Student trades sunshine
for the lake-effect snow
By James Kneblik Jr.
Bitter wind and a white-covered country
side met me as I drove north from sunny Florida to cloudy Cleveland,
meeting a wintry spring semester.
So, why would you study in Cleveland, if youre from Saint
Thats what I hear all the time. I grew up in Florida and ironically
found myself in Ohio for the winter. Some would say only a girl could
I joined a program called National Student Exchange and enrolled last
August. Taking a full load of classes at CSU, I still pay Florida-state
I found out I could attend another university for up to a year without
re-enrolling and my Florida-state tuition would remain the same. Thats
what NSE is all about. I joined the program through my home campus at
the University of South Florida last fall.
Just about the time my father was wearing shorts, mowing the lawn and
my friends were hanging at the beach, I was scraping ice off my windshield
and digging my car out of a blizzard.
Granted, NSE students dont often move north for the winter. They
usually apply for sunnier destinations like Florida, Hawaii, California
or even Guam. NSE students can apply to nearly 200 participating schools
in 48 states, three U.S. territories, Washington, D.C. and six Canadian
CSU had two students, including myself, participate in NSE this academic
Students like the option of seeing a different part of the country,
said Julie Good, manager of the Study Abroad Program at CSU. NSE provides
students with an opportunity to take classes which are not otherwise
available to them. Some students even take advantage of international
study abroad programs through their host campuses.
CSU students planning to study at another school must choose an A
or B plan institution. A plan allows students
to pay the host campus tuition cost. Many CSU students take this route.
CSU is among the more expensive schools, Good said. A
plan may lower tuition for Cleveland students seeking to study elsewhere.
In other words, a CSU student could actually pay less for studying at
a different school!
The B plan conversely allows students to continue CSU tuition
costs and study elsewhere.
As a student studying marketing and journalism, I have had opportunities
to gain experience in a new environment.
Many CSU students, however, dont know about this program and the
opportunities to be found.
I feel like we have a ways to go in marketing and getting the
word out to students, said Good. CSU is clearly in the position
to both send and receive more exchange students through NSE.
While students have the opportunity to pay in-state tuition, constrictions
of time and finances keep students from reaching out and studying in
other states or countries, explained Good.
A group of nine students from the University of Puerto Rico will come
to CSU this summer. Yet NSE, at Cleveland State, only anticipates two
students for both fall and spring enrollment. We would be able
to accommodate more students, Good said.
NSE, founded in 1968, has sent more than 90,000 students to host institutions.
Though the March 1 deadline for fall enrollment has technically past,
many schools still have openings. Spring 2009 paperwork should be submitted
by Oct. 1.
Applicants go through a national placement process for each term. The
locations in high demand, such as Florida and Hawaii, are competitively
We are always available for students to walk in our office and
talk to us, said Good, whose office is located in the Keith Building,
suite 1150, located in the theater district on Euclid Avenue.
The trek across campus, however, often keeps students from visiting.
Thats why the Study Abroad Department officials meet every Tuesday
and Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., in the CSU library to get together
These advisors help students get through the requirements and paperwork
to meet their goals, whether in Florida, China or Cleveland.