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Durham University

Erasmus, Exchange & Study Abroad

Virtual Exchange

‘Virtual Exchange’, also known as 'COIL', is a type of education programme that uses technology to allow geographically-separated people to interact and communicate. A virtual exchange (VE) typically lasts between 2 and 10 weeks and is based around a particular theme or project. VE programmes are delivered by trained educators who facilitate a combination of asynchronous and synchronous (real-time), online interactions between participants to support them meet the learning outcomes of the virtual exchange.

In a university context, VE enables students to exchange ideas and perspectives with international peers, helping them to develop interpersonal skills such as intercultural understanding, global citizenship and digital literacies, as well as making new friends in different countries and from diverse backgrounds. Please click the boxes below to find out more about VE courses and training opportunities that are available to Durham students and members of teaching staff.