The FRIENDS project’s first exposure and promotion to higher education practitioners and policy makers from across Europe and Asia took place on 20th and 2 The FRIENDS project’s first exposure and promotion to higher education practitioners and policy makers from across Europe and Asia took place on 20th and 21st November 2019 in Cologne, Germany immediately after the project’s official start the week before on 15th November. The project coordinator Christina Armutlieva, Director of International Cooperation at Varna University of Management, presented the FRIENDS initiative in the framework of the DAAD conference entitled ASEM Education in a digital world: Bridging the continents – connecting the people?. Prior to the conference, DAAD published a call for papers across Europe and Asia and the FRIENDS initiative’s abstract was one of the four selected among approx. 200 abstracts submitted from researchers from 25 different ASEM partner countries. The selected papers presented at the DAAD conference in Cologne, Germany incl. the case study on the FRIENDS initiative as a tool for fostering intercultural engagement through virtual mobility were subsequently published and could be read here alongside an introductory conference report and a short introduction to the ASEM Education Process by the ASEM Education Secretariat.