Erasmus + … A different way to travel!

Where are the places on your travel list?

What if you could see them for free, meet people from all over the world and learn a little at the same time?

Run by Erasmus+; there is more than just the chance to travel, make friends and learn (or share!). The trips and the experiences that you can have can be completely life changing and defining. It might be stepping out of a comfort zone, doing something you never dreamed you could or even just finding a new perspective and view on life. These Erasmus+ projects are about more just travelling in distance, they are about travelling to a brand-new experience and maybe even a state of mind.

There are hundreds of these opportunities happening across the world, just waiting for you to apply. This is where we come in, The Bauhaus Café CIC. We are an accredited organisation with the connections to send volunteers to these projects and adventures! The placements are fully funded; which means your travel, food and accommodation are covered. As an organisation we are very excited to be able to share these amazing opportunities with amazing people like you. Even better, for that you will earn a Youth Pass. A Youth Pass is a EU qualification recognised by employers and Universities.

A little more about Erasmus+. Find more at their website https://ec.europa.eu/:

“Erasmus+ is the EU’s programme to support education, training, youth and sport in Europe. Its budget of €14.7 billion will provide opportunities for over 4 million Europeans to study, train, gain experience, and volunteer abroad.”

Tempted? Go on, you know you want to. Here are just two projects:

  • Sustainable Organization for Sustainable Community. Visit Latinovac, Croatia between 1st May – 31st October 2018. This is a long term EVS project covering areas such as permaculture theory and work, the planning and organisation of international projects and much more. Find more information and apply here.
  • Social Hackers Academy. Visit Athens, Greece for the project running between 1st September 2018 – 31st August 2019. Become part of the Social Hackers Academy and help empower refugees and vulnerable groups through learning web coding. Find more information here.

There are many more and you can find out about them HERE.

If you are on a gap year, or would like to take some time out to volunteer abroad for 2 months to 12 months, and learn new skills, get to know other cultures, visit places you’d never imagined you can go to, then you need to talk to us.  This is not a holiday though but a learning experience and you must be fully committed to working with the host organisation and contribute to their daily work.  All your expenses will be paid, and you will get some pocket money too.

Dave Horn went to Cyprus on a Youth Exchange with Bauhaus Cafe CIC.  The trip changed his life in ways he can’t describe. He will be volunteering again soon and he is currently looking for opportunities.   Meanwhile, he’s busy writing poetry, organising and running open mic nights and inspiring others to write.  You can read his blog HERE.

The Team at Bauhaus Cafe CIC.

 

 

 

 

Cyprus here we are

Georgina and I were in Larnaca for ten days taking part in a Youth Exchange project with @stressballCY #improveyourself, and we couldn’t contain our excitement. Cyprus was beautiful and we enjoyed warm weather. Our accommodation was on the sea front, we were really lucky. The Flamingo Hotel and Resort was a great place to be spending time learning and enjoying Larnaca.

The project idea was to share cultural skills, knowledge and attitudes in order to have a rich common experience.  A number of volunteers from the UK and other European countries were there with us.  We were keen to share our experiences and knowledge and learn from other participants what makes a valuable volunteering journey. We met participants from Roumania, Spain, Macedonia, Estonia, Georgia and Cyprus. The group’s youngest was 16 years old.

We shared our days together participating in structured exercises that promoted reflection, creation and sharing of ideas and knowledge which helped with development and growth. Evenings were set aside for outings and enjoyment. The town of Larnaca had many bars and restaurants to enjoy a night out. Frozen yoghurt seemed to be pretty popular, it would be interesting to find out why?

As luck would have it, we were invited to meet the President of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades, at the Presidential Palace where he took time to speak to representatives from a number of NGOs in Cyprus.  We were then treated to a presidential buffet and had the opportunity to migle and speak to very interesting NGO representatives.  We had the pleasure of seeing some very interesting works of art at the Palace too.

We took part in exercises for first days to learn more about each other and our cultures.  The project aimed to address youth employment and mobility by teaching communication, entrepreneurship, life and basic skills, digital and social competence, communication skills and cultural skills to motivate young people and help them become more employable. Our research showed that only one other organisation that we could locate in Kent participates in Youth Exchange projects, and Georgina and I aim to change this. Although the future of funding for the UK after Brexit is uncertain, we are keen on developing and participating in as many Youth Exchange projects as we can, and encourage Kentish youth to take part. We’re particularly keen on finding out how NGO’s abroad tackle youth unemployment. Youth unemployment in Cyprus is among the highest in Europe along with Spain, France, Italy and Turkey.

We were amazed at the amount of creativity that we saw and learnt a lot about how youth in different countries perceive and express themselves in everyday life, what their dreams and aspirations are, and how they go about learning skills. We hope to be able to do a comparative study of Youth Exchange take up between the UK and other countries in Europe (showing how participants experience the exchange, what they feel they have gained and how it helps them with education and careers) and create a number of  creative Youth Exchange projects, predominantly using music, arts and creativity,  inviting youth from around Europe to visit and learn in Kent. After all Kent has so much to offer in that respect, and is only an hour away from London, which could be very appealing to creative young people from abroad.

It’s been really wonderful to hear different languages and experience other cultures, learn new words, find out about some truly extraordinary careers and work that people around the word do (I met a young lady who is at university studying for a Masters in crypto currency law/regulation, how interesting).

We would like to thanks Yiannis Kanaris of Stressball CY for hosting the project and making our trip a very enjoyable and educational one and we hope to participate in future projects in Cyprus.

We left buzzing with ideas of projects we would like to deliver here in the UK and abroad and we are now working on a number of them.  If you’re interested in helping, or in traveling and learning new skills, please contact us to find out how HERE.

More about our projects and plans later.  For now, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and ask you to spare a thought for those who will be out in the cold or alone this time of year.  Love and blessings. Betsy and Georgina.