The National Student Exchange (NSE) celebrates its 40-year anniversary this year. For UVSC, the exchange program is in its first year, and the first student to participate has just shown up on campus.

Ashley Hirowatari is from Hawaii, she is a physical education major, and wants to become a PE teacher.

When asked how UVSC could help her career, Hirowatari said that attending school here would give her a different perspective because the people and views here are different than those on the islands. Her reasons for coming to UVSC include having friends and relatives in the valley.

The NSE provides opportunities for students to study for a year at another NSE school in the United States or Canada, paying either in-state tuition at the host or home institution.

"President Sederburg had this program at his former school and asked me if I would establish it here at UVSC," said Julie Baker Bagley, director of the Center for Student Excellence.

"We’re pleased to have it all in place and ready to go. It’s the first time our students have had a program or service to them that would allow them to go out of state and pay residency tuition."

As of yet, there has not been a UVSC student to participate in this program. "We’ve had many students look in to it, and ask about it, but many of them find that UVSC is a great deal," said Bagley.

Some of the reason listed by NSE for why the program should be considered include: broadening personal and educational perspectives; taking courses not offered at the home campus; living in a different geographic area and being able to look for future employment opportunities.

"Going away not only created a sense of independence, but every door of life is opened – culturally, academically and socially," said Michelle Ankenbauer, SUNY College at Buffalo to the University of South Carolina.

To be eligible for the program, a students needs to be a full-time student their home college, have at least a cumulative 2.5 GPA and be of good standing academically, personally and financially.

Annually, 97 percent of students who apply are placed in their desired campuses.

For more information about this opportunity, contact Julie Baker Bagley at [email protected], SC 105e or (801) 863-6750.