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.
Submitted for the 2014 International Video Contest by Laura Ross
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.
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:
- University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire - offers unique Winter semester "Civil Rights Pilgrimage" where students travel the path of the Civil Rights movement in the U.S., experiencing history from a social justice lens.
- University of Montana - highly ranked, offers a unique full-year "Wilderness & Civilization Program" (3.0 gpa required) - program focuses on the relationship between land and humans, with focus on Indigenous stewardship.
- University of Idaho - offers unique Fall "Semester in the Wild" program focusing on ecology, geology, natural history, environmental stewardship, and outdoor leadership
- Southern Utah University - offers unique Fall "Semester in the Parks" program!
- University of Colorado Colorado Springs - offers a Native American & Indigenous Studies undergrad certificate, and Peak Learning Experiences Program for Arts & Science students
- Western Colorado University - great for Indigenous Studies
- University of Arizona - ranked in top 250 worldwide, one of top 15 US universities for celiacs
- University of New Hampshire - one of top 15 US universities for celiacs
- University of Alaska Fairbanks - offers great Alaskan Indigenous Studies program, host of annual World Eskimo-Indian Olympics (WEIO)
- Stony Brook University - one of the top 350 universities worldwide, & offers unique marine science, "Semester by the Sea" program
- University of Alabama - highly ranked university, especially for media & communications
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.
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 (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 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.
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.
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.