Jan 04, 2022 2022-01-04
Project Exchange brings together high school and college students from around the globe to talk about culture, promote mutual understanding, and prepare youth to tackle critical global issues through cross-cultural communication. The organization’s Digital Exchange Program (DEP) is a free, fully online study abroad experience that uses design thinking, community journalism, and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to strengthen language learning and cross-cultural collaboration.
Students are matched with a peer from a different country (called a DEP partner), and over the eight-week program, participate in weekly video calls and activities to simulate the authentic study experience. DEP pairs are grouped into DEP families and matched with a facilitator—mentors who help the group dig deeper, build community, and make sense of what they are learning.
The two- to three-hour program is hosted online using Google Suite tools, Slack, and Zoom. For those who do not have access to the tools needed for a cross-border video call, Project Exchange has introduced a new branch of the Digital Exchange Program, an entirely text message–based exchange, known as the Pen Pals Program, housed on WhatsApp.
DEP graduates can apply for Project Exchange’s Impact Incubator fellowship to receive 1:1 mentorship, skill-building workshops, and minigrants for implementing a community action project that promotes intercultural understanding and global collaboration for the SDGs.