NSE Exchange Process

Before you apply to NSE, you'll want to be well-prepared for going on exchange. This is called the Research step, and there are three major things you should do prior to applying. The Research step consists of:
Attending an Info Session: Whether this is your first time hearing about NSE or you want to expand on what you already know, you should attend an NSE info session. These sessions have you meet with our staff to go over the exchange process, including important information about the campuses you may be looking into. See the Daily Info Sessions page to find out how and where to attend one.
Meeting with your Academic Advisor: There is no better resource for your degree program than your academic advisor. Because participating in NSE means you won't be at Iowa State during the semester, you want to be sure you are not missing any core classes/experiences to your program that are only offered during certain semesters. Meeting with your advisor will also help you plan for what kinds of classes you should be taking during a semester of exchange: gen eds, electives, core classes.
Researching campuses: While attending an info session will help you make sense of important information for the campuses you are interested in, we cannot choose your exchange location for you! There are multiple ways to go about finding your ideal campus; check them out on the NSE categories page.

When you have all of the information you need about exchange, you have arrived at the Apply step. There are two major application deadline types to look out for each academic year: The priority deadline and the direct placement deadlines. Be sure to keep an eye on our homepage for the latest application deadline information.

The priority deadline typically occurs in February, and it covers the following Summer semester, Fall semester, and Spring semester. Before the priority deadline, no campuses have accepted students for those semesters. This is the ideal time to apply to NSE so that you have priority placement at your #1 campus choice.

The direct placement deadlines typically occur after the priority deadline. For the following Fall semester, direct placement is typically April-May. For the following Spring semester, direct placement is typically October-November. The direct placement deadline means you are picking your top choice from schools which have not yet reached capacity for accepting students.

Fill out the online application: To view the online application process in full, please visit our NSE application page. Ensure you are completing all pieces of the process as outlined on this page.

Meet with the ISU NSE Coordinator: After your application has been turned in, your next step is to schedule a short, 20-30 minute meeting with the NSE Coordinator at Iowa State. This meeting is called the NSE InterviewYour meeting with the NSE Coordinator will allow you to review your application together and ensure that you have all of the information you need to commit to exchange.

Get placed: This is the easiest part of step two for you... because you get to kick back, relax, and wait for the good news! At this point, the NSE coordinator will collaborate with host coordinators at your schools of interest to get you placed. In recent years, NSE has enjoyed an 85% first-choice placement rate, with a 99% placement rate for all NSE applicants. Once we have secured your placement, we will reach out to you with congratulations and some instructions for your next step.

Congratulations, you have been placed at an NSE campus! In the Placement & Contact step, otherwise known as the "paperwork" step, you get to accept your placement by filling out a few documents.
Attend the Placement Acceptance Meeting: Shortly after you have been placed at a host campus, the ISU NSE office will reach out to you to schedule the Placement Acceptance Meeting. In this meeting, you are walked through several important documents that you must sign, most important of all the Placement Acceptance Form (PAF)
Await contact from your host campus: Once you have filled out your PAF, the ISU NSE office will send it to your host campus NSE Coordinator. Coordinators typically get in-touch with you within a week or two after you have completed the PAF. When you do hear from your host NSE Coordinator, they will provide you the first steps for being admitted to their university.
Begin host campus admissions process: Always complete the tasks your host NSE Coordinator gives you by the deadlines they have given you. Typically, you can expect to fill out an admissions application, your housing contract, and to fulfill the steps to enroll in classes. Different universities have different processes, so be sure to pay careful attention to the information your host NSE Coordinator sends you.
The Departure Meeting step focuses on final preparations you do prior to embarking on your NSE adventure. Late into your last semester at Iowa State before you exchange, you will attend the Departure Meeting. This is the final requirement of Iowa State before you exchange. The Departure Meeting covers important content such as financial aid, behavior while on exchange, transcripts & grades, and it offers you the opportunity to connect with fellow Cyclones going on exchange.
Verify your enrollment: At both Iowa State and your host campus, you should verify that your enrollment is correct. At Iowa State, ensure you are not still enrolled in classes for the semester you are on exchange. You will notice a 1-credit EXPRO class in your Iowa State courses: This is intentional and reflects that you are still a full-time Iowa State student. At your host campus, ensure you are enrolled as a full-time student.
Final preparations: This step is one if your best opportunities to note any questions or concerns you may have with your Iowa State NSE Coordinator prior to exchange. You should also make your travel arrangements by this point if you have not already. 
Celebrate: The Departure Meeting offers you an opportunity to celebrate your accomplishments in getting ready for NSE. The meeting doubles as a celebration where you can meet fellow NSE students going on exchange, some to the same campus as you! It's a great opportunity to exchange numbers and travel plans.
Congratulations, you have embarked on your NSE adventure! There are a couple of things you should do toward the beginning of your NSE exchange, but for the most part you will be fully engrossed in life at your host campus.
Inform your host: Prior to your arrival, you should inform your host campus of your travel plans to arrive on campus. Be sure to include your mode of travel (including transportation from the airport if flying), if you are accompanied by any family and friends, and what date/time you anticipate being on campus.
Attend required orientation(s): Some host campuses may require an NSE orientation or may require you to attend other new student orientations. Please participate in everything your host NSE Coordinator requires you to: You represent Iowa State!
As your NSE adventure approaches its end, there are a few tasks that are required of you to complete the exchange process. Once these tasks have been completed, you have finished your NSE exchange. Congratulations!
Submit official transcripts:  Iowa State NSE office staff will remind you in the weeks leading up to your finals to submit your official transcript upon completion of the semester. The official transcript must be submitted only after final grades are released, and it must be sent directly to the Iowa State NSE office.
Exit requirements: Before leaving your host campus, ensure you have completed all exit requirements the host NSE Coordinator requires of you. 
Attend a Focus Group: The final task in the NSE process is to attend a focus group shortly after beginning your first semester back at Iowa State. The focus groups offer you an opportunity to share your experiences while on exchange along with other returning Iowa State NSE participants.

Graphic of NSE application process. Text says: NSE Process: Beginning to End; Step 1: Research (Finding your best fit for exchange); Step 2: Apply (The application process); Step 3: Placement and Contact (Accept your placement and begin admission); Step 4: Departure Meeting (One final meeting before exchange!); Step 5: On Exchange (Your semester(s) away!); Step 6: Return (Wrapping up your exchange)