Emporia State will be shutting down the National Student Exchange program after this spring semester in order to focus on the study abroad programs.
“The real reason why we want to do this is because the greatest interest at Emporia State is for students to go abroad,” said Mark Daly, dean of international education in an interview for a recent Bulletin article.
As a student currently away on exchange through ESU NSE program, this is a big part of my current lifestyle and I find the news saddening. I don’t see this experience as unimportant, or not as good as going overseas.
According to Daly, there isn’t anything keeping students from going to other schools in the United States without the NSE program.
However, this doesn’t account for out of state tuition charges which students would need to pay without the NSE program. It also doesn’t mention the fact that certain areas in Canada qualify in the NSE program as well.
Gwen Larson, assistant director of marketing and media relations, stated that there haven’t been more than a dozen students in the past five or so years to participate.
So, it’s clear there is more interest in studying abroad, but maybe instead of giving up on the program there is a way to raise interest in it. As an NSE student I have had the opportunity to interact with many different cultures of the world through being part of any study away group at all.
Not only has it been amazing to see a different part of the United States, but I have met students from other states and multiple countries.
Being a transfer student wouldn’t have offered the same opportunities. Not many students are participating in the program, but that doesn’t mean we should get rid of the program.
But the idea of cutting it altogether, and that this kind of studying away isn’t worthy of ESU’s attention, is harsh and seems to discourage and exclude certain students from exploring new places and cultures if they don’t have the means to study abroad.