Application for the 2023 Virtual Exchange Academy
The online learning ecosystem that grew during the pandemic remains vital, even as in-person learning and exchange programming resumes. Online learning is still a valuable tool to meet existing classroom and extracurricular learning objectives in new ways. Virtual exchange deserves consideration even at a time when educators, administrators, and leaders face many competing priorities. This global education tool can be used in nearly any context and is an accessible, affordable, and meaningful way to engage young people in unique opportunities to learn and form friendships.
The Virtual Exchange Academy prepares education and exchange leaders and practitioners to participate in the innovative field. This six-week training teaches foundational elements of virtual exchange planning and implementation. Participants get a comprehensive introduction from experts through pre-session reading and coursework, and during live sessions that include presentations, small group activities, and more. After the training, participants will be better positioned to adopt this powerful global learning tool.
The 2023 Virtual Exchange Academy will take place over six weeks (February 7-March 16, 2023) and will include six live sessions via Zoom. Each two-hour session will take place at one of the following times (participants are expected to attend one session per week):
- Tuesdays: 4:30-6:30pm U.S. Eastern Time
- Wednesdays: 9-11am U.S. Eastern Time and 4:30-6:30pm U.S. Eastern Time
- Thursdays: 10am-12pm U.S. Eastern Time
Applications are due at 5pm U.S. Eastern Time on Wednesday, November 16, 2022. Questions can be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Following a competitive application process, participants will be placed in a small cohort with peers from around the world. As part of this cohort, participants will:
- Receive recognition of their participation in the 2023 Virtual Exchange Academy through certificates or other badging.
- Have access to the community of practice of Virtual Exchange Academy alumni, including reunions and a LinkedIn group where participants can engage with each other to seek advice and connections as they bring virtual exchange to their classrooms.
- Have access to further mentorship following their participation in the Virtual Exchange Academy.
Eligibility: Educators and administrators as well as exchange program administrators at both the K-12 and higher education levels are welcome to apply. Prioritization will be given to applicants:
- With little knowledge of or experience with virtual exchange.
- From the United States and the Middle East and North Africa, though applications from other countries will be considered. If from the United States, applications from states where the Stevens Initiative has low or no reach will be prioritized. These states include Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Dakota, and South Dakota.
- Serving communities that have been traditionally marginalized from international education, including but not limited to:
- Minority Serving Institutions and Title I schools in the United States.
- Public institutions, as well as institutions where English isn’t the primary language of instruction in countries outside the United States, including in the Middle East and North Africa.
- Interested in increasing virtual exchange opportunities as part of internationalization (incorporating global education) programming at their entire school, institution, or organization, not just a single classroom.
Time Commitment and Expectations: Spots in the training are limited, and participants will be selected carefully. The Stevens Initiative expects full and active participation throughout the training. Participants should expect to spend around three and a half hours per week on this training, including the two-hour weekly live session and up to an hour and a half of pre-session preparation. This pre-session preparation will include the review of provided resources, videos, activities, publications, etc. and a quiz to measure learning and gather questions for each unit.
The success of this cohort-model training relies on engaged and attentive participants during live sessions and any other group activities. Live sessions emphasize interaction rather than passive learning. Participants are expected to do all pre-session preparation thoroughly and on time and arrive ready to engage in activities and discussions.