Erasmus Malta: Youth Exchange Opportunities for Young People

Recap of the European Youth Week workshop

Have you ever wanted to go abroad with other young people and also make a difference while exploring new cultures? If you missed our event on the 14th of April 2024, which focused on European Youth Week, upcoming EU elections and introducing Erasmus+ opportunities for young people, don’t worry! This post will provide you with all the necessary tools and insights to catch up and prepare for our upcoming sessions.

Our recent workshop was a fantastic success, filled with enthusiasm and creative ideas from young people eager to improve their communities and learning experiences.

The participants had a chance to learn how to come up with youth exchange ideas, learned about Erasmus+ and had an opportunity to design impactful youth exchanges. They worked in teams and came up with 16 youth exchange ideas! We are happy to announce that some of the participants managed to complete their idea and together we applied for EU funding for this project! This event was the start of their Erasmus+ journey and we will keep monitoring and sharing their progress.

What are Youth Exchanges?

A youth exchange is more than just a holiday abroad; it is an exciting opportunity under the Erasmus+ program where young people from different (minimum of 2) countries come together to learn from each other through shared experiences and activities. These exchanges are designed to help you become more active in your own community, deepen your connection with European values, and gain skills for your future! Forget the school-style type of learning—these activities are all about having fun!

Why Participate in a Youth Exchange?

Participating in a youth exchange allows you to:

  • Go abroad and experience different cultures
  • Become more aware of your European identity
  • Develop new skills and attitudes that are important for your personal and professional growth.
  • Understand and promote European values, helping break down stereotypes and prejudices.
  • Become more aware of social issues, encouraging you to get involved and make a difference in your community.

Who can participate in a youth exchange?

Here are some important numbers to keep in mind.

Youth exchanges are designed for young people aged 13-30. Youth workers who are involved in facilitating or organising these exchanges must be 18 or older.

Each participating country needs to send a minimum of 4 participants plus 1 group leader.

An exchange can have a minimum of 16 and a maximum of 60 participants in total, providing a diverse and dynamic environment for cultural and educational exchange.

Participants can come from any of the EU countries or third countries that are associated with the Erasmus+ program. The minimum amount of countries is 2. There is no maximum number of countries that can participate. Eligible countries: Belgium, Bulgaria, Czechia, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Croatia, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Hungary, Malta, Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Finland, Sweden, North Macedonia, Serbia, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Türkiye, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine, Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine, Syria, Tunisia.

Benefits of participating in a youth exchange

Participating in a youth exchange comes with numerous benefits that will improve your personal and social skills while providing memorable experiences. Here are some of the advantages:

Typically, all your travel costs including accommodation, food, and activities are covered. This makes it accessible for everyone, regardless of financial background.

You’ll have the chance to meet people from different countries, allowing you to learn about diverse cultures and expand your perspective.

Participating in a youth exchange challenges you to step out of your comfort zone and make decisions on your own. These are crucial skills for personal and professional growth.

Learn new skills that boost your confidence. These exchanges are designed to help you develop new skills that are valuable both personally and professionally.

Your new friendships can last a lifetime, providing personal connections across the globe and often opportunities for future collaborations.

By taking part, you become more aware of issues around you. This experience empowers you to take an active role in civic life.

Choosing a Topic for Your Youth Exchange

When considering a topic for your youth exchange, pick something you are passionate about and that has significance for your community. Your enthusiasm for a meaningful cause can inspire others to get involved, generate innovative ideas, and propel your project toward success. Remember, you don’t want to be stuck in an exchange that doesn’t interest you!

Your topic must align with one of Erasmus+ priorities to ensure it has a meaningful impact:

  • Inclusion and Diversity: Ensure your project is accessible and welcoming to participants from all backgrounds, particularly those who typically have fewer opportunities.
  • Environmental Sustainability: Design activities that promote respect for the environment.
  • Digital Transformation: Incorporate digital tools to enhance interactivity and accessibility, making learning engaging for everyone.
  • Participation and Civic Engagement: Motivate all participants to be more active in their communities.

By focusing on these key areas, your youth exchange will not only be fun but also enriching and meaningful, leaving a lasting impact on all participants.

Not sure of your topic? Explore the EU Youth Goals to discover themes that resonate with you and can guide and inspire your project design, ensuring it aligns with broader European priorities.

If you’re looking for inspiration for your youth exchange topic, explore examples of past Erasmus projects by searching your keywords at this link. You’ll find a wealth of ideas that can help spark your creativity and shape your project’s direction.

How to Design a Youth Exchange

Designing a successful youth exchange involves thoughtful planning and a clear understanding of your goals and the needs of the participants.

We have prepared a useful template that can guide you through the planning process, which you can download from here and use freely. Don’t hesitate to revise your ideas multiple times; the process of refining your ideas through multiple drafts is essential for improvement and success.

Here’s a breakdown of the design process, using the templates provided:

Topics/Priorities: Choose a theme or priority that resonates with potential participants and aligns with EU objectives. This will help ensure your project is relevant and impactful.

Needs/Why?: Consider the specific needs that your project aims to address. Why is this important? Understanding this will guide the direction of your activities and goals.

Clearly outline what you aim to achieve with your youth exchange. Set specific goals.

Identify and include a diverse group of participants who can both benefit from and contribute to the exchange. Consider different backgrounds, skills, and interests to enrich the experience for everyone involved.

Plan engaging activities that align with your objectives. These could include discussions, workshops on the chosen topic, cultural activities to celebrate diversity, team-building exercises and others.

On Youth and Organisations: Discuss how the exchange will benefit the participants and their organisations, such as developing new skills like teamwork and problem-solving, or enhancing their cultural awareness. (We are aware that defining the impact on organisations can be challenging. If you find this section difficult, we encourage you to discuss it with your own organisation. They can provide insights and support to help articulate how the exchange will enhance organisational goals and capabilities.)

Outside the Organisation: Consider how the outcomes of your project might positively impact the wider community.

Choose partners who can add value to your project. Look for those who offer different perspectives, resources, and expertise. Strong partnerships can enhance the quality and reach of your exchange. You can search this great Otlas partner-finding tool.

Once you are satisfied with your project proposal, discuss it with your friends and listen to their feedback. They might come up with some improvements or questions you haven’t thought of.

If you would like to share your project idea with us, we can guide you and help you to improve it! As we mentioned during our event, our aim is to spread awareness about Erasmus opportunities among young people in general. If you are a member of a different organisation and would like to learn about youth exchanges, you are more than welcome to join our events! Our aim is to give you all the tools and knowledge to be able to participate in Erasmus projects, no matter who is applying for the project; if Projekta Malta or another organisation. The more young people are aware of their opportunities, the better the community will be! 

At our next event, we’ll share some of the project ideas developed in our last session and work together to refine them. We will also include energizers and ice breakers to help everyone get to know each other better! If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.

You are welcome to invite your friends or youth workers to our events, let’s get to know each other and create an Erasmus movement where we all work together! 

Erasmus Youth Exchange
Check out the event reel