Celebrating the opportunities for overseas learning and work experience as Erasmus+ programme comes to an end in Wales


CollegesWales International has led on delivering development opportunities overseas for further education learners and staff through the Erasmus+ programme since 2011, enabling learners to study and gain work experience abroad in one of the EU’s 32 participating nations. Since Brexit, the UK will no longer be participating in Erasmus+. 




CollegesWales’ International Project Manager, Siân Holleran, said, 

“We’re grateful for the many and varied opportunities that Erasmus+ has afforded learners and staff in further education here in Wales. Taking part in overseas experiences studying, volunteering, training or on work placements has broadened horizons and expanded key skills.” 

Life changing international study and work placements for learners 

With 10 colleges having taken part, 747 learners from 22 different curriculum areas, including motor vehicle courses, catering, land-based subjects, E-Sports and performing arts have benefitted from Erasmus+. Over €1.6m in funding has facilitated travel to 8 European countries including Spain, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Germany, Sweden, France and Portugal. 

“To me the most important experience for me was the actual work experience. It made me see what engineering can do and what doors it can open for me. I believe that from this I have enhanced my skills ready for the working world.” – Engineering learner, Merthyr Tydfil 

Benefits for FE staff 

The benefits for staff have also been considerable. 31 individuals visited both Austria and Norway to explore how vocation education and training (VET) practitioners are trained and up-skilled, and learning about the dual-professionalism of VET staff to inform the current work being undertaken in Wales on professional learning in the post-16 sector. Colleagues are now implementing the good practice they’ve seen at our colleges here in Wales. 

"Visiting schools and colleges in other countries is the best way of experiencing how a system operates. It also allows us to get a holistic understanding of best practice as well as challenges faced by the institutions and how this compares with schools and colleges in Wales." 

Staff member, following Austria and Norway visit 

Funding for Erasmus+ ended in December 2023. Taith is Wales’ international learning exchange programme, creating life-changing opportunities to learn, study and volunteer all over the world 

Further Information 

Taith, Wales’ International Learning and Exchange Programme. 

Erasmus+, EU programme for education, training, youth and sport. 

Siân Holleran, European and International Project Manager 

Vicky Thomas, European and International Project Officer 

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