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Youth Exchanges

Objectives

Youth Exchanges allow one or more groups of young people to be hosted by a group from another country in order to participate together in a joint programme of activities. These projects involve the active participation of young people and are designed to allow them to discover and become aware of different social and cultural realities, to learn from each other, to develop the entrepreneurial spirit and reinforce their feeling of being European citizens.

Youth Exchanges enable young people to go abroad, to meet peers from different countries with different social and cultural backgrounds and to learn from each other through an active participation in joint activities of common interest. Youth Exchanges allow young people to experience Europe and so to feel more European citizens.

What is a Youth Exchange?

A Youth Exchange is a project which brings together groups of young people from two or more countries, providing them with an opportunity to discuss and confront various themes, whilst learning about each other’s countries and cultures. A Youth Exchange is based on a trans-national partnership between two or more promoters from different countries. According to the number of countries involved, a Youth Exchange can be bilateral, trilateral or multilateral. A Bilateral Youth Exchange is justified especially when the promoters are at their first European project, or when the participants are small-scale or local groups without experience at European level.

A Youth Exchange can be itinerant, implying the movement of all participants at the same time, throughout one or more countries participating in the Exchange.

A Youth Exchange project has three phases:

  • planning and preparation
  • implementation of the Activity
  • evaluation (including reflection on a possible follow-up).

Non-formal learning principles and practice are reflected throughout the project.

For detailed information about the criteria of a Youth Exchange, take a look at the Youth in Action Programme Guide.

What else should you know about a Youth Exchange?

What's a group leader?

A group leader is an adult who accompanies the young people participating in a Youth Exchange in order to ensure their effective learning, protection and safety.

Multi-Measure projects - Action 1

Youth Exchanges can be part of a Multi-Measure project under Action 1. For further information, please consult section 'Multi-Measure projects' of this Action.

Youthpass

Every person who has taken part in a Youth in Action project under this Action is entitled to receive a Youthpass Certificate, which describes and validates the non-formal and informal learning experience acquired during the project (learning outcomes). Furthermore, Youthpass is to be considered as a process of becoming aware, reflecting on and documenting the learning within the different phases of the project. For more information on Youthpass, please consult Part A of this Guide as well as the Youthpass guide and further relevant material presented at www.youthpass.eu.

Example of a Youth Exchange

A multilateral Youth Exchange titled "Slainte agus An Oige" took place in Omagh, Northern Ireland, and involved 40 young people from Ireland, Lithuania, Poland and United Kingdom. The exchange aimed at providing young people with a framework for a healthy lifestyle by focusing on the benefits of participating in outdoor activities. The programme was a combination of practical activities where young people worked in teams trying out different sports, complemented with a number of workshops centred on the debate around the advantages of sport on the body. The project also allowed for each country group of participants to make a presentation on their countries culture and history. The emphasis of the programme was to build self esteem, acceptance of other people, open their minds, learn about other cultures and value different countries.

More information about Youth Exchanges can be obtained from the official Youth in Action Programme Guide

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