islands: (some schools still open for 20-21)
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.
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.
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. Application Deadline: January 31, 2020 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 also administers the International Study Travel Grant for students travelling on approved UCalgary study programs that are credit bearing. The amount changes year to year as the money is split evenly between qualified applicants. Students may only receive the study travel grant once.
Please see the exchange funding page 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.
An academic reference and the NSE supplemental application form is required for a complete application.
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.
Some NSE campusses offer unique opportunities beyond traditional classroom learning, including internships, research, field study and experiential learning opportunities. You can also check the "Additional info/FAQ" section of the main NSE page for notable programs and campuses, such as campuses that are close to NY City or Football Schools.
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.
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) for NSE. Please use the "Course List" section of our online application to list the NSE partners you wish to apply for (in order of priority). 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.
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.
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.
Other competitive destinations include the University of South Carolina, California State University Northridge, Louisiana State University, Florida International University and Queens College CUNY. Students are not allowed to list more than one of these institutions on their exchange application.
Please discuss your campus choices with Tara Jorgensen as you are putting together your exchange application.
Are there smoke free Campuses?
Yes, University of Guam is on the List of Smoke Free Colleges and Universities. (2019)
Study Abroad 101
Please watch this YouTube playlist before reaching out or booking an appointment.
Before applying to study abroad, you should ask your academic advisor how an exchange 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.
Study Abroad Advising
If you have questions about this exchange program, you can meet with the specific advisor for this program by booking an appointment through the link below. Appointments are currently on zoom.
1. Select “Book an Appointment”
2. Select “Study Abroad Appointments”
3. Select “Book by Appointment Type”
4. Read through the list of appointment types to select the most appropriate type and view available times.
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.
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 study abroad 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 Study Abroad Team will be happy to assist in finding the best options for you and arrange any supports or accommodations necessary to ensure your success.
Please note if you have or are seeking a certificate from Student Accessibility Services, you should provide this early to your Study Abroad Advisor to ensure that the option that you are seeking can support your needs.