Ritsumeikan University

The Five Value Propositions of Online Exchange:A Rewarding Study Abroad Experience with Reduced COVID-19 Risk and Cost

Global Connection


October 29, 2021

With no end in sight for the COVID-19 pandemic, universities around the world are accelerating efforts to offer student exchange programs online. Immediately after the pandemic began in 2020, Ritsumeikan University had already launched online exchange programs with partner schools in the United States. These programs have proven effective, and they provide students with valuable experiences. How will overseas experience change in the post-pandemic era and what kind of value will online exchange bring to the table?


How has study abroad exchanged with the suspension of overseas travel?

Many students consider study abroad during their time at university to be highly meaningful for their post-graduation career development. With efforts to further promote globalization and the use of English, universities have strived to offer study abroad support to their students. However, study abroad was completely transformed due to the global COVID-19 pandemic that struck in 2020. With massive restrictions on overseas travel, it still remains difficult to actually study abroad.

Amid this backdrop, Ritsumeikan University acted quickly to work with the foreign partners universities with which had previously been operating exchange programs. The university developed an online exchange program early in 2020, and it has proven popular with many students.

We sat down with Associate Professor Saori Hagai, who was involved in the development of online exchange programs as the Associate Dean of International Affairs at Ritsumeikan University, to explore the wide-ranging value of online exchange.


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