Youth Exchange: Empathic Step #3: Hiking in Iceland

Location: Iceland

Dates: 19-28 May 2022

Number of participants: 35

Participating countries: United Kingdom, Lithuania, Italy, Spain, Greece, Turkey, Iceland


Apply here: application form

Deadline to apply: 21 March 2022

Date of Selection: immediately, if you are right candidate

Inquiries about this training course: Justinas at


  • 100% accommodation, food and program materials are covered by the grant from Erasmus+
  • 80% traveling costs (only the most economical and agreed before hand at are covered. Maximum traveling expenses are up to:
    • €20/participant for Iceland
    • €275/participant for UK
    • €360/participant for Lithuania
    • €530/participant for Italy, Spain.
    • €820/participant for Turkey, Greece
  • For traveling reimbursement, it is mandatory to keep and bring all your tickets and invoices, boarding passes and receipts (originals). Without these documents, traveling costs cannot be reimbursed. Special plans, Seat reservation, insurance and other extra costs related to traveling are not compensated.
  • There is no fee for the youth exchange.
  • For traveling reimbursement, it is mandatory:
    • online tickets: forward emails with e-tickets, boarding passes and invoices, it has to contain price and date
    • offline tickets: bring original receipts (originals), copies will not be accepted.
  • Reimbursements for traveling will be sent by 31 December 2022, once (and if) participants take part in full duration of the programme fill the evaluation forms present all the traveling documents

COVID regulations: All COVID-19 measures at the Icelandic border have now ended. Thereby no COVID-19 prevention measures will be in place at the border, regardless of whether individuals are vaccinated or unvaccinated. Please bear in mind that regulations change all the time and we will have to act upon up-to-date regulations.

Empathic Step #3: Hiking in Iceland

Download here: Empathic Step 3 – Hiking – Erasmus plus – Iceland-

Download the PDF file .

Context of Empathic Step #3: Hiking in Iceland

We invite you to literally step in the shoes of other people and “SWIM” (indirectly) in Isle of Wight, RUN in Northern Ireland and HIKE in Iceland, imagining nowadays realities, whereas a lot of refugees had to swim, walk or run over mountains, cross the sea and borders to reach peace in Europe.

During swim, run and hike (outdoor element) and other types of physical activities (sports element) through non-formal education methods you will explore sensitive topics and particularly EMPATHY.

Empathic Step is a 3-phased empathy developing project to step in variety of different shoes through our KING methodology: Knowledge, Involvement, Nature, Growth.

Overall Focus

  • To develop personally, which helps to understand ourselves and reflect on own behavior and behavior of others
  • Challenge the perception of the structures within our society that undermine social inclusion or foster discrimination
  • Overcoming the stereotypes of different religions
  • To raise awareness on the topic of discrimination
  • To build a broader understanding of what an inclusive attitude means and to start inter cultural and inter- religious dialogue
  • To understand the connections between culture and sport and to understand the inter cultural aspects of sport
  • To raise the sense of empathy towards other people

Who Should Attend

You are 18-30 years old and wish to develop empathy in order to be more inclusive and tolerant. You are ready to address or perhaps face(d) yourself racial and religious discrimination. You are open minded, care about nearby neighbourhood, local, regional, national and international communities and you are sensitive to human right issues. 

Programme of Empathic Step #3: Hiking in Iceland

DAY 0:

ARRIVAL: Unpacking, Getting to know each other

DAY 1-8:

COOPERATION: Morning pilates, Team building, Fight stereotypes, Welcome night

CULTURES: Team Building and Open Badges, Culture and Refugees, Forum Theater, Intercultural Night

VALUES: Morning pilates, preparation for the hike, the hike and 100 my dream.

HEALTH: Reflection after the hike, Olympic games, Empathy/mental health, Healthy Diet, Evening Yoga

CHALLENGE: Erasmus+ and NGO Fair, Open space, Preparation for the hike, Night Hike

BALANCE: Rest and Reflection after the hike. Video making, Meditation

ALL IN: Learning what you want, Achieve your goals, Youthpass, last evaluation, Goodbye evening.

DAY 9:

DEPARTURE: Packing and leaving

* The programme is subject to change

Delivery Style

  • “Learning by experience” – learning from experiencing different activities and putting them into practice;
  • “Learning to play, playing to learn” – connected with learning through games, from actions and playful environment;
  • “Learning through outdoor sports” – learning about sensitive topics while being outdoors, hiking and doing sports
  • “Learning with nature” – being aware of the environment and its stimulus to brains, mental and physical condition

Methods Used

  • Experiential learning with outdoors hiking and sports
  • Group dynamic processes, simulations and teamwork activities
  • Inputs from experts through non-formal education lectures and facilitated processes
  • Theater sketches
  • Dynamic workshops and presentations
  • Outdoor environmental work and assignments
  • Intercultural sharings, learnings and reflections
  • Learning by doing in a group setting or individual processes.


Youth Exchange will happen in Laugarvatn HI hostel, which is in the village of 200 people, situated near the lake of Laugarvatn. It is surrounded by the hills, lava fields, fertile countryside, a forest and geothermal pool. You will stay in rooms of 4-5 persons, sharing with others toilets and showers.

During your stay you will be asked to support with household duties.

When to Get There

Arrival Day: 19 May 2022

Programme: 20-27 May, in total 8 full days

Departure Day: 28 May 2022

Days allowed to stay in Iceland: This is a great time to explore Iceland, We will not have a lot of free time during the programme, thus if you want to explore country, please arrange extra days. You are allowed to come max 6 days before the YE or leave after max 6 days after the YE, but the total amount of the days that are not part of the programme is max 6 days. If you decide to stay more than 6 days longer than the official programme, you will have to cover the traveling expenses yourself. The funding is designated only for the programme, thus different dates of arrival / departure shoul be of the same price (or less) as on the programme days, otherwise you have to cover the difference in price. During these extra days, you have to find your own accommodation and no other expenses are covered (we will cover just flights on different days).

Practicals – What to Bring!

  • In Iceland rains a lot, thus please bring sturdy comfortable waterproof footwear for hiking (walking boots), waterproof jacket, waterproof trousers, hat, clothes to layer, to keep warm (cotton/wool)
  • Water bottle
  • A large backpack for hiking
  • Bring Passport or ID card
  • Medicines
  • Any “stuff” for intercultural evenings
  • Insurance – this is critical! Please bring European Health Card and Insure in other ways, because we do not provide and are not liable for any incidents;
  • Prepare for currency exchange losses! Get Revolut card – this will save you tons on money conversions from local currencies to GBP and back
  • Bring best photo camera, video recorder you have, and of course lots of memory storage and UK electricity adapter!


In May temperature in N Ireland ranges from 10 to 14 degrees, daylight lasts about 16 hours and of course of course of course (not so) beautiful rain is a constant friend and a mandatory discussion subject in all conversations.

Check the weather forecast here.

Medicine, Allergies and Diet

If you have illness, physical limitations and/or use medicine we need to know about, please inform us. If you are vegetarian or have special diet, let us know, indicating what you can and cannot eat, so that we can arrange the suitable food.

How to Apply?

Fill this application form:

In order to apply for Empathic Step project, you must be over 18-30 years old (except for leaders, who can be of any age 18+) and a citizen of one of the partner countries. Contact the partner organisation from the list below if you need any support. United Kingdom
Iceland Pearl Iceland
SOS Europa Italy
Inovatyvi Karta Lithuania
Solidarity Mission Greece
LaVibria Intercultural Spain
Diyarbakir Cevre ve Kalkinma Dernegi Turkey

Inspiration from Empathic Step #1

Read a story of the Phase #1 in Isle of Wight.

Video created by participants of Empathic Step #1:

Inspiration from Empathic Step #2

Read a story of the Phase #2: Running in Northern Ireland

Video created by participants of Empathic Step #2:


For information about practical matters, accommodation or how to get to the place, please contact at