Erasmus+ and ESC projects: explained
You’ve definitely heard of the word erasmus once in your life, usually from a friend who’s already been in it and has millions of stories to tell you about the parties they went to. But have you heard of erasmus+ and European Solidarity Corps?
It’s a pity that many many young people haven’t had the luck yet to come across those projects and really look into them. I mean there’s Discover EU, Youth Exchanges, opportunities for jobs and university degrees ,Training Courses , traineeships… I could go on forever seriously but I’ve got lunch waiting for me.
So I’ll skip to the good part. How?
I know the first thing that comes to your mind is money. “But how am I supposed to travel to a foreign country and live there for 2 months? I don’t have that much money!”. Thankfully, the concept of these projects is providing these experiences to people with less opportunities, and that is why most of the times you won’t have to spend a penny for the essentials. Travel costs, acommodation and food are paid by the program and depending on the project , travel insurance for your whole stay and pocket money is given to you.
I know it sounds too good to be true, which is exactly why you should keep on reading!
Ages: 13+.To participate in volunteering activities, you must be legally resident in the EU Member States or one of the following countries:
• North Macedonia and Turkey
• Liechtenstein, Iceland and Norway
• Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, Serbia
• Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine
• Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine, Syria, Tunisia
• Russian Federation
do i need to be part of an organisation?
Another thing: to participate in the projects analysed further down-not the ones we briefly refer to like traineeships- you need to apply through any organisation that collaborates with Erasmus+. (Don’t worry you don’t have to register to that organisation or anything)
do I get some sort of certificate for participating?
Yes, participants’ learning experiences are recognised through a Youthpass.
What is Erasmus+
Erasmus+ is the EU’s programme to support education, training, youth and sport in Europe. It has an estimated budget of €26.2 billion and supports priorities and activities set out in the European Education Area, Digital Education Action Plan and the European Skills Agenda. The programme also
- supports the European Pillar of Social Rights
- implements the EU Youth Strategy
- develops the European dimension in sport
Okay, so there are projects specifically for: students, staff (training), staff (in teaching), pupils, vocational education and training students, recent graduates. If you belong to these groups you could check out the official erasmus+ page for opportunities in traineeships, working, studying and lots more. But there are also programs that are for everyone. And those are…
For people between 13–30 years old, youth exchanges last from 5–21 days (travel time excluded) and consist of activities such as workshops, exercises, debates, role-plays, outdoor activities and more. There is also the role of a group leader for which you need to be over 18. Knowledge of English is not compulsory for participants, only for the group leader.
For people over 18 who can understand English, so as to understand the content presented. Just that. So simple right? Training courses also last from 5 to 21 days (travel time excluded) and consist of similar activities to youth exchanges with the difference being: training courses have a main theme that a coach/educator is going to teach the participants. That could be theatre, cinematography, team building, running NGO’s, gardening, lgbtqi+ awareness, generally whatever you can imagine!
What is the European Solidarity Corps
It is an EU initiative that offers young people opportunities to show solidarity and help resolve challenging situations across Europe through volunteering activities, traineeships or jobs as well as solidarity projects based on young people’s own initiative.
Long story short, we’re going to refer to the projects that are not for specific people like students, educators etc, like we did with Erasmus+.
So these ESC projects are mainly for working/volunteering abroad, whilst the knowledge/training part is still included (but not the main goal). In these, you also get traveling insurance covered for the whole project:)
For people between 18–30 years old (language knowledge depends on the project and the country it’s taking place in).If you’re interested in volunteering with a friend/friends you can join a group volunteering program altogether. These last from 2 days to 2 weeks! Group volunteering is usually about working in revitalising a place, building and repairing things or for example planting trees and clearing paths, as a big group of people -like the name states.Each program is different and special. The best part is that the times you can participate in these are unlimited.
(doing a contextual spelling error for the sake of adding a meme: how to understand gen-z is writing the article)
Now now, if you are interested in travelling alone and feeling that independence running through your veins, you can try individual volunteering projects. Unfortunately, these you can do only 1 time each and in the correct order (explained further down).
These last up until 59 days, the topic/type of work/volunteering you will do varies, there are loooots of choices, and it’s kind of like a short taste of ESC projects, not having to commit for many months, which is convenient for working/studying people or generally people who are not sure if they’d wanna take on an adventure and be away from home for 1 year.
1 YEAR? WHAT? Yeah, yeah welcome to long-term programs ladies and gents , and people who don’t define themselves as neither. These progams last from 2 months up to 1 year and are for the brave ones, as you get to dive in the topic you will be working on and really let it change your whole life and perspective. In the end,that’s the goal actually. So if you’re looking for a big change in your life, and an unforgettable experience, this is the way.
In what order is it best to hop on these projects?
As we said, you can do 1 each. What’s the trick tho? If you first do the long-term one, you won’t be able to do the short-term afterwards. BUUUUUUT if you first do the short-term one, you can still do the long-term one afterwards.
So to wrap it up, there are numerous opportunities for everyone through the Erasmus+ and ESC initiatives. I get that you might feel a bit overloaded with information right now, or anytime reading more about it, but seriously it so much worth it in the end. You learn amazing things, you can prove what you’ve done and add it to your CV, you can meet new people and cultures and challenge yourself. Oh and you can travel the world for free.
So if you have any questions and don’t feel like checking out the official EU site: European Youth Portal, you can always follow us on our platforms and ask us anything you want ! If you found our diagramms helpful and you’re more of a visual person you will love our highlight: FAQ on Instagram!