Virtual Exchange

What is Virtual Exchange?

Virtual Exchange (VE) involves faculty collaboration and partnership to design collaborative learning opportunities for students.

VE programs provide a method for global engagement through technology. Collaborative and reciprocal learning experiences provide improved context dependent problem-solving skills and offer increased perspective taking, cultural pluralism and empathy building among faculty and student participants in higher education

What is Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL)?

COIL is a VE model that connects accredited courses, linking the classrooms of two or more institutions located in a different country or cultural setting. Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) connects students and professors in different countries for collaborative projects and discussions as part of their coursework. COIL Collaborations are developed by partnering professors from different institutions who want to enrich their courses with student interaction and collaborative learning.  Professors work together to design and implement the COIL Collaboration, allowing COIL to be customized to meet the needs of any class, in any discipline.

Benefits of Virtual Exchange

VE plays a vital role in promoting intercultural understanding, language skills, global awareness, creativity and innovation, and digital literacy. It opens doors to new perspectives, fosters collaboration across borders, and prepares individuals for success in a globalized world. Additional benefits are outlined below:

Intercultural Communication

Virtual exchange allows individuals from different cultural backgrounds to engage in meaningful interactions, fostering mutual understanding, empathy, and respect. It promotes dialogue, breaks down stereotypes, and enhances cultural competence, ultimately contributing to a more inclusive and interconnected global society.

Language Acquisition

Virtual exchange provides opportunities for language learners to practice and improve their language skills in authentic contexts. Through virtual collaboration with native speakers or language learners from other regions, participants can enhance their linguistic abilities, develop fluency, and gain confidence in using the target language.

Global Perspective

Virtual exchange exposes participants to diverse perspectives, worldviews, and experiences from around the globe. By engaging with individuals from different countries and cultures, participants gain a broader understanding of global issues, develop a more nuanced worldview, and become better equipped to address global challenges collaboratively.

Digital Literacy and Technological Skills
Virtual exchange utilizes various digital tools and online platforms, helping participants develop digital literacy skills and become comfortable with technology. In today's digital age, proficiency in using digital tools for communication and collaboration is essential, and virtual exchange provides a valuable opportunity to enhance these skills
Accessible and Inclusive Education

Virtual exchange can overcome geographical, financial, and logistical barriers, making international education and cultural exchange more accessible to a wider range of participants. It allows individuals who may not have the means or opportunity to travel abroad to engage in cross-cultural learning experiences, promoting inclusivity and expanding educational opportunities.

Career Readiness

In an increasingly globalized job market, virtual exchange equips participants with valuable skills that are highly sought after by employers. These include intercultural competence, communication skills, adaptability, teamwork, and a global mindset. Virtual exchange experiences can enhance participants' resumes and contribute to their professional development.


Updated 1/30/2024