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NSE Conference Gives Plattsburgh Chance to Show What College Has to Offer

NSE staff and advisers

Nearly 30 National Student Exchange coordinators were able to visit and tour the SUNY Plattsburgh campus Sept. 30 as part of the NSE national conference being held last week in Montreal.

Coordinators from campuses throughout the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands were participating in a familiarity tour, where they visited schools in Montreal and Vermont as well as SUNY Plattsburgh. Campuses welcomed the NSE ambassadors, many of whom work closely with students who have indicated interest in a study-away experience.

Brooke Layhee, coordinator of the study-away program in SUNY Plattsburgh’s Global Education Office, said the NSE consortium, in deciding to hold an annual fall conference, gave participants the chance to do in-person site visits within the consortium.

Since the conference was held in Montreal, the group started first with tours in Canada beginning the first day of the conference Sept. 27. By Friday, the group headed south and visited Vermont State University—Johnson and then headed to SUNY Plattsburgh.

Hear ‘Directly from Us’

“Since SUNY Plattsburgh is near Montreal, we were offered the opportunity to do a site visit for these coordinators,” Layhee said. “The benefit (to having the familiarity tour here) is that coordinators can physically see our campus and hear about Plattsburgh directly from us. There are over 150 campuses in NSE, which leaves students with many options.”

When coordinators return to their home campuses and meet with their advisees, they’ll have had a first-hand experience to pull from and be able to share what SUNY Plattsburgh is like and what it offers, Layhee said.

Coordinators from colleges and universities in Alabama, Alaska, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota and Mississippi, Nebraska, Puerto Rico, St. Catherine, Ontario, and South Dakota, Texas, Utah, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Wyoming, converged on campus.

staff with nse advisersWhen Layhee and study away staff were preparing for the visit, they decided to include staff, faculty and students from campus who coordinators could meet, speak to and have one-on-one time with, she said.

SUNY Plattsburgh students who have participated in NSE experiences, along with staff and faculty, gathered with coordinators in the Cardinal Lounge for a michigans lunch. A program that included a presentation from Steve Matthews, interim dean of students, introduced participants to campus.

“We thought there was a mutual benefit,” Layhee said. “The coordinators were able to hear directly from those who may teach and support NSE students while they’re here.”

It also gave our faculty and staff the opportunity to learn more about this unique program available to any SUNY Plattsburgh student who may want a study-away experience but who isn’t ready for a semester of year abroad, she said.

‘We Can Tell Them What We Saw’

Elsandra Rivera, national and international exchange coordinator and admissions director at the University of Puerto Rico at Cayey, said the conference was made better for the tours.

“It’s important for us to visit the universities we are telling our students about,” she said. “I’ve never visited this part of the country before; it’s good to visit. Also, a lot of students go to Canada for school. It was great — something new. We were able to see six universities in this conference. When students ask us, ‘How is housing? How is the climate? What are the people like?’ we can tell them what we saw on our visits.”

For more information on the National Student Exchange program and study-away opportunities, contact Layhee at 518-564-3287 or email [email protected].

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