Global Citizenship and Internationalization at Home: Insights from the BRASUIS Virtual Exchange Project

Kyria Finardi, Juliana Salvadori, Andrea Wehrli


This paper reports on the BRASUIS Virtual Exchange (VE) Project carried out in two universities in Brazil and another one in Switzerland. The theoretical framework informing the research is that of Collaborative Online International Learning COIL/VE as a strategy to develop Global Citizenship (GC) and Internationalization at Home (IaH) in the three institutions involved. The BRASUIS project involved 26 students from the universities involved and eight international scholars as guest speakers. The project included both synchronous and asynchronous exchanges carried out over 14 weeks. The methodology employed to analyze the impact of the BRASUIS project on the institution’s IaH and GC approach is qualitative, using content analysis to look at data from reflection reports and observations produced by the project participants and lecturers. Results of the analysis reveal a varying degree of institutionalised internationalisation when comparing Brazilian and Swiss institutions and suggest that the BRASUIS project made a significant contribution to the development of GC and IaH in the Brazilian institutions involved and though it was a teacher-led innovation, there is potential to institutionalize VE projects beyond individual teachers’ efforts in those institutions. Results are discussed in terms of the challenges and benefits of VE to develop GC and IaH.

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