If you ask yourself what benefits the membership in the European Union offers to you as a student or young person, this article is just for you. More and more individuals and organisations are taking full advantage of benefits of EU membership, notably through Erasmus+ program.
On the home page of Erasmus+ you can choose if you want to look into the offer as an individual or an organization. Erasmus+ is the program not only for the financing of the student programs and activities. It provides its resources also for the teachers, trainers or young people in general.
There are several forms of the program. The most famous ones in Slovakia are Erasmus+ Comenius, Erasmus+ Erasmus, Erasmus+ Erasmus Mundus or Erasmus+ Youth in Action. They involve the forms of formal and non-formal education at the high school or university level. Thus really anyone can actively participate in the program, expand their horizons, visit many European countries and meet new people. Each student is certainly familiar with the possibilities of studying abroad for one or two semesters. Spending some time at the foreign university brings among other things also very good content to your CV.
The program is financing not only formal, but also non-formal forms of education. Many non-profit organizations take care about creating the diversity of these forms. We are really glad, that Slovakia also produces many of the projects of different topics, financed by the European Union. The main goal of these projects and youth exchanges is to raise awareness about certain issues, the creation of an open society by including multiple nationalities, support of tolerance and elimination of prejudice, an overview what is happening in the world. Among others you can participate in the projects about the ecology and protection of the environment, multiculturalism, integration of minorities, sport and healthy lifestyle, etc. There is really huge number of the topics and the implementation of the projects is often associated with the interesting European destinations. There are not only short-term projects and exchanges, but there is still possibility of long-term volunteering, through European Voluntary Service (EVS), which can possibly last up to 12 months.
If you have an idea, but you are missing the finance, you have the possibility to apply for a grant of the European Union. Here are the steps:
- You need to register on Participant Portal to obtain the participant identification code (PIC) – the organizations have to prove their legal status and financial capacity.
- It is necessary to check whether the organization meets the specific criteria of the program in a particular area – eligibility criteria, exclusion, selection, financial and functional capacity and the criteria for the evaluation of the offers.
- Check the financial conditions – types of grants, the principles related to the providing and use of grants.
- Fill in and submit the application – in electronic or paper form.
All steps are characterized in detail in the document Erasmus+ Programme Guide.
In practical terms, each project like this is a great experience which is hard to forget. Apart from the benefits already mentioned above, the participants have possibility to improve their language and communication skills, gain new perspectives about the world, create new friendships that last for many years. Due to the fact that the projects are often implemented in small towns, the participants have unique possibility to get to know the real country, not like a tourist but like a traveler. They gain better insight into real life in the country and that experience is invaluable.
If we motivated you with this article, but you do not know, where to look for these opportunities, we add links of some Slovak non-profit organizations and portals offering a wide range of exchanges, projects and opportunities:
SYTEV – Slovak Youth for Traveling, Education and Volunteering
ADEL – Association for Development, Education and Labour
Youthfully Yours SR
SPACE – Spolok pre aktivitu, cestovanie a edukáciu
Facebook group Youth Projects SLOVAKIA
All information about Erasmus+ program: https://ec.europa.eu/programmes/erasmus-plus/node_en
Information about EVS: https://ec.europa.eu/programmes/erasmus-plus/opportunities-for-individuals/young-people/european-voluntary-service_en
Erasmus+ Programme Guide: http://ec.europa.eu/programmes/erasmus-plus/sites/erasmusplus/files/files/resources/erasmus-plus-programme-guide_en.pdf