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Digital Exchange Program

 The first ever youth-led, digital learning experience that uses design thinking, community journalism, and the UN Sustainable Development Goals to strengthen language learning and cross-cultural collaboration.

A new, groundbreaking opportunity for middle and high school students.

The Digital Exchange Program (DEP) is a free, fully online study abroad experience. Students are matched with a peer from a different country (called a DEP pair), and over the 12-week program, participate in weekly video calls and activities to simulate the authentic study abroad experience.

DEP pairs are grouped into DEP families and matched with a college facilitator—mentors who help the group dig deeper, build community, and make sense of what they’re learning! After the program, students will have increased cross-cultural understanding and have the tools they need to learn from and work with people who are different from them (culturally, geographically, ideologically, etc.) to tackle global issues.

DEP graduates can apply for Project Exchange’s Impact Incubator fellowship, where they will receive 1:1 mentorship, skill-building workshops, and mini-grants to implement a community action project to promote intercultural understanding and global collaboration for the SDGs. Students can even come back as DEP Country Representatives, DEP language guide, DEP facilitators, or join Project Exchange’s Executive Leadership team!


Program Overview

WHO: Students who will be 12-18 years old by January 11th, 2021

WHEN:  January 11 to April 5 (3 months; 12 weeks). Students should be able to commit 2-5 hours/week throughout the program.

WHAT: A free, 12-week online cultural exchange program designed to equip students with knowledge, skills, attitudes, and resources to design community-action projects that promote intercultural understanding and global collaboration. Students will be matched with a peer from a different country (their DEP partner) and participate in weekly activities with their DEP partner, online exchange “family,” language learning workshops, cross-cultural community building, and much more.

WHERE: The program is hosted using a combination of Slack (asynchronous communication), Zoom (synchronous), and Google Suite tools.


Program Themes

3 main themes will be covered over 12 weeks. 


How can YOU get involved?

  • Become a DEP student: Middle & high school students can apply for the Digital Exchange Program here. The deadline is January 1, 2021 at 11:59 PM UTC.

  • Become a DEP facilitator: Learn more and apply here. The deadline is December 18, 2020 at 11:59 PM UTC.

  • Become a DEP Language Guide:  High school seniors & college students! Learn more and apply here by December 25, 2020 at 11:59 PM UTC. 

  • Nominate a student for the DEP: Anyone! Can you think of a student who would be a great fit for the DEP? Nominate them here!


Partner with us!

We are able to offer this program for free to students around the world, especially those in rural & marginalized communities, thanks to the support of incredible program partners and sponsors. If you are interested in partnering with us, please email Ashley Lin at

We are looking for:

  • Recruitment Partners: recruit at least 10 students to apply for the DEP (and nominate even more)

  • Donors: sponsor a family of DEP students, $200 ($10 for each student, 20 students/family)

  • Program Partners: provide college facilitators, language teachers, or other professionals who can help with curriculum development

Learn more about our DEP partnership opportunities here

Learn more & share!

  • Check out the DEP overview here

  • Please help us spread the word!

    • Use the Winter 2020 DEP Outreach Toolkit here. It includes sample social media posts, outreach language, and much more!

    • Read & share the Winter 2020 DEP Flyer

    • Read & share the Winter 2020 DEP Brochure



Luna, Cohort 3

Luna, Cohort 3

DEP experience was one of the nicest experiences I've ever had, I gained more information about different topics, now I am more aware about many cultures than I was before, I've deleted all the stereotypes I had about someone else and I've became a new edition of myself.

Rebeka, Cohort 3

DEP was a really great experience. The DEP pushed me to think more critically and think more realistically and of more feasible solutions. Since I'm a more introverted person, the DEP gave me a platform and a reason to communicate with more people, it has helped me confront my social fears and in the process get to know more people personally and make new friends.

Ava, Cohort 2

Throughout the program, I learned a lot from my partner and had a lot of fun learning about his culture. I think that the DEP provided me with lots of valuable knowledge for my future as well as brought an impactful connection to the world around us. I truly loved the program.

A Borderless World
A DEP Success Story

...transcending the media, preconceived stereotypes, and personal biases, Devangana works each day to pay forward the revelation she has had about the two cultures wherever she can, truly encapsulating the beauty of Project Exchange...

Project Exchange

Bringing together high school and college students from around the globe to talk about culture, promote mutual understanding, and prepare young individuals to tackle critical global issues through cross-cultural communication.

© 2020-21 by Project Exchange