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Pen Pals

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

There’s an ever-growing problem today for those who are interested in global study. Studying abroad is becoming increasingly expensive, and therefore increasingly out of reach, despite how important it is. At Project Exchange, we have decided to help alleviate the costs of studying abroad while still being an active member of cultural exchange. 


We have introduced a new, entirely text message-based global study program, known as Pen Pals, and we are excited to have you join. All participants are encouraged to apply again to meet new people and have a different experience.








Facilitator applications are always open and will be evaluated according to the dates on the Cohort Calendar below.












  • How does it work?

    • As a participant, you will be matched with a facilitator and 1-2 students from different backgrounds. 

    • During your first week, you will learn how to engage with other cultures and make the most out of your new relationships.

    • You will receive daily messages on WhatsApp from your facilitator to guide the discussions.


  • Who is eligible? 

    • All students with a passion for learning about other cultures are welcome!

    • Applicants over the age of 18 might have a longer waiting period to be matched as we prioritize appropriate peer relationships, which include similar age groups.


  • Is there any cost involved?

    • It depends on your phone plan -- you will be both receiving and sending international texts through WhatsApp. Otherwise, there are no fees from Project Exchange.


  • What is the time commitment?

    • The daily time commitment will be that of a regular, engaged text conversation throughout each day. You will learn about the participation scoring guidelines during your first week — you must participate fully to receive your certificate of completion.

    • Visit the participation scoring guide here: Pen Pals Scoring Guide


Email us at with any other questions!

Important Dates
FAQ Frequently Asked Questions


Participants (13+ years of age):


Facilitators (20+ years of age):

Facilitator Position Description

Previously known as the Digital Exchange Program Text (DEPT) ⤵



Luna, Cohort 3

It was a wonderful experience to personally learn about someone from a different country and culture. This is the first time I make a friend from across the Ocean and it has greatly widened my knowledge and perspectives about other communities around the world.


Not only did I learn something new about my partner everyday, but I strengthened my knowledge about my own culture, history, and language. I am so happy to have made a friend 5,900 miles away.

I’m positively surprised that there are many students interested in learning more about other cultures and I believe that building relationships like this one is very important for self-development. I’m glad I participated in a program like this one, especially because during this time when we are quarantined I had something to look forward every day :)


It’s been an impactful and amazing experience so I encourage everyone to try some kind of curriculum that this program provides. 

My experience in this digital exchange program has been eye-opening, I've never actually seen or known anything about India's culture from the perspective of someone who actually lives there. That was very interesting and it has broadened my perspective. 


I am thankful to be partnered with someone who was very nice and explained her culture throughly. I will take this experience with me and will utilize it and apply it to my leadership skills.

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