Brief introduction about Erasmus+ program
Many young people from all over the world are searching for opportunities where they can learn and improve on personal and professional level. Thanks to Erasums+ program for education, training, youth and sport now young people are having so much more opportunities to travel and learn on different topics.
Erasmus+ is part of the European Union program which runs for 7 years, from 2014 to 2020. Many organizations are invited to apply for funding each year in order to organize creative and successful youth activities and events.
In this article, we would like to introduce you with Youth Exchanges (YE) and Training courses (TC) as one of the most common Erasmus+ events in Europe.
What is the difference between Erasmus+ training and youth exchange?
It’s important to understand that these two programs inside Erasmus+ mobility projects belong to Key Action 1 – Mobility of individuals. According to this Key Action, here you can find opportunities for students, trainees, young people and volunteers, as well as for trainers, professors, youth workers, teachers, the staff of education institutions and civil society organizations to undertake a learning and/or professional experience in another country.
Youth Exchanges are organized for groups of young people from different countries in order to meet, live together and work on shared projects for short periods. Usually, youth exchanges last between 5 and 21 days.
They can be a mix of exercises, workshops, role-plays, simulations, debates, and outdoor activities. The main purpose of these youth exchanges is to develop competencies, strengthen values like solidarity, democracy, and friendship, and discover new cultures, habits, and lifestyles through peer-learning.
If you are between the ages of 13 and 30, you can participate in a youth exchange. Usually, there are group leaders on YE and in order to become one you must be at least 18 years old.
Erasmus+ Training courses are a bit different from youth exchanges. They support the professional development of youth workers, especially when they take part in seminars, contact-making events, training courses and study visits, and also a job shadowing/observation period abroad in an organization active in the youth field.
For training course, you must be at least 18 years old and a possible active youth worker in an organization in your country.
Potential topics of YE and TC
Training courses can be organized on any possible topic. In order to participate in a training course, you should have a very good English level and relevant experience in the specific theme of exchange. The dissemination of results is essential in training.
In other hand, youth exchanges can be organized in various topics such as democracy, environment, disability, anti-racism, cultural diversity, personal development, and many more.
What are conditions in order to participate in YE and TC?
In Youth Exchanges and Erasmus+ Training courses travel and visa costs are reimbursed. Also, accommodation and food during the projects are provided.
Usually, youth exchanges last between 5 and 21 days and training courses between 2 days and 2 months.
YE is open to people between the ages of 13 and 30 (at least 18 years-old for group leaders), for TC participants should be at least 18 years-old (no upper age limit).
For youth exchanges, the number of participants is between 16 and 60 and for training courses up to 50 participants.
What can you learn and improve from these projects?
If you decide to participate in a youth exchange or training course, or even both, you will gain so many advantages which will help you to develop your technical and soft skills.
Some outcomes that you will gain on these projects are:
– improved learning performance;
– increased self-empowerment and self-esteem;
– increased sense of initiative and entrepreneurship;
– improved foreign language competences;
– enhanced intercultural awareness;
– Better awareness of the European project and the EU values;
– increased motivation for taking part in future (formal/ non-formal) education or training after the mobility period abroad;
– More active participation in society;
– enhanced employability and improved career prospects.
Where to look for interesting and fun Erasmus+ YE and TC?
First of all, you can use Abroadship.org as your main source to search for interesting and fun Erasmus+ training courses and youth exchanges. We are constantly sharing open-calls for training courses and youth exchanges around Europe. You can subscribe to our mailing list or like us on Facebook and receive the latest open-calls for interesting and fun YE and TC.
Besides that, you can always search for other sources that are offering Erasmus+ YE and TC such as the European Training calendar and Salto-youth database.
Good luck and have fun!
By Aleksandra Krstevska
Creative and Human Resource Director