If you’ve browsed #ErasmusPlus on social media this summer you might have seen groups of young people from Ireland visiting places from Slovenia and Malta to Lithuania and Finland, exploring different themes with young people from those countries. You might be thinking an international visit like this would be a great opportunity for you and your youth group. Or maybe your group already know they’d love to do an Erasmus+ KA1 Youth Exchange, and want to find out where to start. Well here are some pointers on how to make it happen!
Check out some current and recent Youth Exchanges for an idea of what's happening:
Chat with the young people in your group and find out what they would like to do or learn:
On a recent Youth Exchange, The Key, young people and youth workers from Limerick Youth Service visited Malta to explore creativity and work.
Now that you know what the group want to work on and the methods they love to use, the next step is to find a partner organisation to carry out the project with. There are a couple of ways to do this:
When you find a potential partner, take some time to get to know each other and build a strong relationship. Get in contact by email, phone or Skype and chat about your group’s challenges and talents, your values as a youth worker and the values of your organisation. Discuss what motivates you and how you like to work. The better your relationship with your partner, the easier it will be to resolve any challenges and plan a great exchange!
If you have that excited feeling and believe you have found your perfect match, the next step is to get the facts about Youth Exchanges: when to apply, how long the project lasts, and the application process!
And finally - good luck!! It is a life-changing experience and worth all the effort!
Would you like to share your Youth Exchange experience? We welcome contributions to 'Insights' at firstname.lastname@example.org! An earlier version of this blog appeared on NYCI Youth Arts. Images by Emmanuel T, Involve Navan and Youth Work Ireland Cork, used with their permission.