Value for students.
Understanding issues of global significance, learning to engage as productive citizens and leaders through international peer networks that span fading traditional boundaries
Learning to effectively communicate in formal intercultural and virtual settings, beyond their “online engagements in the wild” like gaming, Facetime, etc.
Key new world “survival skills” such as collaborating across connected networks, accessing and analyzing information, critical thinking and judgment, functioning in cross-cultural teams
Keen insight into language and cultural variations and ability to reflect critically on and understand one’s own culture and assumptions, gaining skill in parsing and interacting effectively with other cultures
Colleges need to prepare students for futures in an interconnected world and to thrive amid the challenges of globalization. Typical campus strategies focus on mobility, e.g., faculty exchange for professional development and research, recruiting international students, study abroad for students and increasingly service-learning or internships overseas. Institutional partnerships provide administrative anchors. Dual degrees provide curricular anchors. Yet the gaps are formidable. Do they create deep ties to the curriculum? Do they offer strategic opportunities to connect international resources on campus? Most importantly, do they reach most students? In the US, only 11% of all college graduates do a study abroad of two weeks or more and fewer than 1% of community college students. European mobility rates are higher but still fall short.
Virtual Exchange addresses these gaps for all types of colleges. It empowers the core teaching resources on campus to integrate more students into robust intercultural engagement, while also strengthening student (and faculty) ability to use technology in formal coursework. ALL with the advantage of working in multicultural teams! Being campus-based, it provides any enrolled student with a “two-country course” led by faculty locally and abroad. Teachers and students work in an immersive learning space embedded in for-credit coursework with technological and international boosters.