Everybody wants to travel! I am sure that all of you thought of going somewhere, but the next second you started felling sad and miserable because you said to yourself “I don’t have the money!”.
A lot of people are thinking that in order to travel you need money, lots of money. This is not entirely true!
Of course that if you want to travel to an exotic and expensive place you’ll need money. But if you want to travel, have fun and learn new things you can do this for free.
No, I’m not kidding.
I was also very surprised when I heard about this. In fact I was furious that I heard about it so late, when I was 22 years old.
There is a thing called European Commission and they have a program called “Erasmus+”. Some of you might heard about “Erasmus”(it’s a scholarship; you go and study abroad for one semester or even one year), but this is not the same, just the name is misleading.
This Erasmus+ thingy is a great program. They are giving millions of euros to NGOs to organize various exchanges in which people from other countries could go and participate.
The exchanges are 10 to 20 days long and gather young people from different countries to work on something(depending on the exchange). It’s a great informal learning opportunity. Besides the learning you get to know a lot of different cultures and get to see another country!
The program is divided in sections like “Erasmus” – the scholarship, “Youth Exchange”, “Training courses”, “EVS” and probably even others that I missed.
So let me tell you how this works and some tips.
If you want to participate to one of these programs there are a few ways you can do that. One is that you go on this website and make an account. After that you have to look for the exchange you want to participate, apply and wait for the answer. Pretty simple, right?
Another one is to look for your national agency. A simple “youth in action” or “Erasmus+”, followed by your country’s name, google search will give you the link. After you’ve found your national agency, you email them and ask for details about exchanges, trainings, etc.
The last one that I know, and probably the fastest one is to look for facebook groups. There are a lot of these groups where organizations post their exchanges, trainings, etc. and also calls for participants. Here you get all the details that you need to know and you can get in touch with the organizers faster.
I have to tell you that there are some conditions that apply: for Youth Exchanges you have to be 26 or younger, but if you’re the group leader you can be older. For training courses there’s no age limit and for EVS you have to be 30 or under.
Another program like this is EVS(European Volunteering Service) which is a long-term volunteering project. Basically you go in another country in an NGO where you’ll volunteer anytime from 1 to 12 months. Be advised that this is a one-time chance so I would suggest you to go for as long as possible!
For the EVS the procedure of applying might involve a motivation letter, skype interview but it’s worth it. I am doing this in Slovenia since March and it’s fantastic!!!
For the exchanges and trainings the travel costs are reimbursed, food and accommodation are covered, so you will basically travel for free. And besides this you will do some amazing stuff during those exchanges!
For EVS you’ll even receive some pocket money, because you’ll stay there for a longer time.
So, see? You can travel for free, if you want to!
Let me know in your comments where would you like to go!