Virtual Exchange

Virtual Exchange is an accessible, groundbreaking international experience, which leverages on new technologies and a common lingua franca, and does not entail physical mobility.

Organised jointly between at least two international universities, Virtual Exchange is a training activity consisting of little traditional/lecture-based teaching so to encourage a student-centred and leaner-led collaborative experience aimed at developing a common project and/or discussing interdisciplinary topics with a challenged-based approach.

The groups of international students meet remotely on collaborative platforms (e.g. Zoom, WhatsApp, Google Meets etc.) either autonomously or with a facilitator, who encourages active participation of group members and helps create a positive and collaborative debate without interfering with the contents of the course.

Virtual Exchange therefore differs from virtual mobility, which consists of classes (in synchronous or asynchronous mode) delivered remotely by the lecturers of the host university, which also gives students ECTS credits upon completion of the course.


Duration varies according to the course chosen, which may last from few weeks to a whole semester.


All the students of the University of Padua meeting the entry requirements specified in the relevant call for applications can participate in the project.

Remember that you need to:

  • have access to a computer and an internet connection
  • master the lingua franca (usually the English language)
  • get past your ‘comfort zone’

You do not need to physically move to another university, nor find time or financial resources for it.

  Why participate

Virtual Exchange gives you the opportunity to:

  • develop and strengthen soft skills, which are the key to enter the labour market (teamwork, ability to work with people from different cultural background, communicate in a foreign language, learning different communicative styles, adapting your communication style to the audience and cultural context)
  • foster your being a global citizen, by looking at diversity as a value
  • explore interdisciplinary topics which are not usually addressed in a traditional study curriculum
  • develop your digital skills, especially remote interaction and group work on sharing platforms
  • get ready for physical mobility, by avoiding culture shock and facilitating integration in the receiving country
  • make new friends
  • get past your ‘comfort zone’

  Academic recognition

Your participation in Virtual Exchange projects can be recognised in different ways.

If the course unit is included in the educational offer, the University of Padua will recognise the ECTS credits as:

  • in or off-plan elective course unit (with mark/ ‘passed’ status)
  • binding activity, if included in the course unit of the relevant lecturer
  • traineeship activity

If the course unit is not included in the educational offer, you can still earn an Open Badge and a certificate of attendance.

Active projects

  Arqus Collaboratory Challenge-Based Learning Programme

Arqus Collaboratory Challenge-Based Learning Programme is a short course which brings together students and lecturers from different subject-areas to face ethical and political high-impact critical issues. The course is delivered in blended teaching mode through videoconferences and digital tools. Each session consists of: (a) interdisciplinary panel with lecturers and researchers of the Arqus member universities, (b) debate, in groups, (c) introduction to tools and development of competences towards an innovative interdisciplinary collaboration, (d) groups of students of Home Hub presenting and discussing the development of their innovative idea.

The syllabus is jointly developed and planned by students - who have the opportunity to suggest topics they are interested in and reflect on their learning process - and lecturers.


eTandem is a form of online peer-to-peer learning/teaching.


  • practicing English, Italian, French, Spanish, Portuguese and/or German as linguae francae in a Facebook/Moodle community, and the target language in a one-to-one exchange with your own partner
  • promoting inclusive multilingualism
  • facilitating international students’ integration into the society and the University community
  • promoting internationalisation at home
  • enhancing soft skills
  • cultivating curiosity towards other’s culture and active listening
  • developing digital and intercultural competences
  • stimulating interest in global issues
  • boosting critical thinking
  • encouraging physical mobility

The exchange includes three types of interaction:

  • many-to-many, in asynchronous mode in the Facebook/Moodle community where intercultural and global issues will be addressed
  • one-to-one with your partner, where you can choose the tools, pace of interaction, and topics you like
  • few-to-few, in synchronous mode through online sessions and related collaborative activities

The project is open to students of the University of Padua and international students who are going to attend our University during the semester following the online exchange.

Duration: 8 -10 weeks. Two editions per year are planned, one before each semester

Find out more

  NICE - Intercultural competence to facilitate entrepreneurship

NICE is a Virtual Exchange programme intended for all the students of the University of Padua. The project is broken down into seven educational modules aimed at developing soft skills, namely entrepreneurial, intercultural, and interpersonal skills, ability to cooperate, teamworking skills, and problem-solving approach, in order to promote the students’ professional growth and entry into the labour market.

Students will work both on individual basis and in interdisciplinary and multicultural teams to solve a “Global Challenge”.


Students will gain 6 ECTS credits from the University of Padua for elective activities as general course, provided that the course unit ‘Intercultural Competence to Facilitate Entrepreneurship’ is added to the study plan.


  • to be regularly enrolled in any degree course at the University of Padua, with the only exclusion for students enrolled at the first year of first-level degree course;
  • to prove proficiency in English through a certificate attesting a minimum B2 level (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) or to be enrolled in a degree course delivered in English or to have successfully completed it.

Course duration: 29th March 2021 – 16th July 2021
Number of available places: 20
Application deadline: 8th March 2021, 1pm CET

Info Session: 25th February 2021, 11am CET
Event Registration

Apply here!

  ICPU - Industry Community Project

The University of Padua, within the Memorandum of Understanding with the University of Sydney (Australia), promotes the innovative teaching project CPU - Industry Community Project.

The project consists of an ad hoc 6-ECTS-credit educational path, organised by the University of Padua in collaboration with the University of Sydney and regional partners (enterprises, multinational and service companies). Participants will be asked to solve a challenge and/or a case study.

Find out more

  VIU Global Virtual Exchange, June 2021

The Venice International University offers to all students enrolled across its partner universities the opportunity to participate into a Virtual Exchange activity on the following topics:

  • intercultural communications
  • culture(s) and imagination
  • gender and sexuality
  • migration, race and religion  

The activity will be held in June 2021.

Participation is open to students of all Degree Courses and years of study. Applications close on May 30.

Further information

  Erasmus+ Virtual Exchange

Erasmus+ Virtual Exchange is a flagship programme established by the European Commission in 2018. Its goal is to expand the reach and scope of the Erasmus+ programme via Virtual Exchange and by offering a wide array of activities to its participants.