Next Steps: National Student Exchange

Congrats on taking this leap and learning more about studying away with NSE! We’re looking forward to meeting to discuss the exciting opportunities ahead. Here are some of the steps you’ll need to complete as you go through the application process. 

Step 1: Create/finish your interest form and start researching schools or regions. Spend time looking at all your school options. Make sure you are focusing on at least some schools rated “excellent” (top right corner on a school profile) and that your major or minor is not listed at the bottom of a campus profile as “limited” or “closed.”

Step 2: Set up an appointment with the UCA Education Abroad Office. (This should be done by end of August for Spring exchange and by end of January for Fall exchange.)

Step 3: After meeting with us and deciding on a school (and maybe a backup school), get departmental approval for the courses you plan to take. You should also meet with your advisor to make sure you know what courses you need. 

Step 4: Meet with financial aid if you have questions about using your scholarships or loans for NSE. Think about the costs involved, using this sample budget if you’d like. Consider whether home pay or host pay is a better option for you for each school you’re thinking about applying to (home pay means you pay UCA tuition and fees, host pay means you pay the other university’s tuition and fees). Also, look at whether or not the school offers/requires on-campus housing and what your preferences are. 

Please send a copy of your financial aid/scholarships to our office (Alexandra Depner, Director of Education Abroad –  This will help our office advise you. To retrieve a copy, go to MyUCA, click Self-Service Tab -> Financial Aid -> Award -> Select Award for Aid Year -> Click on the last tab labeled Accept Award Offer and Print.

Step 5The Offices of Education Abroad will review all files in the application to determine eligibility and selection based upon one or more of the following: seniority, GPA, degree, professor recommendations, committee review, and financial need. After approval, you and the NSE advisor will create an official application for placement. 

Step 6: Carefully read and then sign this waiver.

Step 7: Pay the $150 application fee on the NSE website (link will be sent to you).

*The deadline for priority admission for the Fall Semester is mid-to-late February. You must have completed all of the above steps before this date to be considered for a spot.*

Any questions can be addressed to


During your NSE exchange semester:

  • Please send our office (Alexandra Depner, Director of Education Abroad – a screenshot of the courses you are enrolled in after the add/drop deadline for your host school.
  • You are expected to keep in contact with our office so that we can assist you if needed and know you are thriving at your host school! Please also send photos, updates and anything else that we can use on our social media to encourage more participation. As NSE participants and alumni, you are our best ambassadors for the program.

Upon Return from your NSE experience:

  • The student is responsible for verifying that credits from their semester with NSE are reflected correctly on their UCA transcript.
  • If a student receives the Arkansas Academic Challenge Scholarship, the student must request that an official transcript reflecting credit be sent to ADHE from the Office of the Registrar in order to maintain the scholarship.