What are Virtual Experiences?

Virtual Experiences are solutions for canceled study away programs that are being adapted to online courses, and for new or existing courses that need supplemental materials such as meetings, speakers, internships or language exchanges with interesting people around the world.

 

What are some examples of these solutions?

1. It is a solution to a canceled program where you have disappointed students and faculty who were expecting to go somewhere, but are now trying to figure out: what to do instead; if it will be possible to get credits some other way; and what’s the next best thing to going away.

AEA can help adapt a study abroad program or part of a program to an online course by providing live, virtual meetings and other arrangements.


2. An entire Virtual Study Abroad Program can be developed as a solution for the 99% of college students who do not study away every year. For these students, it is a far more affordable and sustainable alternative to physical study abroad, where they too can earn credits for taking a course that incorporates many of the academic and cultural pieces of a study away program.


3. Virtual Faculty Inspections to countries during these uncertain COVID-19 times, or for faculty and administrators who do not have the budget or time to go to the location at this time.

4. Supplemental, virtual course components  can include unique meetings with people in a variety of industries and segments of society. Live, virtual engagement can add value to your course without the high costs of an overseas program.

 

How do I know that AEA can make this happen?

AEA has been customizing and managing faculty-led programs since 2005, and over the years we have expanded our faculty-led program options to nearly 100 countries. Given the flexibility that our typical customized programs require, we are accustomed to coming up with unusual and often creative solutions. We- and our overseas teams and partners- want to help you engage with the world, in person and virtually.

 

What are the benefits and challenges of a Virtual Programming?

Let’s start with the benefits:

  • You can go to China, Korea, Italy, anywhere- virtually
  • Meet with the same people you had planned to meet- virtually
  • Allow your students to earn credit through a virtual program
  • Give your students the opportunity to meet people around the world- virtually
  • Show your students what creative problem solving looks like
  • Improve upon a course by incorporating virtual meetings and visits that were previously not possible

Now the challenges:

  • Managing expectations is important not only for students, but for faculty and administrators
  • Updates will need to be made to the program to make it work virtually
  • Meetings may need to be at challenging times because of the timezones
  • Cultural excursions will need creative alternatives, such as connecting with local organizations
  • Everyone will need to be timely to connect with those overseas- virtually- and patience will be required due potentially poor Internet connections

Despite these challenges, the people who are a part of this program, including not only those excited to meet you overseas, but you, yourselves, will be what makes this program a success.


 

It's been a tough year with all the program cancellations. How is this going to make it all better?

  1. We’re going to help you help your students and faculty
  2. We are committed to coming up with affordable, creative solutions
  3. Let’s help your students get credits for this program, which will make your registrar happy, too
  4. We are going to help the people overseas through a difficult time by sending you to them, virtually, and uplifting their spirits as well as our own
  5. By staying home, although disappointing, we will all be contributing to the climate change solution rather than the problem
  6. By going ahead with the virtual version of the program, students and faculty may be even more excited to go in person when the timing works
  7. Given the time that will be saved by not traveling to and through airports, on buses and trains, we highly encourage you to read Peter Singer’s book, The Life You Can Save, which can be downloaded for free, and think more about what you can do to make the world a better place.

 

Virtual Experiences Abroad Request Form

 

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