New initiative from Erasmus+ for 5000 school students to travel abroad
The initiative, titled “Move2Learn, Learn2Move” is a one-off scheme financed under the Erasmus+ programme, addressed directly to young Europeans between the age of 16 and 19.
A minimum of 5,000 young people will be selected and will receive an entitlement for the purchase of travel tickets for an amount between 350 EUR and 530 EUR. The objective is to allow them to travel in a sustainable way to at least one other EU country to increase European consciousness and identity.
Move2Learn, Learn2Move builds on an idea put forward by the European Parliament in 2016 and is linked to the 30th anniversary of the Erasmus programme. It will be implemented through eTwinning, the world's biggest teachers' network. Part of Erasmus+, it enables teachers and pupils across Europe to develop projects together through an online platform.
The call for applications is open to all classes participating to the eTwinning programme for school year 2016-2017. The call was opened on 20 March, with a deadline set on 30 June. The support network of eTwinning in each Member State will select the 5,000 winners by August 2017. They will either travel in group as a school trip or individually. They will be able to use their entitlement from 15 August 2017 until 31 December 2018, calling upon the Commission to book their trip.
Value of travel tickets
Each pupil will be entitled to a travel ticket worth EUR 350. However, the amount can reach up to EUR 530 in three specific cases:
- For beneficiaries who depart from or travel to Cyprus, Malta, Iceland or an outermost region (Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Martinique, La Réunion, Mayotte, Saint-Martin, Madeira, Azores and Canary Islands);
- When domestic travel costs to reach the main train station, bus station or airport from which the beneficiary will cross the national border already exceed EUR 100;
- When the trip is a school trip to the twinned class.
Criteria for trips
Trips may not exceed the budget limits. Furthermore, the trips have to meet two criteria:
- The weighted average of the CO2 emissions per passenger-kilometre based on the distance travelled with each mode may not exceed 200. These emissions are: 14 for rail, 68 for buses & coaches, 86 for medium ferries, 258 for small ferries and 285 for planes. This 200 threshold has been set to make sure participants are aware of their carbon footprint and they use the most sustainable modes of transport available.
- The ratio between the time spent travelling and the time at destination should not exceed 1 to 3 for a trip of maximum three days and 1 to 4 for a trip longer than three days. This is to avoid sending pupils on a long trip in slow or indirect transport which then leaves only a very limited time at the destination.
Of course, there will be a trade-off between these two criteria. One transport mode may be very fast but more polluting while another may be slow but more environmentally-friendly. In case both criteria cannot be met at the same time, the beneficiary will have to choose another location, except in some cases, for instance for participants departing from an island, or when the class trip is to a twinning partner.
eTwinning is an initiative under the Erasmus+ programme, which enables teachers and pupils across Europe to work together on projects through an online platform. It helps pupils acquire new skills and competences, and supports teachers in their professional development. The initiative receives EUR 13 million per year from the Erasmus+ programme. Within just 11 years, eTwinning has already connected more than half of the schools in Europe and involved over 2 million pupils and more than 450,000 teachers.