Programme for the Development of Virtual Exchange VE-COIL

The programme for the Development of Virtual Exchange VE-COIL emerges as a tool to promote cooperation and internationalization of learning among the members of the Compostela Group of Universities (CGU). In order to ensure the implementation of this programme, the CGU has created Universities for Virtual Exchange network,  which will integrate those member Universities that are committed to bringing virtual exchanges closer to their university community

The members of Universities for Virtual Exchange network will appoint a programme coordinator who will facilitate the dissemination of relevant information in his/her university, support the teaching staff in attending training workshops and encourage their participation in the calls.

Reasons for incorporating virtual exchanges into the university experience

Internationalisation of learning and capacity building. Virtual exchanges are an innovative educational tool that offers teachers the opportunity to internationalise their classrooms and helps students to develop their digital and intercultural skills.

Internationalisation at home. Participants have an international experience in their classrooms, breaking down the economic barrier of stays abroad. Universities are strengthening their links with other national and international institutions, which will encourage the development of future projects and joint initiatives.


With this course, teachers and professors from the Compostela Group of Universities’ members are able to get training on the characteristics, challenges and structure of the Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) model.

During the six-week Training and innovation course on virtual exchange based on the COIL model, participants learn how to design an intercultural collaborative strategy.

Discover the programme

Below, you will find the main contents of the online course.

  1. The COIL model and cross-cultural competences.
  2. The partnership between teachers.
  3. Learning outcomes.
  4. Planning the syllabus.
  5. Being digital.
  6. The challenges of collaboration.

Read the full programme of the training

Training and innovation course on virtual exchange based on the COIL model



This course is free of charge.

1. First call. 22 February-5 April 2021. Modality: online. Working language: training and materials are available in English or Spanish. 6 weeks.

Registration is open until 31 January 2021. Please read the full-programme before registering to fill in properly the form.

Online registration form




Our Virtual Exchange VE-COIL call is structured in two annual calls:

  • VE-COIL January 2020. Virtual exchanges will be conducted between January and May 2020.
  • VE-COIL August 2020. Virtual exchanges will be conducted between August and December 2020.

Do you want to participate?

We recommend you to read carefully the documents and visit the links below.

Documents and links


Update Guidelines of 2019(24/03/2020).


Update Guidelines of 2019.


Guidelines of 2019.



Application form. This form must be compulsorily filled in online and in English.

Important deadlines

  • VE-COIL August 2020. No deadline has been set for registration. However, it should be noted that the VE-COIL will in principle take place between August and December 2020.


At first, the Collaborative Online International Learning initiative was developed by a working group of the Compostela Group of Universities. Please visit the page of the working groups to find more information.


What is Virtual Exchange?

Virtual exchange (VE), also commonly referred to as telecollaboration or Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL), is a broad term used to describe different approaches to engaging students in online intercultural collaboration projects with partners from different cultural contexts within their programmes of study and under the guidance of teachers or trained facilitators. Virtual Exchange has become a very popular way for teachers across all subject areas to internationalise their classrooms and to give their students first-hand experience of intercultural communication and using their digital skills.

The Virtual Exchange-COIL initiatives are one of the means used by the Compostela Group of Universities to foster cooperation and the internationalisation of learning among its members. Through the participation in COILs or virtual exchanges, professors and students of our network:

  • Experience a multicultural experience in the classroom.
  • Engage their classes in collaboration with international students and professors.
  • Get to know new learning and teaching techniques.
  • Develop their foreign language skills and their ability to use online technologies.

Thus, a virtual collaboration between students and teachers from different countries and cultures facilitates the development of competences and skills in multicultural environments.

What is telecollaboration? How can your university get started?

Presentation by Robert O’Dowd, Director of International Training at the University of Leon (Spain), during the XX CGU General Assembly.