National Student Exchange broadens horizons

Wichita State junior Carmen Ramirez knows what it is like when a hometown team wins the Super Bowl.

She spent last spring at Towson University in Towson, Md., with the National Student Exchange program. The program gives students the opportunity to study for a semester or a year at one of 200 other universities in the country, while still paying Wichita State tuition prices.

“One big highlight of my experience was being in a chaotic Baltimore when the Baltimore Ravens won the Super Bowl,” Ramirez said. “I think it made up for missing the Wichita experience when WSU made it to the Final Four.”

NSE coordinator Bobby Gandu discussed what makes a successful candidate for the program.

“Students who I think are successful through this process are students who are ready for the unexpected,” Gandu said. “They are willing to take some risks and challenge themselves academically and personally, and to expand their own horizons.”

Ramirez said the experience came with challenges.

“I had to get used to East Coast mentality and public transportation really fast,” Ramirez said. “Just being in a bigger city where the lifestyle is a little different really put it all in perspective for me. I definitely had a different view of life after I came home.”

Sophomore Jonathan Dennill is spending this semester at William Paterson University in Wayne, N.J. He said the chance to broaden his view of life is what makes the program worthwhile.

“There is so much more to experience in the world around us,” Dennill said. “There are other cultures, other types of people and other environments that are so wildly different than back home in Kansas. Missing a semester or a year from Wichita State is absolutely worth it for an experience like this.”

The deadline for the National Exchange Program for fall 2014 or spring 2015 is Feb. 15. Interested students can pick up an application in the Marcus Welcome Center. For any additional questions, contact Gandu at (316) 978-3085.