Practice Reports

Designing a collaborative and virtual exchange-embedded virtual summer school




intercultural communication, virtual summer school, international partnership, collaborative model


This practice report describes the design and implementation of a collaborative and virtual exchange-embedded virtual summer school for postgraduate students in the context of European Higher Education. The two-week virtual summer school on multilingualism and intercultural learning brought together 40 students who collaborated to produce ten video-case studies based on their experiences as educators in a number of contexts. We share our experiences as organisers and participants and offer insights from the process of planning for, engaging with and evaluating the summer school. Our paper draws on quantitative and qualitative data, i.e., a pre and post summer school survey, a qualitative evaluation questionnaire and a student-participant account to evidence how the experience benefitted participants. Our findings demonstrate the effectiveness of the model presented here: participants’ understanding of key concepts of interculturality and multilingualism increased, there was a statistically significant difference in perceived development of digital competences and presentation skills, and more than 90% of the participants were very satisfied with their training and international collaboration opportunities. In conclusion, we propose a set of learning points that may support others to design and deliver a collaborative model of summer school and the use of ‘skills passports’ in alternative to accreditation.


Author Biographies

Sara Ganassin, Newcastle University, UK

Dr Sara Ganassin is Senior Lecturer in Applied Linguistics and Communication in the School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences, Newcastle University, UK. Sara’s research interests include migrant and refugee communities and researching multilingually theory and practice. She has recently co-edited Reflexivity in Applied Linguistics (2023, Routledge) and The Politics of Researching Multilingually (2022, Multilingual Matters).

Müge Satar, Newcastle University

Dr Müge Satar is Reader in Applied Linguistics at Newcastle University, UK. She is interested in communicative and pedagogical aspects of multimodal interaction for online language learning and teaching, focusing on social presence and meaning-making. She is the co-editor of the Journal of Virtual Exchange and General Council member of UNICollaboration.


Thinh Ngoc Pham

Dr Thinh Ngoc Pham is Lecturer in Psychology at Solent University, UK. His research interests lie primarily in applied social psychology, cross-cultural psychology, thinking skills, language education and development, and pedagogy research.


Ashleigh Regan

Ashleigh Regan is a PhD candidate at the School of Education Communication and Language Sciences, Newcastle University (UK). Her research investigates new speakers’ motivations to learn Welsh with a focus on language policy and language maintenance. She studied French and Mandarin during her undergraduate studies and she has been involved in different projects about interculturality and language engagement.





Practice Reports