Check out our collection of top tips for developing an international youth exchange!
This list isn’t exhaustive, but we hope it will help new organisations enter the world of youth exchanges for the first time, and experienced organisations to pick up suggestions for the future!
Before the exchange
- Make sure you are eligible before you apply
- Make sure the project is youth-led, and addresses your young people’s needs
- Find a partner and choose them well
- Set up a checklist of items to be considered early on: setting up task groups; planning and scheduling; finance; research into the other country; games and activities; logistical matters; social activities; partner communication; meals and catering; travel; accommodation; risk and child protection; public relations (with local authorities,
local media); project work; programme of activities and monitoring; evaluation and reporting. Once you have a checklist, you can assign roles, responsibilities and deadlines so nothing gets missed out!
- Organise an Advanced Planning Visit (APV)
- Have a written, signed and agreed upon memorandum of understanding with your partners
- Have a plan for when things go wrong
- Get to know each other before the exchange!
- Keep in mind that the preparatory phase often decides the success or failure of a project!
Let’s think global rather than just so local and let’s bring people on the journey with us. That’s what I would encourage
Viv Sadd, Mahon Project
During the exchange
- Organise a well-balanced programme of work, rest and play
- Exchange views, ideas, perspectives, attitudes: learn to work
together and to appreciate the differences between you!
- Use workshops, exercises, debates, role-plays, simulations and outdoor activities
- Evaluate the exchange both during and after the activity
- Evaluation should take place with the young people, as national groups, as a whole group, and finally between the project leaders
- Allocate time to review the exchange both with participants and between leaders each day, and have a final evaluation meeting at the end of the exchange programme. Note that you will need to submit
a ‘final report’ to Léargas detailing what happened on the exchange and what you feel you achieved, and you will need to reflect this evidence in it
Our first Youth Exchange was a huge success and had a positive impact on the young people involved and gave them the taste and confidence for more.
Joe Curtin, Youth Work Ireland, Cork
After the exchange
- Identify the impact of the exchange and share the results
- Reflect on the learning
- Consider using Youthpass to help you and your young people to reflect on their experiences, knowledge gained, and the impact the project has had on their competencies and capabilities
- There are many other ways to do this reflection, including blog posts, videos, exhibitions, social media, local press and newsletters
- Don’t forget to share in person as well, by informing partner groups and other internal staff about the experience, and presenting about the experience at events
- It is important to consider as a group the amount of time, energy,
enthusiasm and resources involved in taking on an exchange
- If you are a small group or organisation, make your plans accordingly: a simple plan that works for you is all we want to see
- Don’t forget that you have a number of important relationships to manage with stakeholders
- Please be aware that as a beneficiary of Erasmus+ funding, it is essential that you carefully consider the requirements of Child Protection and appropriate risk assessment in the implementation of your projects. This is particularly the case if you are working with young people under 18 and/or vulnerable adults. Please refer
to Tusla documents for further guidance. We also have guidelines for good practice regarding young people’s safety on an exchange.