The Impact of International Virtual Exchange on Student Success

Lee et al. / Journal of International Students / September 2022

This study expands the literature on high impact practices by assessing the effect of global experiences, including international virtual exchange (IVE) and study abroad, on student success, measured as GPA, first-year retention, and graduation rate. The authors' dataset tracks over 47,000 students over 10 years at a large U.S. university. Their fixed effects models show that IVE and studying abroad increase average GPA. Using logit models, the authors find that taking IVE courses or studying abroad positively impacts the probability students are retained and eventually graduate. Their findings also show that first-generation college students, financially disadvantaged students, female students, and Black and African American students who take IVE courses benefit more than their demographic counterparts who don't. Taken together, these results confirm that IVE is both a high impact practice and a pedagogy that offers significant benefits to under-resourced students and students who have historically been underrepresented in global learning activities.