The first-ever virtual Eurodyssey Forum took place on 19 & 20 of November 2020. These online sessions brought together the correspondents from Eurodyssey regions, hosting companies and youth alumni. In these sessions, participants discussed the functioning of the programme, and shared experiences and best practices to adapt learning mobility to the “new normal” of COVID-19.
An online Eurodyssey Assembly
In the afternoon of 19 November, following the AER General Assembly and Bureau meeting, the Eurodyssey Assembly gathered representatives from 20 member regions. The Assembly provided members with an opportunity to assess the state-of-play of the programme and exchange views on the regions’ prospects of hosting Eurodyssey participants in 2021, given the COVID-19 pandemic.
In their opening remarks, AER President, Magnus Berntsson, and Eurodyssey President, Esther Estany, raised a toast to mark thirty-five years since the creation of the Eurodyssey programme. This was followed with the premiere of the anniversary video:
Eurodyssey facts & figures
The day continued with an assessment of the Eurodyssey programme by AER programmes coordinator, Andrés Muñoz, who delivered a presentation on the 2019 statistics, which underlined the significant, positive impact the programme continues to have on young trainees’ employment prospects.
The programme allowed a total of 303 young Europeans (+16% compared to 2018) to benefit from genuine professional experience and linguistic training in another European region. Other remarkable outcomes include the rise in the number of both the internship offers published (+30%) and the candidates (+33%) compared to 2018.
Looking at the employment prospects for Eurodyssey participants in 2018, regions can be proud that 40% of interns find a job within 1 month of completing their traineeship. What is more, 64% of the survey respondents declared that Eurodyssey was decisive in finding a job and 20% of them attributed such a fact to the language training received.
You can read all the 2019 statistical findings and 2018 employment results from the summary report HERE.
Sharing on social media is caring about Eurodyssey
The last presentation by the Secretariat was conducted by Justin Sammon, AER Communications Officer, who shared with member regions guidelines to harness the potential of social media for promoting the programme and to communicate Eurodyssey’s long-term positive impact on young people, regions and society.
View HERE the presentation Sharing is caring: making the most of social media.
On Day 2 of the Forum on 20 November, the Eurodyssey online break-out sessions provided members with further opportunities to exchange experiences and good practices to keep up learning mobility through the pandemic. For these events, we were also joined by hosting organisations and Eurodyssey alumni, who had the opportunity to share their testimonials.
The day kicked-off with an introductory talk by Safi Sabuni from Eurodesk and Manel Sánchez from the European Youth Card Association (EYCA), who provided a broader overview on how youth organisations are adjusting their work “to continue to be there for young people” who face unique challenges socially, economically and personally because of the pandemic. They also made a number of recommendations from their respective organisations on how to minimise the impact on learning mobility projects. Participants then broke-off into into multilingual ‘break-out’ sessions, where they had the opportunity to brainstorm ideas for keeping the Eurodyssey programme moving despite the pause on mobility caused by COVID-19.
Closing the Eurodyssey Forum, AER Secretary General, Christian Spahr thanked all those who had made “this visionary programme of cross-border professional learning a reality for thirty-five years”. In her speech Eurodyssey President, Esther Estany – speaking in French, Spanish and English – pointed to the spirit of optimism that fills Eurodyssey family and the “very bright future” that lies ahead. She called on regions to keep up the hard work for the decades to come and to defend mobility as an essential source of regional development.
Visit the 2020 Eurodyssey Forum event page to download all the working documents, presentations and other key takeaways.