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National Student Exchange

Hawaii? California? Alaska? Canada?
Where do you want to study away?
Exchange at one of nearly 200 campuses throughout the United States, Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Canada! As a member of the National Student Exchange Program (NSE), The University of Kentucky provides opportunities for full-time undergraduate students with a GPA of 2.5 or higher* to exchange for a semester or an academic year.
*Some NSE institutions require a 2.75 GPA. Check the program page on the NSE website for each school's GPA requirement.
Planning Your Exchange
The current NSE Directory is the place to start your search for the ideal exchange location.
You’ll find information on all the member schools, their locations, descriptions and available areas of study. 
Click on the name of each state to find the NSE member schools in that state.
Click on the school name to learn more about the institution.
We recommend you focus on finding the institution that will best fulfill your academic requirements rather than choosing a school or state based solely on its location. Many would pick Hawaii or the Virgin Islands given the choice but are the courses offered at those schools going to keep you on track to graduate on time?!
Pay careful attention to the information regarding;

  • the cost of room and board
  • housing availability and housing contract obligations
  • whether the school runs on the semester or quarter systems
  • closed or restricted academic programs.

Specific limitations are outlined in the campus description in the NSE Directory. Read the campus descriptions carefully to find out if the school:

  • accepts Tuition Plan B students
  • has majors closed to exchange students
  • has on-campus housing, or requires you to live on campus
  • requires meal plan purchase
  • has duration limitations etc.

It’s your responsibility to do this research on each school you choose. Course enrollment in restricted programs is absolutely not guaranteed.
Choosing Your Exchange Duration
You must follow any duration restrictions listed in the school description. There are a few that require a full year exchange.
Semester Schools: You can exchange for one semester or a full year.
Quarter Schools: Credits received at a quarter school are converted to semester credits as follows: number of quarter credits x .67. We recommend you select the full year exchange for a quarter system school.
Understanding Possible Limitations
Some institutions have certain kinds of "unofficial" limitations that may not be included in the NSE Directory. For example:
1. Some schools have a limited number of students they can accept on exchange. Therefore, the number of UK students who will be accepted is limited.
2. Some schools may only be listed as first choice schools (because they are so popular) and are not good 2nd, 3rd or 4th choices.
3. Some schools have very limited availability on Plan B.
Information concerning these limitations is available through UK’s NSE Coordinator because it can change rapidly and without much notice.
The University of Kentucky only participates in the Tuition Plan B option.
This means you pay your regular tuition and fees directly to UK (out-of-state students continue to pay at those rates).
You pay your course, accommodation and meal plan fees and any other fees (such as orientation, health, parking fees) listed on the institution’s page on the NSE website directly to the host institution.
You will receive two bills - one from UK for tuition and fees, and one from your host school for accommodation, meal plan and any other fees.
UK will enroll you in a 1 credit NES333 course for the semester(s) you are studying away. This serves to keep you enrolled as a fulltime student at UK and allows you to access your financial aid and scholarships.
As UK is a Plan B only school you are not able to exchange to a host school that participates only on Plan A.
Some exchange schools will not wait for you to receive a residual check from UK to pay for room and board fees. You must find out whether or not your host school will wait for financial aid to be processed.
While exchanges generally do not cost much more than attending UK, you must make sure to bring enough money with you to get you through at least the first month (books, rent, food). Furthermore, you may need to pay in full or make a deposit for housing and/or meal plans in advance.
You absolutely must be a full time student while on exchange (12 credits or its equivalent). UK is notified by the host school if you are not a full time student. There may be serious financial aid, housing and academic consequences if you do not maintain full time student status.
Complete this application - UK NSE online application  
You can also contact the NSE coordinator Laurence Tuccori for more information by email at
You can also make an appointment to meet with him here -
NSE is located in the Education Abroad and Exchanges Office, Third Floor, Bradley Hall.