National Student Exchange Program brings students to UCCS

Nov. 10, 2014

Celeste Burnham
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Ashley Thompson
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Students can study in another state or country and continue to pay UCCS tuition rates.


Although it is a similar concept to study abroad, students in the National Student Exchange program pay the same tuition that they are paying to attend UCCS unless the university they are exchanging to has cheaper in-state tuition, then they are able to pay that amount.

NSE allows students to participate in a national exchange where they can study in the U.S., Canada, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico or Guam for a semester or year of their college career. There are almost 200 schools currently in the program.

Margie Oldham, UCCS NSE director, wants to help students experience a different place and school while taking classes that apply toward their degree with no difference in price.

“If it doesn’t hinder you in any way with money or with your degree program then why wouldn’t you go on an exchange?” she said.

There are 100 students from other universities at UCCS while 47 UCCS students are participating in an exchange at another university within the program, according to Oldham.

“Most of the students [from UCCS] that we have been placing are interested in geographies. They want to get to the water, such as Marine biologists, or people that want to do geography go to an island. Our students want to experience a different terrain,” Oldham said.

Claudia Cantin is from Montreal and is a third year at her university. Cantin chose UCCS because of the smaller setting and class sizes that are similar to the ones she has in Montreal.

Cantin also explained that if English is not your native language then the process of attending an American university can be a little more challenging.

“Because I am not from the United States, you have to adapt to the language. Before coming here, we had to pass a universitylevel test, so my English is good,” she said.

The program is tailored to some specific degree plans, too.

Molly Wollner is on an exchange at UCCS from the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire. “Margie and Heidi [Wardell, NSE coordinator] have been so extremely helpful throughout the whole process so I haven’t had any difficulties,” said Wollner.

“They helped me plan out my schedule, check how everything transfers and they are really good about checking in on everything that’s going on.”

Wollner expressed that she has been incredibly pleased with her experience in Colorado and said she would not trade it for anything.

“You are given so many opportunities while on exchange, you get to take different classes, go on new adventures and even given possible internships,” she said.

Jordan Tingson is here on exchange from Guam. Tingson chose UCCS because it is a bigger campus than most schools in Guam. “I like how the teachers put work into making sure the students understand. It’s really important to me because I’m a really serious student,” she said.

For Tingson, there is not much to complain about within the program, except for the state’s lack of island temperatures; she said that it is just really cold here in Colorado.

Oldham thinks the program will continue to expand.

“Try something. Explore it. We plan a year out, but you’ve got to start looking into it,” she said.