Our model works
Over the years we have refined our model for virtual exchange. The model is based on three pillars:
Facilitate effective & constructive online dialogue
“The best part was to talk with people who disagreed with me. Indeed I began questioning my beliefs and now I am even more sure about what I think about this topic. It was also very interesting to be open to other perspectives.”
Female, 18, France
“I think this course has been a great stretch of my own comfort zone combined with a horizon- broadening experience. Indeed, for this I owe many thanks to my classmates and facilitators as well. I think our group was very diverse, but no matter the differences, all participants were cooperative and excited to share. All in all, I am of the opinion that such courses should become a part of curriculums at universities more often, since I believe it could teach many of us to be more open-minded, tolerant and better, responsible citizens”.
Female, 21, Slovakia
Offer engaging & accessible expert content online
“The video lectures before every [session] helps a lot in facilitating discussion as it guides the discourse throughout the session.”
Male, 26, Jordan
“I enjoyed the lectures and felt inspired to search for more on my own.”
Female, 26, Portugal
Design interactive & collaborative online assignments
“Interviewing my friend for the video project even revealed a lot to me about someone that I know very intimately already, which was something unexpected. I had never discussed such topics (identity, migration, national identity, state interventions etc.) with her, so this project catalysed that and opened up our friendship even further to new horizons. I have learnt that dialogue is latent everywhere, and in every relationship, and that all you have to do to kick-start it is to ask questions”.
Female, 23, U.K.
“It was wonderful to see how the group got excited about the final assignment and decided to collaborate. The group had earlier discussed the frustration and negativity that some of them felt in relation to all the problems in society that they are witnessing, and in the end some of them expressed that it felt motivating to be able to work together as a group to face those problems.”
Facilitator, Countering Hate Speech 2020
The net promoter score (measuring satisfaction among participants) of our courses is between 50 & 70 which is on the high end of the average for online courses (between 40-60).
We increase access
Our courses are accessible to those people who would otherwise not have an international or cross cultural experience.
80% of participants in our courses did not have an international exchange experience prior to their participation in our exchanges;
“[The best thing was] to speak to people and learn from their perspectives especially with people from countries I have never been and never met anyone from.”
Female, 26, Germany
Participants have come from remote and closed areas such as Gaza, Syria, Libya, Iraq, Ukraine, the Balkans;
“I would to thank you for this brilliant project. I can’t travel to different countries and I like to meet new people and discuss ideas .This virtual project suit me , suit every one want to discover new things from his house.”
Female, 28, Syria
We reach members of so-called hard-to-reach communities such as the refugee community, diaspora community, non-English speaking communities and people with disabilities;
“I gained knowledge, new relationships, friends, a new way of thinking. Refugees need platforms to understand what’s happening in the rest of the world and safe spaces to express themselves. Erasmus+ Virtual Exchange provides a window to intercultural exchanges, something that is not always accessible to refugees; it’s a unique opportunity, and they deserve it.”
Male, 29, Syria/Turkey
Our global facilitator community collectively speaks 28 languages and represents 33 nationalities.
We build 21st Century skills
Participation in our activities leads to the development of 21st Century skills.
Cross-cultural communication & understanding
[W]e learned to put oneself in somebody’s position which is a skill that will be helpful far beyond this course. Even in the case of disagreement we acquired a degree of empathy because of which we were able to try to understand the reasons for someone’s divergent opinion instead of judging this person because of his or her view. This is a very essential ability in order to talk with each other as equals and being open-minded in regard of other understandings and beliefs”.
Female, 23, Germany
“[T]he best thing that we learn a lot from all diversity of people coming from different backgrounds without being judged.”
Female, 24, Egypt
“[A] favourite memory from the course is feeling understood and bonding over experiences that we shared despite living thousands of kilometers apart from one another.”
Female, 20, Germany
“The difference between “me” in the first session and “me” in the last session is remarkable. I was anxious, stressed and afraid from those new people. But by time, my speaking and listening skills has developed. I no longer fear from expressing myself in front of my new friends. This had an impact on my everyday life too.”
Male, 22, Algeria
“I gained self-confidence. Now, I believe we can all contribute to promoting a global change. Erasmus+ Virtual Exchange made me realise that the impact we can make in society is not related to where we come from or what kind of official paper/citizenship situation we have, but to the efforts we are willing to make in learning and sharing experiences.”
Male, 29, Turkey
“I would definitely recommend others to take part in Virtual Exchange so they can break the stereotypes they see in the media and come connect with their fellows. The best part is that it was really diverse which has enriched conversation, it was like a conversation with the world.”
Female, 23, Algeria
“[T]he main thing that this class taught me was critical thinking. We were shown so many interesting things that I’m not used to thinking about”
Female, 18, France
“[A] participant said that even though he has been stereotyped in the past and he doesn’t like it, he came into this program with many stereotypes about the other participants. He said that he really came to challenge these stereotypes during the sessions and this program taught him a lot about stereotyping and dismantling it.” Facilitator, ‘Cultural Encounters’
“Participants mentioned after the free-flowing discussion that they had been worried about joining this course because they thought they would not have much to say, but that now they felt very interested in learning from each other.”
Facilitator, ‘Youth peace and Security’
“The most important thing that I learned through my participation in this virtual exchange is that no person, place, county, race etc. has one single story.”
Male, 26, Italy
“This course made me so comfortable and confident with my english, I feel like I’m completely able to discuss in English with a stranger.”
Female, 18, France
“My English now is thousands times better than before, [the course] helped me a lot in my speaking skills, taking an essential role in a discussion or a speech. I learned how to express my thoughts, and do better in conversations. “
Male, 20, Syria
“This has been so different than learning things in school. It has been active learning through current technological media that make it all more interesting and easy.”
Female, 19, Spain
The Virtual Exchange course ‘Cultural Encounters: The Big Climate Movement’ will focus on key debates around climate change. As young people mobilize around one of humanity’s biggest questions, this course asks: what is the impact of climate change on the planet, political action and the movement of people? Participants will get access to an original lecture series with audiovisual materials from expert academics and practitioners. In addition, participants will meet online in their intercultural dialogue groups to discuss the themes and engage in interactive skill-building activities.