Volume 13, Number 4 October 7, 2005

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Boost to student exchanges sought

The U of S has applied to join the U.S.-based National Student Exchange (NSE) in an effort to expand its offering of foreign exchange study opportunities for students.

Bob Stock, International Liaison Officer with the College of Arts & Science, says officials from NSE will visit campus Oct. 28 to meet with relevant U of S people, assess the University’s application, and work out details of an agreement.

Stock says NSE is a long-established network of 180 universities, mainly in the United States. Seven Canadian universities belong, including Simon Fraser, Sherbrooke, and the University of Regina. About two-thirds of the American universities in NSE allow for student exchanges with Canadian universities.

There are many benefits for U of S students if the University is able to join NSE, Stock says. Chief among these is the exposure students from here would get to larger programs and a rich array of course offerings at some leading universities.

Membership in NSE “would provide U of S students with access to the leading state universities in almost 20 states – for example, the University of Minnesota and the University of Oregon,” he says.

Stock adds that another attraction for some students might be that NSE member universities include some in warm-winter locales such as Florida, Guam, Puerto Rico and Hawaii. Students would also have access to benefits like Spanish-language offerings in Puerto Rico, the cultural diversity of several historically black colleges and universities, and fine arts opportunities at Hunter College in New York.

U of S institutional goals would be helped by an increase in overall student participation in foreign study exchanges, Stock notes. Also, “We currently lack strong formal ties with top U.S. universities,” and the NSE partnership would address that. And working with NSE member institutions on exchanges would open up the possibility of developing closer bilateral relations with some of those universities.

Stock says the arrangements within NSE on matters such as tuition arrangements, transfer credits, and support for students. During their Oct. 28 meeting, the NSE officials will meet with Provost & Vice-President Academic Michael Atkinson, as well as with some deans and staff from Student & Enrolment Services Division.

For more information, contact communications.office@usask.ca

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