Nov 14

3 Ways to Promote Virtual Exchange

by in Washington - USA

qfi group shot“When the challenges that we face today – whether climate change, youth unemployment, global health – transcend borders, international education becomes even more vital. International education prepares our youth for the globalized, 21st century workforce, whatever field of study someone may choose”

- Secretary of State John Kerry

“Education … in not just a means to acquire knowledge. Rather it is the basis from which awareness and participation in society can be raised higher and from which citizenship can be built.”

 -HH Sheihka Moza bint Nasser, Istanbul, 9 May 2011, Speech at the United Nation’s Conference of the Lesser Developed Countries


At QFI, we champion and implement both virtual and in-person exchanges for middle- and high-school students. We believe it’s never too early to inspire young people to engage in cross-cultural communication that will enable them to be active global citizens.  There are opportunities to connect students like never before: innovative tools and technology to engage a greater and more diverse number of students in cross-cultural programming and collaboration. Today, web-based tools, TelePresence technology, and social media create avenues for young people to connect both with each other and with mentors and professionals globally so that they may gain the knowledge, expertise, and global perspective they need in order to tackle the critical challenges of the 21st century. 

It is with this understanding that we are proud to join our partners – Soliya, iEARN, and Global Nomad’s Group – in promoting the benefits of virtual exchange, launching This International Education Week, we are asking you to join us in our efforts to promote virtual exchange. We invite you to tell your stories of connecting with peers from across the world and we ask you to help spread awareness about virtual exchange!

What can you do?

1. Check out the Exchange 2.0 website, and spread the word:  Share the link with your communities and add your voices directly to the site through the Get Involved section.

2. Join the “I <3 Virtual Exchange” campaign: Visit the Get Involved section for instructions! Participation involves taking a picture with an “I <3 virtual exchange because…” sign and then uploading it to the Exchange 2.0 website or posting it directly to twitter with the hashtag #exchange20. Continue to follow and #exchange20 on Twitter to view and share other people’s pictures from around the world!

3. Learn more about International Education Week (IEW) and join the conversations: Visit the International Education Week Facebook page and join the Twitter conversation via the hashtag #IEW2013. Don’t forget to also use #exchange20 when you’re posting!

Today, QFI staff in Washington, D.C. gathered for a group photo that campaigns for virtual exchange. Each one of us has seen first-hand how impactful it is for a young person to meet and exchange ideas with their peers from across the world. And, as Secretary Kerry says, we are certain that “international education creates lifelong friendships between students”.

By Maggie Mitchell Salem – Executive Director of Qatar Foundation International



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