Abstract. Internationalization in higher education (IHE) has been a policy issue for countries and a strategic orientation for individual universities. Historically internationalization has always been a part of the university. In the traditional, face-to-face education internationalization has specific rationales and meanings for countries, universities and individuals. However, with the developments in ICT internationalization gained a new meaning. The most prominent aspect of this meaning is that internationalization gained a virtual dimension. The purpose of this article is to identify the traditional meaning and rationales of IHE as well as approaches to internationalization. Besides the article defines virtual internationalization and discusses the approaches to virtual internationalization in the context of open and distance education. Finally, the article covers the opportunities and challenges come along with virtual internationalization. The article concludes that although virtual internationalization provides new opportunities, failing to tackle the challenges may end up with limited accomplishment of internationalization.