These build on the success of existing exchanges with École normale supérieure de Lyon in France, Xi’an International University (XAIU) in China, and Princess Sumaya University for Technology (PSUT) in Jordan.
A Virtual Exchange brings students from different parts of the world and different cultural backgrounds together online. It is a great opportunity for students to broaden their cultural understanding and develop their spoken language skills in an informal setting. These skills have been shown to significantly enhance employment prospects.
Through the exchanges, students from the University of Bath are paired with a student from the partner university and have weekly meetings online for five to six weeks. The initial meeting is facilitated by a Teaching Fellow from the Skills Centre and member of staff from the partner institution.
Students do not have to attend one of the Skills Centre's language courses in order to take part in a Virtual Exchange, although this is recommended.
It's great that we're able to expand our Virtual Exchange scheme next Academic Year. Feedback from participating students is always extremely positive and many stay in touch with their partners after their exchange. The scheme gives Bath students a unique opportunity to build their confidence in communicating across cultures, improve a range of key employability skills, and develop a 'global citizenship' mindset. (Claire Charlemagne, Head of Languages in the Skills Centre)
You can read two students' experiences of Virtual Exchanges in the following blogs:
- How a virtual exchange improved my confidence in speaking Chinese
- My language learning journey at Bath
The joy of having an exchange partner is about engaging in another culture and learning about the lifestyles of individuals living in a different part of the world. (Natalie Page, MRes International Development)
I would without doubt recommend taking part in a virtual exchange. There’s no replacement for having proper conversations with a native speaker when it comes to improving your language skills. (Hannah Glover, MChem Chemistry)