Worcester State University’s newest exchange program allows students to take a little piece of WSU with them: the low in-state tuition.
The National Student Exchange (NSE) gives students the opportunity to spend a semester at one of almost 200 universities in the United States, Canada, and U.S. territories. Students in the program pay either WSU fees or the fees of the host school—whichever is less expensive.
The program became available to University students in the 2012 spring semester.
WSU senior Alexandra Kerr was one of the first University students to participate. She and a roommate studied at Texas State University-San Marcos in the fall of 2012.
For Kerr, the location was more important than the school.
“I had no intention of ever going to Texas in the future, so I figured I should try it,” Kerr says. “It was a whole different world.”
Katey Palumbo, interim director of International Programs at WSU, urges students to travel.
“There is a whole world out there,” Palumbo says. “Exploring a different part of the country gives a student perspective.”
Alexandra Kerr certainly gained perspective in Texas, where the speed limit is 85 mph, Thanksgiving is celebrated outside, and people actually do wear 10-gallon hats.
Kerr says that it is important for students to expose themselves to this kind of culture shock.
“I learned a lot about myself,” she says. “I learned that I am capable of adapting to change.”
Kerr advises students who are interested in the program to start thinking about it early, and to make a list of all the places they would like to go.
Students are not always accepted to the programs they are the most interested in, so it is best to have a back-up plan. Kerr says that if she hadn’t been accepted to the program in Texas, she might have gone to the Virgin Islands instead.
She also advises students to take a chance and try something new.
“Do it!” she says. “Why not?”
Students interested in the NSE are encouraged to contact the International Programs Office.
Joe Gullekson ’13 is an English major at WSU.
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