D’Agostino, Susan. (2022, August 31). Virtual exchanges promote equity in global learning. Inside Higher Education.
This article describes a virtual exchange project between students in the USA coordinated with students from Iraq on the topic of the United Nations’ sustainability goals. They examined sustainability challenges in their respective communities, working together both synchronously and asynchronously. Then they worked together on solving a single applied problem.
The most common virtual exchange programs focus on intercultural dialogue and peace building; science, technology, engineering and mathematics; and global or international affairs…
Study abroad programs often target students who have adequate financial support to cover the costs, and so are not as often accessible to students who do not. Virtual exchanges bypass that difficulty, while still providing much of the cultural exchange and learning. As study abroad programs were substantially curtailed due to the pandemic, this is also a good way to maintain international connections when travel is limited.
The program supporting this particular example is the Stevens Initiative, “a U.S. government–funded initiative administered by the Aspen Institute that works to expand virtual exchange options to regions of the world where U.S. students have not studied abroad in large numbers, including in the Middle East and North Africa.”