Through virtual exchange, faculty can connect their UF classes with students and faculty abroad to listen to diverse perspectives, collaborate on assignments, and develop intercultural competence skills. Our online Virtual Exchange Training Program leverages the use of technology to help faculty design and incorporate online international communication activities into their courses. Training participants will receive guidance and support for the integration of virtual exchange activities into new or existing courses and will receive $500 in professional development funds.

What is Virtual Exchange?

According to O’Dowd (2018), “…virtual exchange involves the engagement of groups of learners in extended periods of online intercultural interaction and collaboration with partners from other cultural contexts or geographical locations as an integrated part of their educational programmes and under the guidance of educators and/or expert facilitators” (p. 5).

O’Dowd, R. (2018). From telecollaboration to virtual exchange: state-of-the-art and the role of UNICollaboration in moving forward. Journal of Virtual Exchange, 1, 1-23.

Why Integrate Virtual Exchange into Your Teaching

Virtual Exchange can be integrated into any subject area course, as it…

  • Provides opportunity for learning through diverse perspectives
  • Offers an economical way to bring in content and practicing experts
  • Builds digital literacy
  • Develops cultural awareness and ability to negotiate and collaborate across borders
  • Serves as a stepping stone to physical mobility (study abroad)
  • Provides an alternative for those who cannot afford to study abroad
  • Builds networks for faculty across international institutions

Student Testimonials

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Types of Projects

Virtual Exchange can take place at many different levels:

  • Virtual guests interact with students on a topic (synchronous)
  • A class-to-class interaction among students on a select topic (synchronous)
  • A short course module with activities connecting students to another class through an online discussion forum about a specific topic/issue   (asynchronous)
  • Virtual interactions between students  (i.e., through LinguaMeeting students can receive language coaching from native speakers)
  • A completely team-taught course between faculty at two different institutions

Explore our catalog of virtual exchange projects and learn more about how UF faculty are implementing virtual exchange in their courses.


The Office of Global Learning at the UF International Center offers a 5-week, fully online course during which participants receive step-by-step guidance as they develop their virtual exchange projects. Participants will become familiar with various models for virtual exchange and learn about the requirements for implementing a successful VE within a course that they teach regularly. UF faculty are encouraged to attend the course with their virtual exchange partners and by the end of the training should have a draft for their own VE project ready to implement.

Award: All participants will receive a digital badge upon completion of the program. UF Faculty will receive $500 in professional development funds pending budgetary approval. This training counts for 500 miles toward the Global Teaching and Learning Certificate. 


Learn More and Submit an Application


Contact Us

Carrie Martins is the Coordinator of Virtual Exchange Initiatives in the University of Florida International Center. She leads faculty trainings regularly, develops resources for new and repeat VE implementors, and provides faculty with assistance finding a virtual exchange partner. You can contact Carrie Martins at