Non-profit exchange organisations can support schools in increasing pupils mobility through Erasmus+, by applying for the EU funding, on behalf of a consortium of schools:
– Reaching out: offering support to small schools in rural areas, as well as schools in disadvantaged neighborhoods of cities to draft and manage a mobility project. Exchange organisations are structured in local chapters all over the territory of a country and can look out for schools needing help.
– Facilitating partnerships: enabling contacts with schools from different countries, for in-person and virtual exchanges among teachers and pupils. E-twinning is a tool which supports the creation of partnerships. Exchange organisations are part of international networks of trusted partners who have strong relations with schools, therefore can reach out to schools in any other country.
– Supporting schools in internationalisation: assisting the school in developing an internationalisation plan and valorising in a systematic way the mobility experiences of the students, both in-person or virtual, individual or group ones.
– Fostering Intercultural learning and the use of new pedagogical methods: introducing experiential learning methods typical of non-formal education, which help students and teachers reflect on intercultural encounters, and therefore foster intercultural competence.
– Ensuring quality: offering trainings to students before, during and after the exchange, supporting teachers in managing risks, preparing for and supporting cases of cultural shock , emotional counselling and other typical scenarios in long-term international pupil mobility.
– Making an impact in the local community: the exchange experience is meaningful when it provides an immersion in the local community, which is beneficial both for the student, and the community itself. This is possible thanks to the placement of students in volunteer host families. Exchange organisations are expert in recruiting and supporting host families, making the exchange a learning experience also for them.
– Promoting volunteering and active citizenship: being non-profit and mission-driven, exchange organisations offer the opportunity to engage in volunteering activities, both during and after the exchange. Thousands of volunteers are active in different capacities, united by the common mission of increasing intercultural understanding. Through a cooperation between schools and exchange organisations, pupils can be part of this growing community and engage in concrete experiences of lifelong learning and active citizenship.
This is in theory already possible within the current Erasmus+, under KA2 Strategic partnerships – School education, in projects with partners beyond schools!
Let’s make sure the current Erasmus+ and the future EU funding programme for pupils mobility facilitate and promote this opportunity of partnership between formal and non-formal education.