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April 28, 2008

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School of Communication

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 you’re from Saint Petersburg, Florida?”
That’s 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 do that!
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 tuition.
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. That’s 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 don’t 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 provinces.
CSU had two students, including myself, participate in NSE this academic year.
“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, don’t 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 sought.
“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. That’s 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 with students.
These advisors help students get through the requirements and paperwork to meet their goals, whether in Florida, China or Cleveland.



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