The popularisation of virtual mobility offers opportunities to reconsider power imbalances among different actors in higher education and to affirm the centrality of student agency and diversity. This article explores possibilities for applying the Students as Partners (SaP) approach to virtual mobility in order to empower students and foster reciprocal and ethical interactions. Drawing on interviews with students involved in an action research project, the article highlights the roles and perspectives of students in formulating authentic intercultural exchange experiences online. The findings suggest that application of the SaP framework reorganises students’ agentic capacities and allows them to flourish in a way which, in turn, shifts the power balance in international learning and contributes to the ongoing re-configuration of approaches to internationalisation beyond the educator/student binary.
- Higher education
- internationalisation at a distance
- online intercultural exchange
- students as partners
- virtual mobility