Practice Reports

International competencies development in a virtual exchange for future veterinarians




veterinary anatomy, diagnostic imaging, COIL, personal and professional development


Over the past years, internationalization has become the gold standard for most higher education institutions and strategies for internationalization at home have grown as a means to foster global learning. Virtual exchange (VE) as an internationalization at home strategy encompasses one of the most innovative teaching methodologies to provide students with an intercultural perspective in the subject area of their academic programs. A total of 158 veterinary students from a private university in Spain and a public university in Brazil participated in a COIL project based on veterinary anatomy and diagnostic imaging. The project’s primary objective was for students to leverage their diverse knowledge and backgrounds to collaboratively discuss a clinical case and create a scientific poster in small groups. This practice report aims to demonstrate the potential of VE in veterinary sciences by detailing the collaboration design and presenting students’ perspectives on their experiences. The results of a postcollaboration survey indicate that this methodology effectively stimulates students to engage globally and fosters their personal and professional development.

Author Biographies

Deborah Chicharro Alcántara, Universidad CEU Cardenal Herrera

Deborah Chicharro Alcántara is currently the Deputy Vice-Rector for Internationalization at CEU Cardenal Herrera University. Additionally, she is an Associate Professor in Veterinary Medicine at the same university, specializing in anatomy and small animal surgery. She completed her Ph.D. in veterinary sciences at CEU-CHU in 2017, achieving an outstanding cum laude rating.

Ana Cristina Biondo Salomão, São Paulo State University

Ana Cristina Biondo Salomão is a professor at the Department of Modern Languages and in the Postgraduate Program in Linguistics at São Paulo State University (UNESP). She is currently the Assistant Provost for International Affairs and has contributed to designing and implementing the Brazilian Virtual Exchange (BRaVE) Program in collaboration with the Brazilian Association for International Education (FAUBAI).

Gustavo Primo, São Paulo State University

Gustavo Primo has been a Technical Assistant at the Brazilian Virtual Exchange Program at São Paulo State University (UNESP) since 2021. With a background in teaching English for Specific Purposes and Portuguese as a Foreign Language, he earned a Master's Degree in Literary Studies (UFSCar, 2019) and a Bachelor's Degree in Languages and Literature (UFSCar, 2016).

María Teresa Balastegui Martínez, Universidad CEU Cardenal Herrera

Vânia Maria de Vasconcelos Machado is an Associate Professor of Radiology at the Veterinary College of São Paulo State University (UNESP). She completed her Residency Program in Radiology Science at UNESP and earned both her Master's and Ph.D. degrees from the same institution. With expertise in Veterinary Medicine, her focus lies in Radiology Science.

Vania Maria de Vasconcelos Machado, São Paulo State University

Maria Teresa Balestegui Martínez is an Associate Professor at CEU Cardenal Herrera University. She earned her Veterinary Medicine degree in 2005 from the same institution. Since then, she has pursued her professional career in teaching and research, specializing in Veterinary Diagnostic Imaging. In 2012, she obtained her Ph.D. at CEU-CHU, achieving an outstanding cum laude rating. Her areas of interest include Diagnostic Imaging and Teaching.





Practice Reports