Announcing the 2022 Virtual Exchange Grant Competition

The 2022 Virtual Exchange Grant Competition has closed.

The 2022 Virtual Exchange Grant Competition will award funding to nonprofit organizations and educational institutions for the design and implementation of innovative virtual exchange programs. After a challenging two years, young people are eager for connection that was lost during a time of isolation. Virtual exchange remains a critical and accessible global education tool that educators and exchange leaders can use to help young people build global competencies, make lasting friendships, and gain valuable career-readiness skills.

The Stevens Initiative will select a diverse cohort of applicants proposing programs for different ages, geographies, and backgrounds, prioritizing proposals with plans to reach communities and participants who traditionally have not had access to international education or exchange opportunities. Additionally, the Initiative seeks to fund a diverse portfolio of virtual exchange program topics, prioritizing technology and computing, engaging with local and global challenges, business and entrepreneurship, and language learning and practice. The Initiative anticipates that this new portfolio of two-year grants will reach approximately 20,000 young people in the United States and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

What is Virtual Exchange?

Virtual exchange uses technology to connect people for education and exchange. Virtual exchange programs typically serve young people. Many virtual exchange programs are international, connecting participants in different countries to help them gain global competencies, among other knowledge, skills, and abilities. Many practitioners believe that facilitation by prepared, responsible adults — often but not always educators — is an important component of successful virtual exchange. Watch this video to learn more.

The Middle East and North Africa Region

In accordance with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, the Initiative considers the following countries or locations to be part of the MENA region: Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, the Palestinian Territories, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.

Webinar Information

The Stevens Initiative will host three webinars about the 2022 Virtual Exchange Grant Competition.

  • Competition Overview: Watch here
  • Budget and Compliance: Watch here
  • Highlights and Questions: Watch here


If you are not eligible for or interested in applying to the 2022 Virtual Exchange Grant Competition, learn about other opportunities to bring virtual exchange to young people in your community here. New to virtual exchange? Apply for the 2023 Virtual Exchange Academy, a six-week training that teaches foundational elements of virtual exchange planning and implementation.

Spread the Word

You can share about the 2022 Virtual Exchange Grant Competition with your network using this announcement toolkit.

The Stevens Initiative’s 2022 Virtual Exchange Grant Competition is supported by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, with additional funding from the Bezos Family Foundation. Learn more about the Stevens Initiative, including its other projects and funders here.

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