Virtual exchange courses are highly customizable and can vary depending on the needs of the students and the faculty.  A typical virtual exchange course, however, has two groups of students in two different countries each enrolled in a separate course with dedicated faculty members co-teaching and managing the coursework at each institution. Each group of students regularly meets face-to-face with their instructor, while the larger group works together online on specific projects that meet shared learning objectives. The curriculum for the different student groups may be the same or complementary, with only the shared units and assignments being similar or identical. Students are typically graded separately and receive credit from their home university. Learn more about virtual exchange.

Why conduct a virtual exchange course?

Like any course, a virtual exchange takes substantial planning to set up, but subsequent iterations are less work intensive. There are many benefits to these courses. Faculty who participate in virtual exchange

  • Introduce an authentic international perspective into their classroom
  • Receive access to international experts and resources
  • Foster meaningful student collaboration with outside groups and give students the tools they need to engage their peers from different countries and diverse cultures
  • Provide an international experience to all students, even those unable to travel abroad
  • Develop lasting relationships with faculty at peer institutions
  • Create a pathway for international students to attend graduate school at Catholic University
  • Heighten the University’s profile as a global research institute.

Center for Teaching Excellence

Virtual exchange courses are conducted through the Office of Global Strategies with the support of the Center for Teaching Excellence. First-time virtual exchange faculty benefit from a complete training and workshop program to design and prepare for their course. All faculty are eligible to receive personalized coaching, workshop sessions, classroom observation, and periodic check-ins and troubleshooting throughout their course.

Virtual Exchange Partners

Partnerships are often formed through a faculty member’s existing connections. Other times, a virtual exchange partner is sought from one of our existing university partnerships.  Occasionally, new partners are pursued for collaboration in a specific region or area of expertise. Recent virtual exchange partners include

  • Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul
  • Al-Quds University
  • Universidad de Chihuahua
  • University of Bethlehem

Recent Virtual Exchange Courses

Recent virtual exchange courses taught by Catholic University faculty include

  • Engineering the Future: Biotechnology Solutions to World Challenges
  • Architectural Design III
  • Study of the Art of Singing: An Approach to Culture through the Vocal Repertoire of Mexico and the United States of America
  • Vocal Training for Music Teaching
  • The Crusades

Contact Us

Interested in learning more about virtual exchange? Contact the Office of Global Strategies at