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Internationalization Through Technology

December 30, 1899

"Today's colleges and universities are asked to prepare tomorrow's citizens not for a single career but for a life of unpredictable velocity and volatility. Simultaneously, they are asked to produce graduates who are capable of communication across borders and citizens who are invested with the capacity to navicate a transparent, permeable world."

-Strength through Global Leadership Engagement: U.S. Higher Education in the 21st Century (ACE 2011)


Using virtual exchange, collaborative online international learning (COIL), and similar methods to internationalize teaching and learning in higher education

ACE's Center for Internationalization and Global Engagement (CIGE) advocates in favor of cost-effective and accessible uses of technology that advance global learning, intercultural skills, and cross-border collaboration for greater numbers of postsecondary students. Below are programs and resources offered by CIGE and other institutions to support this emerging field.  Please contact for additional information.

ACE Programs

ACE COIL Leadership Academy
The ACE COIL Leadership Academy is a two-day professional development seminar for leadership teams interested in establishing collaborative online international learning (COIL) programs on their campuses. Read a summary of the 2017 Academy here.

ACE-SUNY COIL Center Internationalization Through Technology Awards Program
In 2014, ACE and the ACE and the SUNY COIL Center collaborated to present an awards program that recognized, supported, and promoted the use of technology to enhance institutional internationalization and global competence among students at U.S. colleges and universities.  


ACE Resources

Internationalization in Action, Special Edition - Connecting Classrooms: Using Online Technology to Deliver Global Learning
This special edition of CIGE's Internationalization in Action online series features insight and examples from the ACE-SUNY COIL Center Internationalization Through Technology Awards Program.

Bringing the World into the Classroom
This 2010 award program recognized the innovative use of technology in the classroom to promote internationalization.

Higher Education Today, a higher education blog by ACE, related blog posts:

       "Study Abroad (At Home)"
       "Bringing Global Learning to West Virginia"

"Collaborative Online Learning and Internationalizing Teaching: The COIL Method and How to Apply It" by Megan Gibbons and Alicia Laspra (in Spanish)


Related Organizations

SUNY Collaborative Online Learning (COIL) Center
The SUNY COIL Center links faculty and students from SUNY institutions with international partners through cross-cultural online and blended learning envrionments that emphasize collaboration and experiential education. 

COIL Consulting
COIL Consulting supports the growth of Collaborative Online International Learning and Virtual Exchange at higher education institutions around the world.

KU COIL Center (Japan)
The Kansai University-based COIL Center in Japan assists faculty with enhancing or internationalizing courses by establishing connections to students and teachers in other countries, provides professional development support, and maintains a practitioner network.

This international nonprofit organization uses technology to promote global perspectives and peacebuilding with university students from across world. Soliya has more than 100 university partners in North America, the Middle East and North Africa, Central, South, and Southeast Asia, and Europe.

Stevens Initiative
The J. Christopher Stevens Virtual Exchange Initiative is a multilateral public-private partnership designed to increase people-to-people exchange between youth in the United States and the Middle East and North Africa as a lasting tribute to the legacy of Ambassador Chris Stevens. Through structured online engagements between youth in secondary through post-secondary education, the Initiative aims to increase mutual understanding and equip a generation of globally minded youth with the skills they need to succeed in the 21st century. The Initiative is housed at the Aspen Institute.

Uni-Collaboration (Europe)
This platform is aimed at supporting university educators and mobility coordinators to organize and run online intercultural exchanges for their students, and is available to educators at universities in Europe or elsewhere. The platform can help instructors identify partners and classes in other countries and connect with an experienced community of practitioners.


Models from the Field

DePaul University - Global Learning Experience

Drexel University - Global Classrooms

East Carolina University - Global Understanding Courses

George Mason University - Global Collaborative Classroom

University of Maryland - Global Classroom Initiative

University of Washington (UW) - Bothell COIL Initiative

Additional Resources 

IIE Networker: Virtual Exchange
In the fall of 2016, the Institute of International Education (IIE) released an issue focused on virtual exchange. Authors for this issue discussed virtual exchange in a variety of ways including alumni engagement, curriculum internationalization, and students with disabilities. 

Other ACE News


 More CIGE


 Join the Co​mm​unity

This group is for those interested in Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) and virtual exchange in high​​er education. The purpose of the group is to share lessons and resources, and to network with peers across the United States and worldwide.​

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