Bringing your youth exchange project into reality is a challenge. Yet, it is an idea that is strongly supported by the Erasmus+ Programme, as it keeps its own space in the “Key Action 1: Learning mobility of individuals”, mostly known as KA1. This Key Action offers the possibility to the interested parties to apply for an Erasmus+ Programme Grant in order to plan and realize a youth exchange project, by financially supporting them in:

  1. organizing the exchange (unit costs per day of activity per participant).
  2. transportation expenses (based on the travel distance per participant between their place of origin and the venue of the activity).
  3. exceptional costs (visa-related costs, costs to support the participation of young people with fewer opportunities, etc.)
  4. support for special needs (in case the project includes young people with disabilities.

However, there are a few requirements to be met when applying for an Erasmus+ Programme Grant. Anxious to see if your idea fits the profile? There you go:

  • ELIGIBILITY: you need to be a non-profit/non-governmental organisation, a European youth NGO, a social enterprise, a public body, an informal group of young people, an association of regions, a European grouping of territorial cooperation or company active in corporate social responsibility.
  • WESTERN BALKAN YOUTH WINDOW: since 2015 organisations from the Western Balkan countries have a chance to submit applications within the Erasmus+ Youth in Programme’s Key Action 2.
  • PARTNERS: minimum 2 from two different Programme countries (28 EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and Turkey) and partner countries neighbouring the EU. Every project must have at least one partner from a Programme country.
  • PROJECT DURATION: 3 months to 2 years.
  • PARTICIPANTS: Young people aged between 13 and 30; minimum 16 and maximum 60 participants; minimum 4 participants per group.
  • WHERE & WHEN TO APPLY: National Agency of the Erasmus+ Programme (for Programme countries) / to the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (for Western Balkan countries) – on one annual deadline.
  • LOCATION OF THE YOUTH EXCHANGE: the country of one of the participating organisations.
  • DURATION OF THE YOUTH EXCHANGE: 5 to 21 days, excluding travel time.

But this is not all! We know that the KA1 process seems a bit complicated and there might be a lot of details messing around your head! No worries! You are not alone! The Salto Youth and the Erasmus+ Youth in Action have created a 50 pages analytic manual to be your guide and become your best friend when planning your youth exchange project. It is no other than the “Cherry on the cake – Advice for quality planning of youth exchanges”, that drives you through all phases of drafting, planning, preparing and implementing your idea! Here you are:


So… don’t waste any more time! After all you have learnt through our “ExchangeIt Toolkit” you should come together, focus and start working towards realizing your youth exchange goal! And remember:

  • Come up with interesting and realizable ideas!
  • Combine the international dimension of your project with its final impact to the local environment!
  • Define and ensure the learning aspect for participants!
  • Plan concrete activities which meet the objectives and your goals!
  • But above all…keep people motivated and active: they are the future and the success of your idea depends on their enthusiasm and passion!