Student Exchange Program
Sophomore Waverly Mathis took advantage of the National Student Exchange program to attend the University of North Texas.

For more than 30 years, the University of New Mexico has been participating in the National Student Exchange (NSE), a not-for-profit education consortium that provides affordable and practical opportunities for students enrolled at member campuses to study and live in a new location.

The National Student Exchange Program hosted its 42nd Annual Placement Conference in Albuquerque at the Hyatt Downtown recently. This is the first time that the conference was held in Albuquerque. The conference consists of coordinators and assistant coordinators from approximately 160 participating schools from the US, US Territories and Canada.

During this conference, the coordinators will place approximately 2,000 students to exchange between universities, as well as learn more resources on how to be a successful coordinator. Although the conference is the primary place where students enroll in the program, there are also hundreds of students who get placed afterward. 

To date, UNM has placed close to 2,000 students at various universities throughout the U.S. and has accepted nearly 1,000 who want to study at UNM. Since 2009, UNM has been one of the highest ranking colleges with regard to how many students were accepted into the program. This is a testament to how important the program is for UNM students, as many of the other NSE colleges have seen a decline in their numbers over the past few years. 

One UNM sophomore, Waverly Mathis, says that the NSE program gave her the opportunity to experience life in a different place than she was accustomed to without crippling her with student loans. Mathis exchanged from UNM to the University of North Texas in Denton.

“It was close enough to home that I could come back for breaks, but far enough away that I got that ‘out of state’ experience,” Mathis said. “I have always loved Texas, and the values of kindness and generosity that most Texans have.”

“The National Student Exchange provides an opportunity for life changing experiences for students whom always typically say, NSE was one the best things I did as a college student,” said Rob Burford, student conduct officer with the Dean of Students Office, who works closely with the NSE program.

Mathis says the program has helped her make new friends from throughout the country and would recommend it to all college students. “Not everyone has the money to pay for out of state tuition, and this program gives students an opportunity to live out of state and not have to pay insane amounts of money to do it,” she said.

NSE plans to continue attracting more and more students not only to experience other colleges, but to experience what UNM has to offer.  Having exchange students attend UNM exposes our students to an even more diverse population of students and vice versa for the UNM students who attend other colleges through the program. 

Students can apply for the program via appointment with Rob Burford, in the Dean of Students Office by calling (505) 277-3361 or emailing him at

For more information NSE.