During Exchange

Your Host NSE Coordinator

Most NSE coordinators will schedule an orientation to familiarize exchange students with the host institution and introduce them to other NSE participants. If you arrive ahead of an orientation or one is not scheduled, take time to immediately introduce yourself to your NSE coordinator. Upon arrival, you should provide both home and host campus coordinators your host campus mailing address, phone, e-mail, and emergency contact information.

Your NSE coordinator is familiar with university policies and procedures and is the first person you should contact for any issues that may arise during your exchange. If the coordinator is unable to assist, this individual will know the appropriate personnel to address your questions or concerns.

Health Insurance

NSE does not require and does not provide health insurance for exchange students. It is your responsibility, therefore, to ensure that you are adequately covered by health insurance for the period and place of your exchange. Some NSE member campuses will require proof that you have adequate health insurance, and a few will require that you purchase their health insurance regardless of having a policy of your own.

Other Insurance

Property Owners/Renters Insurance
If you are residing in on-campus housing, ask whether or not renters/property insurance is required or recommended. Ask what is and what is not covered. If you are living in off-campus housing, NSE strongly recommends that you be covered by renters/property insurance in order to cover yourself and your property in case of storm, fire or other circumstances. Your landlord may require such insurance. If not, it is good protection to have.

Auto Insurance
Determine how your own, or your parents', automobile insurance may cover you while you are on exchange as well as for your travel to and from your host college or university.

Adjusting to Your New Environment

Some students have challenges in adjusting to their new academic, social, and/or regional environment. You may experience home-sickness, isolation, and disillusionment. This mental, physical, and emotional adjustment to living in a new place is referred to as culture shock. This occurs because, unconsciously, you may expect other people and situations to be just like back home. Inevitably something in the new environment will not fit a frame of reference and may not be fully comprehended or liked. Sometimes trivial differences become the most grating and may be blown out of proportion.

Keep in mind that initial discomfort is a normal part of adjusting to a new living and learning environment. Share your feelings with other exchange participants, keep an open mind, be flexible, get involved in activities, and look at the experience as a mind-stretching process that will increase your understanding of your host setting and of yourself. If you continue to feel uncomfortable in your new setting, contact your NSE coordinator for assistance.

Maintaining Exchange Eligibility

If you are exchanging for a full academic year, your home and host coordinators will inform you of the gpa you will be required to obtain in order to remain eligible to continue in the NSE program from one term to the next. These requirements may be different between your home and host institutions. The requirement may also be different from your host or home institution's normal academic retention standards. It is your responsibility to know what will be expected of you as an NSE participant to maintain program eligibility.

Full-Time In-Classroom Enrollment

You must be enrolled full-time in-classroom at your host campus. Note that distance education (on-line) courses cannot be combined with in-classroom courses to satisfy the requirement for full-time enrollment. Dropping to less than full time in-classroom enrollment has consequences for maintaining progress, financial aid, and your ability to remain in on-campus housing. If you had planned a full academic year exchange, dropping to less than full time in the first term is likely to cancel your enrollment at the host campus for subsequent terms.

Rules and Regulations

While on exchange, you are governed by the Conditions of Placement as outlined on the Placement Acceptance Form you signed. Furthermore, you are governed by the rules and regulations of your host college or university. These regulations may be different than those of your home campus. You will be subject to academic standards; residence hall rules, regulations, and contractual obligations; financial obligations and payment deadlines; course registration and withdrawal schedules; and codes of social/behavioral conduct. These regulations may be different than those of your home campus.

Information on university rules and regulations may be found in the university catalog, schedule of classes, student handbook, campus Web site, and other information as provided by the host campus and your host NSE coordinator. It is your responsibility to know host campus rules and regulations and abide by them. Students who are in violation of host campus policies should expect the same consequences or disciplinary action as students who are native to the host campus. Further action, including cancellation of your exchange, may also be taken by your host and/or home campus.

You are governed by the local, state, territorial, or provincial laws of the location of your exchange. it is your responsibility to inform yourself and to conduct yourself in a manner that complies with those laws.

Personal Safety

While on exchange, you are responsible for acting prudently and exercising caution and common sense at all times. Take time to learn about your new environment and familiarize yourself with campus and neighborhood surroundings. Heed the safety advice provided by your host campus coordinator, residence life staff, and others familiar with your environment. Inform your parents, guardians, spouse, or significant other of how to reach you and your NSE coordinator. Maintain regular contact with those back home.

Crisis Awareness

If extreme weather (e.g., hurricane, flood, earthquake, tornado, etc.) or other emergency situation (e.g., pandemic, fire, strike, protest) arises while you are on exchange, follow the instructions provided by your NSE coordinator and the appropriate safety and student services personnel on your host campus. Advise your parents, guardians, spouse, or significant other of the nature of the emergency and periodically reassure them of your safety.

Financial Responsibility

You are expected to pay tuition, fees, room, meals, and other financial obligations in accordance with stated home and host campus deadlines. Failure to make full payment of all required fees or to resolve other debts to the home or host institution will result in the cancellation of your exchange.

Until all outstanding financial obligations have been paid, your host campus will not release a transcript; and your home university will not permit re-enrollment, issue a transcript, or award a diploma. Home and host campuses work together to resolve outstanding financial obligations.

Host Campus Transcript

It is your responsibility to request that an official transcript from your host campus be sent to the appropriate office at your home campus at the end of each term of your exchange. Posting of the host campus work on your home campus permanent record completes your exchange agreement. If a transcript is not sent to your home campus, your permanent record at the home campus is incomplete with consequences that may affect subsequent financial aid, registration, graduation, and requests for future home campus transcripts.

"My exchange was everything I wanted and more! I stepped out of my comfort zone to learn about a new way of life. It forever shaped the way I view the world."

Patrick Monicle
North Carolina State University
to the University of Hawaii at Hilo