EURES is the European platform for bringing employers and workers together who want to find a job in a European country other than their own, thanks to the principle of the free movement of workers within the EU. EURES facilitates this process by advertising job offers, along with the possibility to apply for them despite language barriers, cultural differences, or the bureaucratic challenges that come with applying for a job in a different country. In addition to job searches and candidate searches, EURES’ many tools include assistance with your CV, and advice on living and working in another country.
Website: → www.ec.europa.eu/eures/public/en
Erasmus for young entrepreneurs
Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs is a win-win exchange for those of you looking to start your own business, or expand an existing one! The program facilitates exchanges of experience, learning, and networking for new EU entrepreneurs by allowing them to work with an experienced entrepreneur in another EU country. This exchange reinforces the relationship between countries, and also allows both participants to discover new European markets or business partners, and different ways of doing business.
All participants must be 18 years or older. New entrepreneurs must be a permanent resident in a participating country, have a concrete business plan in place, and be committed to participating in an exchange that will both benefit them, and contribute to the growth and development on their host’s business. Host entrepreneurs must also be a resident of a participating country, must be the owner or manager of a small or medium enterprise for more than three years, and must be committed to mentoring the new entrepreneur. You can find additional information and requirements by following the links below.
If you are 18 years old or will be soon, and ready to step out of your comfort zone, DiscoverEU is for you! DiscoverEU is an initiative of the European Union that gives you the opportunity to discover Europe through learning experiences. Travelling predominantly by rail (there are exceptions for those living on islands or in remote areas), you will discover Europe’s stunning landscapes and its variety of cities and towns. You will experience new cultures, learn about Europe’s vast history, and form connections all over Europe. You will also gain invaluable personal skills, including confidence, independence, and the ability to open your mind to new views.
Since the beginning of the program in 2018, more than 200,000 young people have been awarded the precious travel pass and discovered Europe. If you don’t want to go alone, you can form a team with your friends and discover Europe together. In addition to the age requirement, you must be a resident of an EU country, or of Iceland, Liechtenstein, North Macedonia, Norway, Serbia, or Turkey.
Good to know: Selected participants will receive a DiscoverEU European Youth Card that will allow them to have discounts on cultural visits, learning activities, sports, local transportation, accommodation, food, etc.
How to apply: each year, there are two application rounds, including a quiz. The selection depends on the budget, the answers to the different questions, and the number of places available for each country.
Website: → www.europa.eu/youth/discovereu_en
Volunteering in humanitarian aid
Since 2022, the European Solidarity Corps has promoted cross-border volunteering activities in support of humanitarian aid operations in third countries. As a participant, you will become an actively engaged citizen who shows solidarity to those in countries outside the EU facing humanitarian disasters, while learning new skills and exploring new cultures. The projects are varied and include disaster preparedness and post-disaster relief, promotion of gender equality, protection of women and children, protection of refugees and internally displaced persons, protection of undocumented migrants, mitigation of the effects of climate change, improvement of food security, and more.
Practical Information: You can volunteer as an individual or in teams, for short or long periods. The program is open to 18-30 (35 for Humanitarian aid volunteering) year old people who legally reside legally in a EU Member State or in a third country associated to the Programme (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Turkey and Republic of North Macedonia) and who have registered in the European Solidarity Corps Portal.Volunteers receive accommodation and travel expenses, insurance, support services such as ongoing learning and development, and a monthly allowance.
How to register: → register
Website: → https://youth.europa.eu/solidarity/young-people/volunteering-humanitarian-aid_en
Video: → see the video on Youtube
Erasmus+ youth exchanges
Youth exchanges allow groups of young people between the ages of 13 and 30 from different countries to meet, live together and work on shared projects for short periods. Group leaders in youth exchanges must be at least 18 years old.
Youth exchanges last between 5 and 21 days (excluding traveling time), and take place outside the school environment. On a youth exchange, you can expect to participate in activities such as workshops, exercises, debates, role-plays, outdoor activities and more.
Participants’ learning experiences are recognised through a Youthpass.
Youth exchanges are managed by youth organisations, informal groups of young people or other organisations.
The EU grant supports travel as well as practical and activity-related costs necessary for the exchange.
How to apply: To participate in a youth exchange, you cannot apply directly for a grant as an individual. Applications must be made by an organisation or a group of young people who in turn select who will participate in the exchange.
Good to know: There is no limit in terms of number of participations in youth exchange projects.
Erasmus+ supports the professional development of people working in vocational education and training (VET) through training periods abroad.
Training periods can be courses and training or job shadowing periods at a VET institution or another relevant organisation based in an Erasmus+ Programme country.
The most common example for young people in the field of VET is the participation in an internship abroad, in the field of training. Examples of such organisations include businesses, public bodies, social partners, research institutes and non-governmental organisations.
VET mobilities are a great occasion for learners to live a professional immersive experience abroad to develop both professional and social skills.
EU grants are paid to the coordinating organisation (your institution or a consortium coordinator) and are designed to cover your costs for travel and subsistence during your time abroad.
How to apply: You cannot apply for a grant as an individual. Applications must be made by VET institutions that then get a grant to cover the costs of the mobility.
Good to know: The participants in the VET projects are not only learners but can be also teachers.
Erasmus+ training courses
In support of the professional development of youth workers, transnational and international professional development activities are available. The goal of these activities is to development quality youth work at local, regional, national, European, and international levels. These professional development activities include training courses to support the development of competences (e.g. based on relevant existing competence models), to implement quality youth work practices or address and test innovative methods.
The Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values (CERV) program started in 2021 and will run until 2027. Civil society organisations active at local, regional, national and transnational level, as well as other stakeholders, can apply to receive CERV funding for initiatives aimed at citizens’ engagement, equality for all and the protection and promotion of rights and EU values. The goal of CERV is to develop open, rights-based, democratic, equal and inclusive societies based on the rule of law. That includes a vibrant and empowered civil society, encouraging people’s democratic, civil and social participation and cultivating the rich diversity of European society, based on our common values, history, and memory.
The four main pillars of CERV are:
- Equality, Rights and Gender Equality – promoting rights, non-discrimination, equality (including gender equality), and advancing gender and non-discrimination mainstreaming
- Citizens’ engagement and participation – promoting citizens engagement and participation in the democratic life of the Union, exchanges between citizens of different Member States, and raising awareness of the common European history
- Daphne – fight violence, including gender-based violence and violence against children
- Union values – protect and promote Union values
How to apply: You can apply here for the CERV program.
Good to know: Many countries also have a national contact point to help applicants and beneficiaries with questions and issues related to the CERV program. You can view the list of CERV Contact Points in the documents section of the website.
Website: → https://commission.europa.eu/about-european-commission/departments-and-executive-agencies/justice-and-consumers/justice-and-consumers-funding-tenders/funding-programmes/citizens-equality-rights-and-values-programme_en
Other programmes also exist in some European countries promoting volunteering, engagement and mobility of the young people. During our research, we collected some of them (non-exhaustive list).