NSE offers many options

Alaska, California, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico are just a few of the locations available to students looking for a change of pace in a new environment while continuing their college education at the same time.

If you are looking for a way to travel while continuing your education through Johnson State College, then the National Student Exchange may be the opportunity you are looking for.
With nearly 200 national campus locations to choose from, most prospective students can find a school suited for them to attend for a semester or even a full year.

An aspect of the National Student Exchange which sets it apart from other exchange programs is that students are able to experience a different college in a different state for close to the same cost as Johnson State’s tuition.

The NSE offers students a more affordable means to study in another place as a middle ground between their current school and costly international exchanges.

Many JSC students are unaware of this potential opportunity, and Lori Gillies-Turner, record specialist in the Office of the Registrar and also JSC’s new coordinating director for the NSE, is avidly working to raise awareness of this program. “I have been surprised to find that many students have no idea what the National Student Exchange even is,” said Gillies-Turner.
Johnson State is also the only college in Vermont to participate in the program.

The opportunities the NSE offers students are not only academic; Gillies-Turner emphasized an array of advantages.

“This can be a life changing experience,” she said. “I have found that students come back to JSC with more independence, confidence and with a gained perspective of different ways of life from the new cultural experiences they find along the way.”

Gillies-Turner emphasized the enhanced personal growth many students gain from the NSE experience as a truly worthwhile benefit. Students who have been a part of the program speak of the experience in such a positive light.

JSC student Brittany Ryan is beginning her application process for placement in New Mexico through the NSE. “I am hopeful and excited for this potential opportunity to throw myself into a new and different culture,” said Ryan.

This year JSC will have 11 students away on exchange through the program traveling to the U.S. Virgin Islands, Pennsylvania, Oregon, New Hampshire, Hawaii, New York, Louisiana and New Mexico.

Gillies-Turner also noted that through the process of applying students work with her or their advisor to plan out the classes they will take and how that will influence the student’s academic planning for future semesters. Both the application process and the course planning, laid out semester by semester, insures that all graduation requirements are being met, and students are typically more prepared for their educational experience in general after doing so.

Gillies-Turner pointed out that students must meet certain eligibility requirements: they must be enrolled full-time, must have a cumulative GPA of 2.5, and maintain stable standings academically, financially, and socially.

Furthermore, Gillies-Turner advises students who are thinking of applying to the program to be flexible and open to various locations. “Students [should] think outside the box and be open in regards to desired locations as doing so will leave open for students the greatest number of possibilities,” she said.

Gillies-Turner also encourages prospective students to talk with her and start the application process as soon as possible as it typically takes a year of planning to secure a suitable placement on an individual basis.

More information on the program and listings of the specific schools which participate nationwide can be found at www.NSE.org.