Projects where partner groups of young people from more than two countries come
together (trilateral and multilateral projects) are given high priority, since
the European added value in such exchanges is greater. The participation of
small and/or local associations without any European experience is encouraged.
Bilateral projects (between two countries) are intended primarily for those
partner groups which have not organized youth exchanges before, have a very
specific pedagogical approach, or involve young people with less opportunities.
Any youth exchange should have a minimum of 16 and a maximum of 60 participants
- group leader's not included. National groups must be balanced in terms of
numbers of participants.
The YOUTH program specially encourages the involvement of young people with
less opportunities (from a less-privileged cultural, geographical or socio-economic
background, or with disabilities). The participation of young people for whom it
will be the first European experience will be encouraged.
In exceptional cases participants who are under 15 or over 25 may be included,
if there are justified reasons and their number is strictly limited.
Each group should have one or more leaders (in accordance with national
legislation or requirements for this type of activity). The representatives of
the host and sending groups will be jointly responsible for carrying out and
monitoring the project properly and for ensuring the active involvement of all
The duration of the exchange activity should be between six and 21 days,
Non-formal learning experience
The project should contribute to the young people's education process and
increase their awareness of the European/international context in which they
The starting point should always be the interest expressed by the young
participants themselves. The exchange should have a thematic concept which the
groups wish to explore together and which is directly related to the everyday
experience of the participants. The chosen theme should, as far as possible, be
translated into the concrete daily activities of the exchange. Examples of
themes are music, films, local heritage, environment, information technology,
racism, xenophobia and drug abuse.
Program and working methods
In planning an exchange, it is essential for a clear and structured
daily activities to be established in detail. The daily program and working
methods should involve the participants as much as possible and allow the
learning process to evolve. The methods could include working in groups, field
visits, simulation or role-playing games, round-table discussions, practical
work, presentations, cultural or sports activities, etc. Most activities,
however, should be linked to the main theme of the exchange.
intercultural working methods not only provides the participants with an
opportunity to explore several issues, cultures and identities, but can also
ensure participation of all young people on an equal basis, regardless of their
language abilities or other skills. For more information on methods and training
courses, please contact your National Agency..
Intercultural dimension and impact at local level
Bringing together young people from different regions and countries can
stimulate their awareness of other cultures and introduce them to new
perspectives on familiar issues (history, perceptions of identities, etc.).
However, the impact of a youth exchange should not just be limited to the
participants in the activity, but should also bring the concept of "Europe" to
the local communities involved and promote more positive awareness of other
Preparation and follow-up
The preparation phase of an exchange is of crucial importance for the success of
the project. During this phase, the participants should meet to discuss the
objectives and theme of the planned exchange. Before submitting the application,
the partner groups should agree on a program of activities, practicalities and
common strategies to get to know each other. In some cases it is recommended
that applicants envisage an advance planning visit to the host country and
include it in the application. This visit should not take place until the
application is approved and would normally last two days (travel excluded).
Right from the beginning of the
project, the partners should think carefully about the follow-up to the
exchange. For example, will the exchange be reciprocal? May a new partner
be involved in the next project? After the exchange is completed, how can
discussion of the thematic concept continue and what could the next steps
The follow-up issue should be dealt with during the
evaluation sessions with participants before, during and after the
exchange. The groups of young people should also reflect on how to pass on
the experience gained to other groups as well as their local communities,
Action 5.1 activity 9 “Support for quality and innovation of the
Program Youth.” Project no: 5.1/R1/2003/06
Teams in cooperation with