Two BU Students Abroad Thanks to the National Student Exchange

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posted Monday, September 12, 2011

Brandon, MB — Two Brandon University students, Samantha Durnin and Jennifer Banks, are studying at partner institutions as both have taken advantage of the National Student Exchange (NSE) program for undergraduates. This is Brandon University’s first year as a member of NSE. Both young women will be out of the country for at least one semester — Durnin is in Germany at the Universität Regensburg, while Banks is at Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis.

“When I graduated from high school, I went to Brazil for a year with the Rotary Youth Exchange. That gave me the travel bug,” said Durnin, who is originally from Portage la Prairie. “Pretty much as soon as I got to Brandon, the first place I went was Anita Allan’s office (the Coordinator of the International Activities at BU) to find out my options.”

The third-year student in Applied Disaster and Emergency Studies discovered that the NSE had many more options that what had been available to BU students prior to the University’s membership. Durnin chose to pursue her semester in Germany, primarily to further her knowledge of the language.

With a longstanding dream of living in a large American city, psychology major Banks chose to spend two semesters close enough to come back home, yet far enough to enjoy a new experience.

“I have a few psychology courses left to get, but I’ve taken my major ones (at BU). There are a lot of courses they offer there that are a bit different from what I’ve already got,” said Banks, another diehard traveller. “I thought this would be a great way to do both — to travel and finish my third year. Then, I’ll come back for education.”

Through the NSE program, both students have paid the same tuition they would have paid had they been at Brandon University.

“This is incredible. I looked into schools in the States before I heard of the program and the cost was unbelievable! It was totally out of the question, it was so expensive,” said Banks, who is originally from Melita. “This program is a wonderful opportunity. It’s a way to travel the world and get your education at the same time. It’s really exciting to be one of the first ones (from BU).”

Students who successfully apply to the National Student Exchange can study elsewhere in Canada as well as the United States, Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Partnerships within other universities, like the one Durnin discovered with German universities, also open doors to many other possibilities.

For more information, please contact:

Anita Allan
Coordinator, Office of International Activities
Brandon University
270 – 18th Street
Brandon, MB R7A 6A9
Tel. 204-727-7479


Joanne F. Villeneuve
Brandon University
270 – 18th Street
Brandon, MB R7A 6A9
Tel. 204-727-9762



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