Hawaii Waterfall

National Student Exchange Steps


Step 1
Attend a General Information Session

Attend an information session to learn the basics of study abroad: eligibility, program types, how to fund your program and more. Check the Study Abroad calendar for weekly Information Sessions, time and location.


Step 2
Make an appointment with the National Student Exchange Student Mobility Coordinator
  1. Explore programs available to you and get familiar with the application process.
  2. Visit the NSE website (www.nse.org) to learn more about the universities participating in the program.
  3. Book an appointment with the NSE Student Mobility Coordinator to discuss your program choice(s).

Make an Advising Appointment

Step 3
Explore NSE Programs

Explore NSE programs at NSE.org. You will be asked to select your first, second and third choice destination institutions.

How to Choose a Program

When considering all the options, note:

  • Academics – Do they have the courses you need to stay on track with your Montclair State curriculum? The NSE site will allow you to search by field of study.
  • Semester/Quarter – Montclair State only participates with schools that operate on a semester schedule. Quarter school exchanges will not be approved.
  • Housing – Is housing available on-campus? Is housing on-campus required? Will you have to live off-campus? Do you have family/friends that live near the host campus?
  • Cost –What are the host school costs for room and board? Montclair State participates as a “Home Institution Payment Plan” so tuition cost will always be your regular Montclair State University tuition. This also means that you must select a Home Institution Payment Plan school as your destination.
  • Competitiveness of Placement– Some destinations and institutions are more popular and therefore placement is more competitive.
Step 4
Complete part one of the Montclair State study abroad application

Create an NSE application here.

Once you create an application, a checklist will appear to guide you through the process. You will need to complete the following materials in your application:

  1. Meet with an Advisor
  2. $150 Non-refundable Application Fee- paid online via your application
  3. Acknowledgement of $300 Participation Fee upon registration in placeholder course
  4. Consent Forms
  5. Waivers
  6. Unofficial transcript
  7. First, second and third choice NSE programs. Placement is not guaranteed, but your NSE Coordinator will guide you and advocate on your behalf.

When you are ready, you will submit your application and it will be reviewed.

Step 5
NSE Application

After you have been accepted by Montclair State University to participate in the NSE program, your application will be submitted to your first, second and third choice destinations for review.


Step 1
Complete part two of the Montclair State study abroad application

You will need to complete the following materials in your application:

  1. Emergency Contacts
  2. Medical Disclosure Form
  3. Financial Aid Study Abroad Budget Form- to be completed with an advisor
  4. Request to Work at Another Institution form to get courses approved
  5. Enroll in approved Aetna On-Call
  6. Canadian destinations only: enroll in STEP and submit copy of passport
  7. Activate AlertTraveler
  8. Attend mandatory Pre-Departure Orientations

After you are accepted by the NSE host institution, you will be contacted by them to arrange housing and courses. For programs at Canadian host institutions, you will be contacted regarding visas.


Step 2
Request for Work Form

Courses taken abroad/away should help you progress toward graduation. You must meet with your academic advisor (or major/minor advisor) to determine how your credits will count. Indicate the courses you will be taking at the host institution equivalent to those you would be taking at MSU. The courses must be approved by the department chair of the subject you are studying abroad. When you meet with your advisor, provide the advisor (or chair) with course descriptions or syllabus for the courses that need approval. Please note that every department needs their own form. You can include more than one class on a form if it is in the same department.

This is a Registrar’s Office form and process. Please access the form and directions for submitting these forms here: https://www.montclair.edu/red-hawk-central/forms/#registrar

Then the Registrar circulates it electronically for signatures by chairs and Provost’s office, as necessary.

When all the signatures are assembled, (approximately 2-3 weeks depending on faculty response time) then the Registrar sends the form back to the student and the student should upload the form into their study abroad portal. This form will be referenced when IAI receives your official transcript from your study abroad program to request the transfer of credits.

After completing the form, you must return it to the Office of International Academic Initiatives.

You are only responsible for signatures 1-3.

Step 3
International Travel, Medical, and Security Assistance

The Office of International Academic Initiatives requires ALL students to enroll in Aetna OnCall. This plan is in addition to your current health coverage and cannot be waived.

Step 4

AlertTraveler is a mobile app provided by Montclair State that utilizes GPS and your travel itinerary to provide you with information on safety and security in your destination.  Based on your location you will receive alerts that could potentially impact your travel or safety.  All students are required to download AlertTraveler app and enroll through their online study abroad application. A step by step guide can be found in your learning content. Montclair State provides this service at no charge to students.

Step 5
Pre-Departure Orientations

Students are required to attend mandatory Pre-Departure Orientations. Students will be given important information on Health and Safety, Policies and Procedures, and Cultural Adjustment. NSE participants will have break-out meetings during the orientation to address questions particular to their program.

Step 6
Housing Cancellation

If you live on campus, reach the Office of Residence Life to cancel your on-campus housing contracts for the semester you are abroad. Meal plans should be canceled by contacting Dining Services. Once you have been accepted, you will arrange housing and meal plans directly with the host institution, and pay directly to the host institution.

Step 7
Placeholder Course

Students will be enrolled at Montclair State University in an NSE full-time enrollment placeholder course for the term they are away. You will be billed by Montclair State University for the flat rate tuition for the placeholder course.

This course will appear on the transcript to maintain full-time enrollment. Once the NSE host institution transcript is received and processed, the transfer courses and grades will also appear as comments. The placeholder course will also remain on the transcript.

Step 8

It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that their final official transcript from the NSE program is sent to Montclair State University.