Global Engagement > Partnerships > Programs for Partner Institutions > Virtual Exchange, Online Collaboration, Global Learning Experience

Getting Involved with Virtual Exchange

​​​​​​​W​​​hile the ability to travel abroad to build intercultural understanding has been disrupted by the spread of COVID-19, the opportunity to make and strengthen international relationships has not been extinguished, but illuminated by virtual programming. Many institutional administrators and instructors yearn to create and maintain global connections for themselves and their students to enhance intercultural competencies, to acquire global virtual collaboration skills, and to be global citizens. In addition to building necessary skills and competencies, there is a need among many students to empathize and understand one another across cultural differences. Maintaining physical distance should not prohibit instructors and students from gaining the global collaboration skills they need to be successful in their courses, their workplaces, as well as in their communities. From the classroom or from the couch, faculty and students have the latitude to learn from and learn with their international counterparts through a Virtual Exchange (VE) program. ​

DePaul GLE: An Award Winning Leader​ in the Field ​​
people face a screen with other faculty members
DePaul University/Randall Spriggs

DePaul launched its Virtual Exchange program, named the Global Learning Experience (GLE), in 2013. Since then, DePaul has established itself as one of the leaders in the virtual exchange field around the globe, with over 150 projects implemented with partners from 29 different countries, reaching over 2400 DePaul students.

DePaul hosted a Global Learning Conference devoted to virtual exchange in 2018 and is one of the founding institutions of IVEC, the International Virtual Exchange Conference, the premiere annual event of the field. The DePaul GLE team has also helped other institutions around the world start/expand their current VE programs/project offerings.  In 2019, the professional development workshop that is part of the GLE program won The Professional and Organizational Development (POD) Innovation Award and in 2020, GLE was awarded one of  NAFSA’s Senator Paul Simon Spotlight Awards, which recognize U.S. institutions’ innovative and creative approaches toward comprehensive internationalization.

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Embedded in our institutional mission and goals, and supported by university leadership, DePaul’s VE program offers a comprehensive level of support for faculty engaged in VE: from individual faculty partner matching, formal professional faculty development workshop, instructional design support, university-level project review/approval,  to funding and VE project assessment. Based on our level of experience for the past seven years, we can help you explore available resources at your institution and build/expand your VE program. 

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a cell phone held up in front of a screen
DePaul University/Randall Spriggs
Virtual Exchange projects can be implemented in a variety of disciplines, either in matching courses or in an interdisciplinary environment. Within  DePaul’s ten colleges and schools, disciplines have included: Communication (Journalism, Media and Cinema Studies, Public Relations and Advertising), Business (Accounting, Management, Hospitality), Computing and Digital Media (Sound Design, Robotics, Film Editing), Science and Health (Environmental Science, Psychology, Nursing, Chemistry, Health Science, Public Health), Liberal Arts and Social Sciences (English, Writing, Modern Languages, Political Science, Community Service, Public Policy, Anthropology, Public Service, Community Service, Religious Studies, Geography, Art), and Education (Counseling). 

 
Some of DePaul’s successful virtual exchange projects have included a course on the environmental impacts of non-renewable energy in Niger’s Delta and Chicago, a course focused on the examination of immigrant experiences in the US and Italy, documented through the languages of Italian and English, and a course on robotics for students in the US and Brazil who participated in a final robotic competition.​

  
Additional Information: ​
  • VE at DePaul​: More information on DePaul's VE program can be found here.
  • M​ore VE Examples: Many other examples of VE projects can be found here​. ​ 
  • VE Experts: DePaul's VE experts can help you in a variety of ways. Learn more here​