Preparation of participants
Success does not just happen. It is planned for. And it is the same with Erasmus+ mobility projects. Preparation of participants is one such key to success. In the application process your task is to convince evaluators that you will take care for your participants and not just leave things to go with the flow. Here are a few ideas for a systematic preparation that you can offer to your participants. Preparation covers several areas and is task-related, intercultural, linguistic, and risk-prevention.
Task-related preparation refers to activities of mobilites. Ask your course provider to send you in advance any material related to the course content and any guidelines the participants need to do in order to follow the course appropriately. Course providers might send you some questionnaires in advance, articles about the topic, have an interview with participants. On your side prepare one or several meetings with the participants in which you present all the activities they will have to do in the project, i.e. Erasmus+ rules, documentation, evaluation, certification etc.
Intercultural preparation. Since the in-service trainings are intercultural, the course provider will most likely ask the participants to prepare a presentation about their country, organisation and their work. Empower your participant to do the presentation in a high-quality manner so that other participants will be able to learn about your organisation and country. Participants may bring to the course some typical food or promotional material to show country specifics. Share some relevant information about the culture of your host country. If you send more participants to the same country, you might want to organize cultural workshop with a trainer specialised in intercultural topics. The trainer can offer you an experiential workshop about cultural topics such as national values, typical customs, specific ways of behaviours, and habits.
Linguistic preparation. Participants will have to use another language. Ensure that all of them are capable of following it. If some of them have only basic skill of communicating in another language, plan the mobilities in such a way that you mix participants with good language skills with others so they will get a proper support. Since linguistic preparation is very important, Erasmus+ offers free language courses. Check Online Linguistic Support platform in which you will find assessment and courses for different European languages.
However, it never hurts to speak few words in the language of the host country. The abovementioned platform is perfect for that.
Safety of participants is becoming more and more important. Learning should be assured in a safe environment which respects and protects the rights of all persons. Plan your safety measures in advance. Provide a suitable insurance for participants, i.e. travel and health insurance. If applicable, it is strongly recommended that participants get a European Health Insurance Card. Consider to prepare a short safety handbook for your participants. In the safety handbook you can write all the relevant information about the country, partner, contacts and links in case of emergency, and risk-prevention guidelines.
Careful preparation is important for both, already experienced and new participants in mobility projects. It is better to plan in advance than be in panic if something goes wrong.
Throughout the years of working as Erasmus+ KA1 course provider we gained a clear picture of how does a high quality KA1 application form looks like. We are happy to share our insights in order to increase the quality of international mobility projects in the field of teacher training.