U.S.-Japan COIL Initiative


The U.S.-Japan COIL Initiative aims to expand higher education ties between the United States and Japan. Using widely available technology, students and faculty in the two countries will work together for shared teaching and learning by applying the Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) method. The Initiative is designed to strengthen existing ties between U.S. and Japanese higher education institutions and generate new partnerships by introducing this mode of virtual collaboration.

The American Council on Education (ACE) administered a competitive process for selecting six U.S. colleges and universities​ to develop, deliver, and assess one or more COIL courses with Japanese partner institutions.

What is COIL?

​The COIL method—also referred to as virtual exchange—is a cost-effective, accessible, and scalable method of expanding global learning opportunities for greater numbers of U.S. higher education students. COIL is an innovative pedagogy involving collaborative teaching and learning in two or more countries facilitated by online communication that has been developed and promoted by the State University of New York (SUNY) COIL Center​. For over a decade, ACE has recognized the COIL model as a cost-effective, accessible method for delivering global learning and intercultural experience to greater numbers of U.S. students, particularly the 90 percent of U.S. undergraduates who do not participate in education abroad.

Faculty from U.S. institutions selected for the U.S.-Japan COIL Initiative will collaborate with their Japanese counterpart to develop a joint syllabus, and students in the two countries will then work together to complete assignments that meet shared learning objectives.


​The U.S.-Japan COIL Initiative is a two-year (2018–​19​) pilot program suppo​​rt​ed through a grant from the U.S. Embassy Tokyo and coordinated in partnership with Japan’s Mini​stry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology (MEXT)​.​

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