Virtual International Exchange: Access, Outcomes, and Programmatic Concerns


  • Melissa Whatley SIT Graduate Institute
  • Taylor C. Woodman University of Maryland
  • Chris R. Glass Boston College



virtual international exchange, access, outcomes, programmatic concerns, defining virtual exchange


This editorial provides context for the articles that appear in this special issue and brings them together thematically. We first examine how special issue authors chose to define the term ‘virtual exchange’ in their work and then explore key take-aways from each article in three thematic groups: access; outcomes; and programmatic concerns. Together, the articles in this special issue speak to key issues in virtual international exchange that will be important for researchers and practitioners alike to contend with as the field develops.

Author Biographies

Melissa Whatley, SIT Graduate Institute

MELISSA WHATLEY, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of International and Global Education in the Graduate Institute at the School for International Training. Her major research interests lie in the areas of community college international education, marginalized student populations in international education, and international education policy and practice. Email:

Taylor C. Woodman, University of Maryland

TAYLOR C. WOODMAN, PhD, is an Assistant Clinical Professor of International Education Policy in the Department of Counseling, Higher Education, and Special Education at the University of Maryland, College Park. His teaching and research focuses on  global learning, academic diplomacy, internationalization of higher education, digital internationalization, and Cuban education. Email:

Chris R. Glass, Boston College

CHRIS R. GLASS, PhD, is an Professor of the Practice in the Department of Educational Leadership and Higher Education at Boston College where he serves as an affiliated faculty member in the Center for International Higher Education (CIHE). His research and writing focus on global student mobility, virtual mobility and exchange, as well as equity, inclusion, and sustainability in international higher education. Email:


Alami, N. H., Albuquerque, J., Ashton, L. S., Ewoodzie, K., Hauck, M., Karam, J., Klimanova, L., Nasr, R., & Satar, M. (2022). Marginalization and underrepresentation in virtual exchange: Reasons and remedies. Journal of International Students, 12(S3), 57-76. DOI:

Baralt, M., Doscher, S., Boukerrou, L., Bogosian, B., Elmeligi, W., Hdouch, Y., Istifan, J., Nemouch, A., Khachatryan, T., Elsakka, N., Arana, F., Perez, G., Cobos-Solis, J., Mouchane, S., & Vassign, S. (2022). Virtual tabadul: Creating language-learning community through virtual reality. Journal of International Students, 12(S3), 168-188. DOI:

de Wit, H. (2016). Internationalisation and the role of online intercultural exchange. In R. O’Dowd & T. Lewis (Eds.), Online intercultural exchange: Policy, pedagogy, practice (pp. 69-82). Routledge.

Devereux, T., & Glenn, A. (2022). Global perspectives: The impact of COVID-19 on a global classroom in the U.S. and Liberia. Journal of International Students, 12(S3), 96-115. DOI:

Fernández Gutiérrez, B., Glimäng, M. R., Sauro, S., & O’Dowd, R. (2022). Preparing students for successful online intercultural communication and collaboration in virtual exchange. Journal of International Students, 12(S3), 149-167. DOI:

Ficarra, J. M. (2017). Curating cartographies of knowledge: Reading institutional study abroad portfolio as text. Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, 29(1), 1-14. DOI:

Fischer, H., & Cossey, K. M. (2022). Navigating the storm: Community colleges’ decision to pivot to virtual international education in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Community College Journal of Research and Practice, 46(1-2), 122-133. DOI:

George-Mwangi, C.A., & Yao, C.W. (2020). US higher education internationalization through an equity-driven lens. In L.W. Perna (Ed.), Higher education: Handbook of theory and research (pp. 1-62). Springer. DOI:

Giralt, M., Bets, A., Pittarello, S., & Stefanelli, C. (2022). Scenarios for the integration of virtual exchange in higher education. Journal of International Students, 12(S3), 116-134. DOI:

Hinshaw, N., Gonzalez, S., & Engel, L. (2022). K-12 schooling through virtual exchange: opportunities in a fractured context. Journal of International Students, 12(S3), 1-16.

O’Dowd, R. (2018). From telecollaboration to virtual exchange: State-of-the-art and the role of UNICollaboration in moving forward. Journal of Virtual Exchange, 1, 1-23. DOI:

O’Dowd, R., & Dooly, M. (2020). Intercultural communicative competence development through telecollaboration and virtual exchange. In J. Jackson (Ed.), The Routledge handbook of language and intercultural communication (pp. 361-375). Routledge. DOI:

Poe, J. (2022). Advancing global citizenship of underrepresented and hypersegregated U.S. students in higher education through virtual exchange. Journal of International Students, 12(S3), 38-56.

Lee, J., Leibowitz, J., Rezek, J., Millea, M., & Saffo, G. (2022). The impact of international virtual exchange on student success. Journal of International Students, 12(S3), 77-95. DOI:

Martel, M. (2020). COVID-19 effects on U.S. higher education campuses: From emergency response to planning for future student mobility. Institute of International Education.

Raby, R. L., & Zhang, Y. L. (2022). Learning from COVID-19: Challenges and opportunities for international education in community colleges. Community College Journal of Research and Practice, 46(1-2), 41-48. DOI:

Redden, E. (2020, April). Study abroad faces a new reality. Inside Higher Ed.

Shields, R. (2019). The sustainability of international higher education: Student mobility and global climate change. Journal of Cleaner Production, 217, 594-602. DOI:

Strielkowski, W. (2022). New trends in international education: Impact of COVID-19 and digitalization on higher education and student mobility. In Education Policies in the 21st Century (pp. 191-215). Palgrave Macmillan. DOI:

Weaver, G. C., Hiltebrand, G., Ngai, G., & Chan, S. (2022). Faculty perceptions of building collaborative teaching capacities within a transnational virtual exchange: A collaborative autoethnography. Journal of International Students, 12(S3), 135-148. DOI:

Whatley, M., LaVenture, S., & Russell, N. (2022). Centering equity in community college virtual international exchange: An exploration of program typology and participant demographics. Journal of International Students, 12(S3), 17-37. DOI:




How to Cite

Whatley, M., Woodman, T., & Glass, C. (2022). Virtual International Exchange: Access, Outcomes, and Programmatic Concerns. Journal of International Students, 12(S3), i-viii.