Exchange programmes are a great opportunity for study abroad aspirants. Virtual programmes are even better because they deliver the benefits without having to move halfway across the world. You get to connect with peers and institutions at global locations, meet new people, and bring classroom learning to life. Not to mention, you save money and hassles of visa processes. Let us explain some reasons why every international student must explore this option.


Virtual exchange programmes make an innovative way to connect with people from different cultures and countries. You need not even leave your home yet get to expand your horizons. All you have to do is log in from your phone or computer and participate in structured activities. The activities include simple conversations, games, and group projects. Some programmes even connect classrooms to classrooms. So you can extend your outreach at a broader level. It makes them right for students living in rural areas, conflict zones, and even refugee camps.


As the world struggles with new strains and repeated waves of the virus, travel plans are on the backburner. International students cannot go ahead with study abroad plans due to travel restrictions in some parts of the world. Even if you opt for a country that lets you in, visa norms, vaccine rules, and quarantine regulations make it more challenging than ever. Virtual exchange programmes enable you to make the best use of downtime. You can join one and add a credential to your profile when you are ready to fly to your study abroad destination.


Pandemic or no pandemic, a virtual exchange is a great opportunity for people who want more on their plate. It lets you follow your passion for international living even if you have commitments back home. You may join one along with a busy semester in college or even while doing a summer job. The good thing is that you can access these programmes from anywhere and anytime they fit your schedule.


With an exchange programme, you can get an international experience at a low cost or even for free. You get to make new friends, learn about new cultures, and build relationships without spending anything. You may even get a chance at international exchange eventually with the help of the connections you make during the virtual experience.


Another benefit of participating in a virtual exchange programme is that you get a perspective on global issues. The best part is that it does not pop up on a website or a news channel. You get first-hand insights from the real experiences of people you collaborate with. Building friendships enables you to see global issues at a personal level. You may even get inspired to highlight ones like racism and climate change in your country and work towards driving a change.

The benefits of exploring a virtual exchange programme are immense, so you will probably want to know your options. Here are some popular ones you can consider as an international student.

  • EVOLVE (Evidence-Validated Online Learning through Virtual Exchange)- This project facilitates collaborative international learning across HEIs in Europe and beyond. Participants can join through remote classes and collaborate on tasks developed by facilitators.
  • STEVENS INITIATIVE– This organisation runs projects across the US, North Africa, and the Middle East. Enactus US and Morocco Entrepreneurial Exchange brings a virtual entrepreneurship course that includes a competition between 10 cross-country teams.
  • WORLD LEARNING– It facilitates programmes that support education, exchange, and sustainable development to build a better future. The courses work towards finding solutions to global issues like poverty, conflict, and inequality.
  • VIRTUAL EXCHANGE COALITION– This people-to-people education programme offers cross-cultural exchange  with new media technologies for young people who want to learn about each other.
  • UNITED PLANET– Students of middle and high schools can join this programme to connect and learn about each other and their communities. It aims to develop a learning environment to support skills in real-time.

There couldn’t be a better time to explore the idea of virtual exchange programmes than now. You can join one or more until you wait for the pandemic to recede and get your study abroad aspirations on track.

If you are considering studying abroad why don’t you discuss your prospects and opportunities with experts at Lurnable’s dedicated study abroad counselling division LurnPathways?

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