Launch Event: 2021 Survey of the Virtual Exchange Field Report

Event Details
  • Date

    November 17, 2021

  • Time

    11:00 am - 12:00 pm
    U.S. Eastern Time

  • Location


On November 17, 2021, the Stevens Initiative will release the 2021 Survey of the Virtual Exchange Field Report. At this launch event, the report’s authors will give an overview of the survey results, highlighting key findings and implications for the virtual exchange field. Hear from survey respondents about their virtual exchange programs and their experience contributing to the survey, and learn how you can use this report at your institution.

This event is part of our 2021 International Education Week Lineup. Access all IEW activities and announcements here.

Rajika Bhandari (@RajikaBhandari) is an international higher education expert, a scholar-practitioner, and the founder of Rajika Bhandari Advisors, offering research and data-driven guidance on international engagement strategy to nonprofits, multilateral organizations, and higher education institutions globally. She previously led the IC3 Institute as its President and CEO and spent over a decade at the Institute of International Education (IIE) where she led IIE’s research, evaluation, and thought leadership portfolio, including the Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange. Dr. Bhandari is quoted frequently in the global press, and is a widely published author and frequent speaker on international education issues, global talent, and skilled mobility. She is the author of the new memoir, America Calling: A Foreign Student in a Country of Possibility.

Francesca Helm is Assistant Professor of English at the Department of Political Science, Law and International Studies at the University of Padova, Italy. Her research focuses on intercultural dialogue, virtual exchange, and critical approaches to the use of technology in language teaching and in the internationalization of higher education. She is a founding member and research officer for UNICollaboration, a cross-disciplinary professional organization for virtual exchange in higher education. She led the monitoring and evaluation of the European Commission’s Erasmus+ Virtual Exchange pilot project from 2018-2020. She has published extensively about virtual exchange and intercultural dialogue.

Gabriela Méndez (@gmcarrera; @tecglobalmx; @tecdemonterrey) is an International Online Programs Specialist and COIL Coordinator from Vice-Rectory for International Affairs at Tec de Monterrey. She holds a Master’s in Information Technology Management, and with more than 12 years of experience, she has worked in different aspects of remote learning and international education such as course design, technology implementation, faculty training, and teaching. Along with her colleagues, she works in the institutionalization of Global Classroom, one of the virtual exchange initiatives at her institution.

Shannon Sauro (@shansauro; Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania; Docent, Malmö University) is a specialist in technology-mediated language teaching and learning in the Department of Education at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), USA. She has taught at universities in the United States and Sweden. Her areas of research include the intersection of online fan practices and language learning and teaching as well as the role of virtual exchange/telecollaboration in language teacher education. She is an associate editor for the journal Language Learning & Technology, a past president of the Computer-Assisted Language Instruction Consortium (CALICO) and is currently an executive board member for UNICollaboration, an international organization for virtual exchange.

Linda Stuart (@lindakstuart; @AFS) is a dynamic intercultural educator, committed to partnering with others to embrace change and grow our global competence in an ever-changing world. Since 2017, Linda has led digital education innovation for AFS Intercultural Programs, Inc, as the Head of the Global Competence Certificate worldwide. She is President of Alma, Inc. – a cross-cultural leadership development consultancy. For 10 years as Global Citizens Network’s (GCN) Director, she tripled the size of GCN, expanding short term experiences into 20 communities globally, gaining national recognition by National Geographic, Budget Travel, The New York Times, Oprah, and USA Today as “One of the Best Volunteer Experiences.” Linda was recently published in “Mind the Gap: Global Learning at Home and Abroad” Stylus Publications, 2020. She is a QA of the IDI, GCI, IES and holds a coaching certificate from the Carlson School of Business at University of Minnesota, a master’s from University of Chile, and a bachelor’s from Augsburg University.