Virtual exchange

Internationalisation through virtual collaboration

On this page you will find links with inspiration, tools and examples of internationalisation through virtual collaboration

Current application!

Lnu strategic funds for COIL 2024

There is again an opportunity for Linnaeus University departments to apply for funding for time to design and implement a COIL project together with one or more of Linnaeus University's partner universities and within the framework of the existing course offer.

The funds refer to activities during 2024 but the project can be implemented during spring semester 2025.

More information about the call and how to apply can be found in this link. The deadline for applications is at 15:00 on April 10, 2024. Applications are to be sent to registrator@lnu.seDownload the application form here.

For questions, please contact

A list of previously funded projects can be downloaded here: Call 1, Call 2

For information and inspiration!

On March 20 at 15:15 - 16:00 there is info and Q&A about the call. Particpate online via Zoom.

On April 23 at 15:15-16:30, the project leaders will present their project online via Zoom and share lessons learned and tips on planning and implementing COIL. Welcome to listen and ask questions!

Read more about international virtual collaborations in courses (COIL) below.


International virtual collaboration in courses, so-called COIL (Collaborative Online International Learning) typically involve the co-development of a course module by at least two teachers from different countries/institutions, in order for the students to gain international and intercultural learning on a common area of focus. Through the use of Internet-based tools and innovative online pedagogies, COIL fosters meaningful exchanges between university-level teachers and students with peers in geographically distant locations and from different linguacultural backgrounds. 

Students learn about new approaches to old problem solving. Digital technology is used to bridge the distance that separates countries and partners. Forms of interaction can include online discussion groups, videoconferences, class to class meetings, and online workgroup projects.  The projects can vary in length and format, from semester length projects to projects lasting only a few weeks, and from synchronous to asynchronous communication.

COIL fosters Internationalisation at Home and provides an internationalisation that is sustainable and inclusive. 

What is virtual exchange/COIL and how do you go about it?

Alastair Creelman, e-learning specialist at the university library explains in this webinar what virtual exchange is and Malgorzata Kurek from Jagiellonian University in Poland provides good examples, tips and advise on how to go about virtual collaboration.

See the webinar here (in English)

PPT Virtual Exchange - challenges and opportunities (Alastair Creelman, UB.

PPT Virtual Exchange - practical tips (Malgorzata Kurek, Jagiellonian University).


What support is there for starting a virtual exchange/COIL?

If you are interested in identifying a partner university for a collaborative online international learning, or to hear some practical examples of how to go about, contact Office of external relations,

Virtual mobility for students

Virtual mobility is international exchange studies where students participate in online courses at a partner university without physical mobility. The student is registered, examined and receives points at the partner university. Credits are made at the home higher education institution as at physical mobility.

Virtual mobility can:

  • include a single course or an entire semester, but not an entire program or education;
  • be used to correct imbalances with a partner university
  • jointly use resources
  • contribute to inclusive internationalisation for students who do not have the opportunity to complete physical mobility.

General conditions required for a virtual student exchange:

  • a virtual student exchange shall promote the internationalisation of the participating higher education institutions;
  • a virtual student exchange must have a clear purpose and goal, which also includes content and a plan for evaluation;
  • a virtual student exchange must be reciprocity and strive for balance in the same way as with physical mobility;
  • an exchange agreement with the partner university is required agreements in the cooperation agreement also regulate conditions for virtual mobility.