Interested in meeting people from other countries and experiencing another culture? In the mood for a two-week youth exchange or one year of volunteering abroad? The opportunity is here, the choice is yours.
What it is?
Within the European Union there is a programme called Youth in Action. This programme has been working since 2007 and it is available for young people between 15-28 (in some cases 13-30), with the aim to promote active citizenship, mobility and tolerance and to create intercultural understanding and exchange.
The Youth in Action programme consists of five different “actions”, available for young people to partake in. The most common actions are the following:
- Youth Exchanges
These are shorter projects usually taking place during the summer. Go to another country, meet new international people and work with something you are interested in during 1-3 weeks. (For more information on youth exchanges, click here [link])
- European Voluntary Service (EVS)
Go for a long-term, maximum 12 months, stay in another country, and work in a non-profit organization. (For more information on EVS, click here [link])
- Training and Networking activities
It includes training courses, seminars, meetings and job shadowing that provide support for youth workers and youth organizations active in the field of non-formal learning.
Who can participate?
One of the best things with the Youth in Action programme is that anyone can participate. If you are a young person above thirteen years of age, the programme is open for you. You do not have to have any specific education or diplomas – the programme is available for a non-educated youngster as well as a university student on top of his class. Proper measures to guarantee the safety of participants are required by every project organiser. Moreover, the Youth in Action programme is almost entirely free: the only expense you have to pay as a participant is, depending on the programme, between 10-30% of your possible travel costs.
What are the aims of the programme?
The Youth in Action programme aims at inspiring active citizenship, solidarity and tolerance among young people and to involve them in shaping the future of their societies. The programme promotes mobility within and beyond the EU’s borders, non-formal learning and intercultural dialogue, and it encourages the inclusion of all young people, regardless of their educational, social and cultural background.
The general aims of the programme are the following:
- Promote young people’s active citizenship in general and their European citizenship in particular
- Develop solidarity and promote tolerance among young people, in particular in order to foster social cohesion in the European Union
- Foster mutual understanding between young people in different countries
- Contribute to developing the quality of support systems for youth activities and the capabilities of civil society organisations in the youth field
- Promote European cooperation in the youth field
- Promote non-formal and informal learning of young people.
For more information:
The Greek National Agency in charge of coordinating the programme in Greece: