Since 2013, ECA has become a leader in developing and applying new program models, practices, and technologies in the field of virtual exchange. Virtual and blended virtual/in-person exchange programming models have become more sophisticated and better adapted to accomplishing public diplomacy and other foreign policy goals. The Virtual Exchange Toolkit contains examples of best practices and guidance in the design, implementation, and evaluation of virtual and blended exchange programs. Examples of recent ECA virtual and blended exchange pilot programs are also described below.

Stevens Initiative
Today, the Stevens Initiative, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, announced six new grants to schools and organizations to implement virtual exchange programs for students at educational institutions ranging from middle school through the university level.
All hands in
Building upon the popular 21st Century Fox film Hidden Figures, ECA created a series of Bureau-wide “Hidden No More” programs to highlight the contributions women make in STEM fields.
Rome Robotics
Through the Virtual Communities Connect initiative, the ECA Collaboratory funded a series of pilot projects that allowed U.S. Embassies around the world to develop meaningful virtual programming with American communities and institutions that help advance American foreign policy goals.
Twenty undergraduate students at American University’s School of International Service designed and piloted their own virtual exchanges with students from Brazil, the Czech Republic, India, Japan, Kenya and Morocco.
Group photo of participants holding certificates
The International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) hosts first-ever virtual exchange program for Icelandic environmental NGO professionals
When the AFS program in Egypt was postponed due to security reasons, ECA was inspired to adopt a new method used by Tiffany Shlain, an AFS participant and leader in filmmaking and technology.