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What is a Youth Exchange?

Nowadays, we have all heard of the Erasmus+ program in its best known facet: the university study abroad programs. However, Erasmus+ is a much broader program, and today we are going to introduce you to a less visible but at least as interesting facet: Youth Exchanges.

To cut to the chase, a Youth Exchange is a short-term project funded by the European Commission and the Erasmus+ program in which young people from different countries participate through partnerships. This type of exchange allows participants to travel in a group to a foreign country and to live together, exchange their cultures, knowledge and experiences around a specific theme.

In terms of subject matter, you can find as many topics as there are areas of interest for young people: from exchanges related to the arts, the environment, history, entrepreneurship, sports or all kinds of social issues (migration, human rights, xenophobia or integration of ethnic minorities, to name a few examples). There are as many themes as there are social aspects that associations seek to address from the perspective of non-formal education.

In short, it is a space of intercultural coexistence in which to learn, discover and open your mind to other realities, in a trip lasting between 5 and 21 days. Each association sends a national group to the exchange, which has its own group leader. In Valdeorras Vive we always send someone with previous experience in this type of mobilities.

Where can I travel with a Youth Exchange?

You can travel to any country of the European Union or countries associated to the Erasmus+ program. From Valdeorras Vive we send participants to places as diverse as Romania, Estonia, Armenia or Hungary, in addition to organizing exchanges in our region.

What is a Youth Exchange for?

- To discover new customs and cultural realities

- Learn new skills

- Improve transversal competences

- Practice languages in an immersive context

- Generate positive changes in local and international communities.

A Youth Exchange is NOT a camp, nor a tourist or vacation trip. It requires active participation for the entire duration of the project.

What expenses are covered?

As incredible as it may sound, all expenses are covered by the Erasmus+ program, including travel (plane tickets, train, bus...), accommodation, food and activities. The only prerequisite to attend is to pay the travel expenses in advance, which will be refunded at the end of the exchange, within a period that varies depending on the host association.

Where can I find exchanges and apply for a place?

On our website, through the Opportunities page, you can find the projects organized by Valdeorras Vive, as well as the exchanges in which we participate abroad. You can also find projects through Facebook, on the different pages about Erasmus+, as well as on the official website of Salto-Youth.

For any questions do not hesitate to contact us, and stay tuned to our Instagram and Facebook profiles, where we update our day to day and publish each new project!

Text: Lucas Docampo


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