Virtual exchange

Internationalisation through virtual collaboration

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

Lnu strategic funds for COIL 2024

The call for 2024 COIL-projects has ended. During late autumn 2024 a call will open for COIL-projects during 2025.

A list of previously funded projects can be downloaded here: 

2023: Call 1, Call 2 , and Call 2024

For information and inspiration!

On April 23 the project leaders presented their projects and shared results/outcomes and tips on planning and implementing COIL. 

The presentation was recorded and can be viewed here: 

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.