Learn the law. Live the culture. NACLE provides law students twelve different international semester exchanges in top legal cities in North America including Washington, D.C., Montreal, and Mexico City. To explore the different NACLE schools, please see each country’s tab. If you have any questions or would like additional information about undergoing a student exchange, please contact Rebecca Sheinbaum at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for your interest in the NACLE Exchange Program!
How To Arrange A NACLE Exchange:
- Choose a school. NACLE’s member schools vary widely not only in location, but also in area of expertise. A prospective exchange student can gain information and perspective on each NACLE school and its home city by exploring NACLE and the specific school’s websites. NACLE member schools are all outstanding, but each has its particular strengths of programs and geographical location. You should try to pair your interests with the NACLE members’ strengths. Keep in mind that all NACLE members will require some proof of language proficiency if the exchange student will be taking classes in a language other than his or her native language.
- Meet with the NACLE exchange administrator at your own law school. Each NACLE member has a faculty representative and an administrative representative for NACLE matters. (At some law schools, the same person serves both functions.) The names of the representatives at each school are listed on the NACLE website (under the “Campuses” tab). After you have had a chance to study NACLE and the specific school’s website, you should consult with the NACLE administrator at your own law school for tips on applying for a NACLE Exchange.
- Complete an application packet. The application packet can be found here. Ideally, the application should be completed at least six months prior to an exchange, although keep in mind that each NACLE member has its own deadline for completing a NACLE exchange application.
- Gather the necessary forms. The necessary forms include the following:
- School-specific application;
- A copy of your current law school transcript; and
- One letter of recommendation (from your home school, reflecting that the student is in good standing).
Exchange students from Canada or Mexico will also need the following:
- Letter of financial backing;
- Proof of language proficiency (if studying in a language other than your native language). For students attending English-language classes in Canada or the United States, a TOEFL score of 600 or better may be required (again, check each law school’s specific information).
- Application deadlines vary from school to school, and are noted on the respective schools’ web sites. For instance, the University of Houston’s deadlines are as follow: Spring: November 2015; Fall: April 2015.
For foreign students, these deadlines are of critical importance, not only for purposes of registration and planning, but also in order to procure any necessary visas in a timely fashion. Though logistics will likely be handled by the school you plan to visit, the visa application process may take some time; thus, deadlines should be closely observed.
- Pick your courses. Once the host school has accepted your application for a NACLE exchange, a representative of the host school will be responsible for sending you information on courses available to you, and will help you with registration. Registration for courses will be handled by the host school. Each NACLE exchange student should be assigned a faculty adviser at the host school to help with questions you may have about specific courses. Don’t be overly ambitious in taking a large number of courses; remember, you’ll be studying in a new system, and you can expect the learning curve to be steep, especially if you will be taking courses in a foreign language. Be sure to check with your home school to make sure that your home school will give you credit for the courses you choose at the host school.
YOU WILL RECEIVE FULL ACADEMIC CREDIT TOWARDS YOUR DEGREE BY TAKING COURSES IN A NACLE EXCHANGE. HOWEVER, YOUR HOME INSTITUTION WILL ASSIGN YOU A PASS/FAIL GRADE. ACTUAL GRADES RECEIVED AT THE HOST INSTITUTION WILL NOT TRANSFER. YOU MUST, OF COURSE, RECEIVE A PASSING GRADE AT THE HOST INSTITUTION TO BE GIVEN A PASS (AND CREDIT) FROM YOUR HOME INSTITUTION.
- Notify NACLE that you will be undertaking a NACLE Exchange. NACLE coordinators in Houston serve as a clearinghouse for information on student exchanges. For this reason, it is important that both the home and host institutions notify the NACLE office (at email@example.com) about upcoming exchanges.
- Make living arrangements. With the help of a NACLE coordinator, choose where you would like to live. This should be done at least four months prior to an exchange. Most schools will have some kind of on-campus housing available. Many also have some sort of program to match students with a roommate from the same school, or to facilitate sublets between students who will be away from their apartment for a semester. Some students opt to work with an apartment locator to lease an apartment short-term, although the availability of six-month lease may be somewhat limited. In short, there are many living options for a NACLE exchange student, but the arrangements should be made well ahead of time to maintain their viability.
- Stay in contact. Stay in close contact with the NACLE administrator at your host school to make sure that all aspects of the exchange requirements have been fulfilled. And please feel free to consult with our NACLE coordinators. Melissa MacNeil, our NACLE coordinator for student exchanges, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Some of these may include procuring an email address, a locker, a parking pass, etc.
- Complete the exit questionnaire. In order to improve the NACLE exchange experience, we ask that each NACLE exchange student fill out our exit questionnaire on completion of the semester exchange. The completed questionnaire should be sent to the NACLE coordinator at the home school, with copies sent to the host school and to the NACLE central office at the University of Houston Law Center. The NACLE administrator at each school will provide a copy of the questionnaire to students.
Any student who is enrolled at a NACLE member school and who is in the final or penultimate year of study for a law degree is eligible to participate in a NACLE semester-long exchange. In addition to candidates for the first degree in law, candidates for Master of Laws and Doctoral Law students are eligible as well.
Acceptance to a NACLE Exchange:
NACLE schools are bound by the ABA guidelines on foreign study programs; they are not obligated to accept or to send a certain number of students. (ABA guidelines on foreign study programs prevent NACLE members from sending or receiving more than two students from the same foreign law school in any one semester; conversely, NACLE members may send or receive more than two students per semester, so long as the previous rule is not breached.) NACLE members attempt to achieve a balance in sending and receiving students from each country and school in order to best facilitate the consortium’s goals. As such, availability may be limited where a school has already committed to receive or to send students. For this reason, it is important for students to plan ahead, and to be flexible concerning the foreign law school they wish to attend and the semester in which they plan to do the exchange.