Tuesday, February 20, 2018
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Youth Exchange


How to find a partner group?

To get started you need one or more groups to have exchange with. There are possibilities to do the exchange with the 15 EU-countries, the EFTA-countries and the pre-accession countries, totally 31 countries. Maybe you already have contacts with groups of young people in Europe through an organization or the municipality. If you don't have international contacts can we help you find suitable exchange partners.

Priority is given to projects with more than two countries and to projects open for youngsters with special needs.


What to think about?

When you plan an exchange it's useful to do it the methodical way. What do you want to do? What should the exchange be about? How can you reach the goals? How can you and your group cooperate with different methods to reach the goals set? Mix the different activities to have a better balance between activities like discussions, group work, sports, practices and spare time. Consider different backgrounds in Europe. What brings you together and what separates you?

When you together with the other group creates the detailed program for the exchange it's important to agree about the theme and methods to use. As example can be practical/project-based work or to use drama. Other creative methods are sports, singing and photo-shooting.

Start already to think about the next step of your project. Where should the group meet next time? How can you use what you learned so far in the exchange? How can you engage the local community into your project?


Advance Planning Visit

Before Advance Planning Visit


  • Choose one working language
  • Communicate by mail, fax etc (check best method)
  • Formulate and circulate a provisional agenda for the APV
  • Check visa requirements
  • Ensure the APV participants will be the leaders who will accompany the group on the project


During the Advance Planning Visit

Start of the meeting


  • Expectations of the project and each other
  • Get to know each other
  • Formal procedure - take it seriously
  • Make decision how you should make decisions
  • Agree who will take minutes
  • Concise record of meeting and agreements reached, with deadlines sent to each participant after the meeting
  • Set the agenda for the meeting


Issues to discuss


  • Rules for youth workers (before the exchange they should prepare material) Legal aspects, what age can you ...?
  • Health and safety issues: alcohol, drugs, sex, gender issues, cultural considerations, off-site rules and regulations; safety issues in the program; how to tackle problems; check insurance; contract agreed by young people. Ensure you all agree!
  • How to handle conflict within the group
  • Access to information - checking the level of information. Plan how to make it transparent.
  • Expectations, both personal expectations of the leaders but also organizations own and partners expectations
  • Aims and objectives
  • Target Group, participant, sex, background, age, disadvantage, age balance
  • Planning time scale
  • Action Plan with deadlines
  • Evaluation and report
  • What shall we evaluate? For who? How shall we do it? What do we need to do it? Who is responsible? Together with whom? When should it be ready?
  • Personalities amongst the leaders, roles
  • Participation and preparation of participants
  • Responsibilities, delegate the work, who does what (use the SWOT analysis?)
  • Open discussion about the cultural habits of the visiting country
  • Security
  • Legal requirements
  • Program, schedule details
  • Working methods
  • Translations – do you need them?
  • Spare time activities
  • Group leader, choose contact person (available) from each organization
  • Prepare a financial agreement all partners have to sign
  • Formal contract
  • Financial: Reimbursement
  • Documentation



Practical things to discuss


  • To get all information about hospitality arrangements, local medical facilities
  • Accommodation
  • Special Needs
  • Food
  • Money
  • Traveling arrangement to the country
  • Transport in the country
  • Resources
  • Surroundings and possibilities for excursions
  • Technical utilities
  • Information on country
  • Standard of living
  • Is everything organized -?
  • Meetings and deadlines and responsibility
  • E-mail / fax / telephone facilities for during the project




  • Fulfill all agreements reached


Some advice on your way


  • Keep in contact, send regular reports
  • Keep to deadlines
  • Respect the ability of the organization
  • Ask for help if required!
  • Be Tolerant
  • Work together – feel and own the project


Host family stays:


  • Ensure you know the family situation
  • Be prepared to move young people if necessary
  • Prepare young people for the experience, ensure they are able to tell group leaders if there are problems
  • Prepare families to be hosts
  • Recommend two young people to one family


Could be the best experience ever;

Could be a disaster – Be prepared and involve young people!


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