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What is COIL?

Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) is a learning methodology based on the interaction and collaboration between two classes from two countries that develop an activity in unison. It is an approach that, as part of a classroom, connects students and teachers from different cultures to learn, discuss and collaborate with each other. COIL becomes part of the classroom, allowing all students to have a meaningful intercultural experience within their course of study.


Objectives of a COIL

The overall objective of COIL is to generate an experience similar to that of international interpersonal learning but based on online interaction. Likewise, the COIL methodology aims to:

  1. Promote internationalization in a sustainable way.
  2. Empower global citizens.
  3. Increase collaborative links and flexibility.

Characteristics of a COIL

  • Can be created in any discipline.
  • Works well among interdisciplinary partnerships.
  • Encourages active student study and teamwork.
  • Includes intercultural interactions and understanding.
  • It has a duration of 5 to 15 weeks.
  • Are leveled activities in each participating class.
  • Can use any technological tool that serves the learning objectives.

A COIL course, module or activity is designed specifically for the teaching curriculum (unlike other online approaches such as webinars, MOOCs and online courses), where you can: 

  • Use web-based tools.
  • Link students from distant geographical locations and different cultural backgrounds.
  • Those students who are working in teams on tasks that bring digital and intercultural skills development.
  • Facilitate and promote interaction, collaboration and further reflection.


Model Agreements


  • Subjects COIL UCLM (PDF)


If you belong to a university or training centre outside Spain and want to join our network of COIL partners, please contact Susana Seseña Prieto (susana.sprieto@uclm.es)


Coil directory

The University of Castilla-La Mancha collaborates with the programme COIL Connect which is an initiative of the COIL Virtual Exchange Foundation, Inc., a not-for-profit corporation authorized in the State of New York. Our mission is to support the international growth of COIL Virtual Exchange at the institutional level. General membership in COIL Connect is free and is open to all, however this website is specifically designed to support higher education institutions that have developed or are in the process of developing COIL VE programs, and which appoint a COIL coordinator/administrator to manage their program.

Find a partner. Log in and register for free on COIL Connect for Virtual Exchange, a directory where you can view profiles of like-minded institutions working on COIL projects.

COIL Connect also supports more recent COIL VE practitioners as they seek to develop, integrate, and institutionalize their programs. COIL Virtual Exchange is a high-impact, intercultural education exchange model that has been evolving for over 20 years. Gradually, the practice has been shifting from directly linking individual instructors to linking institutions that manage larger scale COIL VE programs for greater sustainability and scalability. These COIL Programs can then facilitate linking teachers and classes with peers at partner institutions.

Until now, there has not been an organization or a website that is dedicated to identifying and connecting all institutions practicing COIL VE, nor has there been adequate research into the institutionalization of these practices. COIL Connect seeks to support both needs through a free and robust institutional directory of COIL-engaged institutions, integrated with data collection and presentation instruments.