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NACADA (National Academic Advising Association)

A U.S.-based individual membership association of professional advisors, counselors, faculty, administrators, and students that promotes and supports quality academic advising in institutions of higher education to enhance the educational development of students.

NAFSA: Association of International Educators

A U.S.-based individual membership association for international education professionals that focuses especially on advocacy and professional development. The acronym originally stood for National Association of Foreign Student Advisers. NAFSA's mission and membership have broadened through the years to include all aspects of international educational exchange.

NASFAA (National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators)

A U.S.-based institutional and individual membership organization that provides advocacy, training, and professional support to individuals and organizations involved in the administration of student financial aid at postsecondary education institutions.

NASPA: Student Personnel Administrators in Higher Education

An individual membership organization focused on student affairs administration. Provides guidance and support on policy, practice, and research on student life and learning in higher education. The acronym originally stood for National Association of Student Personnel Administrators.

National Student Exchange (NSE)

A multilateral exchange program, whose member institutions are mostly within the U.S. but also include several institutions in Canada and U.S. overseas territories and commonwealths (Guam, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands). Moreover, students from U.S. member institutions occasionally use NSE to gain access to a study abroad program offered by another U.S. member institution.


1) Membership of a person in a nation state (when used in a legal sense). A National of a country generally possesses the right of abode in the country whose nationality he/she holds. Nationality is distinguished from citizenship, as a citizen has the right to participate in the political life of the state of which he/she is a citizen, such as by voting or standing for election. Although nationals need not have these rights, normally they do. 2) Membership in a group of people with a shared history and a shared sense of identity and political destiny (when used in a sociopolitical sense).

Near East

Once frequently employed, especially by the British, to refer to Mesopotamia, the Levant, and Anatolia, this term has now largely fallen into disuse except among archaeologists and ancient historians.

Need-Based Aid

Financial aid that is granted because of an applicant's assessed financial need. The aid may or may not cover the full cost of a student's education.


Either not evaluated by a recognized higher education accrediting agency or not meeting an agency's standards. See Accredited.

Non-Degree Student

(Sometimes also referred to as Non-Matriculated Student) - A student who is enrolled in classes but has not been admitted to the institution in a degree-seeking status. Degree-granting institutions that permit students from other institutions to participate in their study abroad programs typically choose to place visiting students in non-degree status. Students on reciprocal student exchange programs are also usually considered non-degree students at their host institutions.


(or Not-for-Profit) - A legally constituted organization whose objective is to support or engage in activities of public or private interest without commercial or monetary profit. A nonprofit organization does not issue stock or dividends. Many but not all U.S. nonprofits are tax-exempt. There are legal restrictions on how revenues generated by nonprofit organizations may be used.

Nonverbal Communication

All behavior that modifies, adds to, or substitutes for spoken or written language. Nonverbal behavior includes: paralanguage (paralinguistics); body language (kinesics); eye language (oculesics); space language (proxemics); touch language (haptics); and timing in conversations (regulators).

Nordic Countries

Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and their territories: the Faroe Islands, Greenland, Svalbard, and Aland.


(or Social Norm) - Ways of behaving to which the majority of participants in a society adhere. They are socially monitored and are often unwritten and unstated. Norms are most evident when they are not followed and the individual or group is sanctioned in some way for this deviation. This often occurs when an individual finds him or herself in a foreign country, dealing with a new culture where the norms are different.

North Africa

Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia, and Western Sahara (claimed by Morocco). Sometimes defined to include Mauritania and/or Sudan as well, or at least their northern (Saharan) portions. Less often defined more broadly to include the Saharan portions of Chad, Eritrea, Mali, and/or Niger as well.

North America

The western hemisphere continent consisting of lands north of the Panama-Colombia border, including Canada, the U.S., Mexico, all of the mainland countries from Guatemala and Belize through Panama, and usually, Bermuda, the Bahamas, the Caribbean islands, and (slightly less universally), Greenland. Usages in Latin America are more ambiguous; it sometimes is given the same broad meaning as in the U.S., or it may refer just to Canada, the U.S., and Mexico; just to Canada and the U.S.; or even to the U.S. alone.

Northern Andes

The portion of the Andes lying within Venezuela and Colombia, which together constitute the Northern Andean Countries.

Northern Europe

Least commonly used of the terms for major subdivisions of Europe. Usually includes the British Isles, the Nordic Countries and the Baltic Countries. Sometimes northern Russia, northern Poland, northern Germany and the Netherlands are included as well.

Not for Credit

coursework or co-curricular (3.3) activities for which students do not earn academic credit (3.6)