Virtual International Exchanges

Are you interested in starting a GVSU Virtual International Exchange? Fill out the following form. Someone from the Padnos International Center will reach out to you in a timely manner to set up an exploratory meeting.

Start a GVSU Virtual Int'l Exchange 

Questions? Contact 
Becca Morrissey [email protected]

Virtual programs

What is a virtual international exchange?

A virtual international program connects GVSU students & faculty with counterparts abroad to work on a specific project or a full academic course. 

Example projects: 

  • Language exchanges – pairing students up 1:1 with students from a partner institution to practice language and conversation skills
  • Photography class working together on a project that offers opportunities to build cultural understanding while developing of photography
  • Students in a communications class work with an international NGO abroad to develop material for the organization
  • International relations majors talking with peers in another country about approaches to foreign relations
  • Science students collaborating on a joint research project

The possibilities are endless!

Netherlands Education Exchange

GVSU faculty Prof. Pat Bloem talks about her experience starting a virtual exchange with her Elementary Education students and students in the Netherlands. Students discussed elementary literature across other cultures.  

German Language Exchange

German Language Exchange

GVSU students in a German language class were paired with students learning English from GVSU's partner university in Germany, Pädagogische Hochschule Schwäbisch Gmünd

Who can start a virtual international exchange?

  • Faculty who are interested in building intercultural learning into their course(s).
  • Staff who work with student groups and have an interest in helping students build their international network.
  • Faculty and staff who have an interest in expanding their own international network and want to lead new projects with partners in other countries.

GVSU International Parters

GVSU has established partnerships with institutions around the world. If you haven't already identified international partners to work with for your project, this can be a good starting point. Faculty and staff are encouraged to reach out to the Padnos International Center for help identifying possible partners. 

Types of Virtual International Exchanges


  • Projects typically run 2-6 weeks.
  • Probably the most common option, a project-based virtual exchange identifies a specific project that will be built into a course. That project will be completed through student partnerships between GVSU students and students at one of GVSU’s international partners.
  • The sky is the limit in terms of building a relevant project into a course. 
  • The virtual exchange is one part of the course, but not the entire focus of the course.
  • Credit bearing

Virtual Faculty-led Program

  • A virtual faculty-led study abroad course without travel. Modified to still offer students an opportunity to learn in-depth about a special place in the world. 
  • Students register for these specific courses.
  • Credit bearing

Integrated into an existing course

  • Integrating a virtual exchange into an existing course might be something that runs the throughout the whole semester. For example, a German linguistics course may require students to collaborate with a student from a partner university to practice the use of German language for the duration of the semester.
  • Credit bearing


  • Co-Teach would be to collaborate with a faculty member at a partner institution to find ways to co-teach throughout the semester. There are many ways this could work, but it does require a much greater level of collaboration and commitment.
  • Credit bearing


  • Connecting students with host university students prior to study abroad
  • Connecting student groups with counterparts at partner institution
  • Non-credit bearing

Page last modified August 16, 2022