Changing Lives, Opening Minds

The Halesowen College European Projects team is working with Erasmus+, the European Union programme for education, training, youth and sport. We enable learners and staff to pursue stimulating opportunities for learning across Europe.

Our projects allow participants to gain valuable life-skills and international experience to help them develop personally, professionally and academically.

STEP 2014-2016

STEP is a tourism project with two partner schools – ITE Tambosi- Battisti in Trento, Italy and IES Francisco Ayala de Granada in Granada, Spain. The students of the three schools simulated professional tour operator activities in their areas and produced tourist itineraries in Trentino, the Black Country and Andalusia.

This project has given the students the opportunity to reflect upon and evaluate their key skills, in particular their communication, organisational and interpersonal skills. Planning and delivering the tours for the visiting students enabled them to develop their team- working and linguistic skills, and in particular to build up their confidence and self-esteem.

SWITCH 2016-2018

SWITCH is a staff and student development programme with two partner schools – ITE Tambosi Battisti in Trento, Italy and Institut Puig Castellar in Santa Coloma de Gramenet in Barcelona, Spain. As part of the project, staff have made resources to share with their own school and partners.

The project is intended to enable the staff involved to teach basic skills in new, engaging and inspiring ways. This will result in many more students gaining basic skills qualifications that they need in order to progress into higher level vocational education and training (VET) programmes or employment.

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STRIVE 2016-2018

In 2016 we received European funding to run a new student exchange
programme with three partner schools.

Our partners are:

  • ITE Tambosi-Battisti School in Trento, Italy
  • Städtische Berufsschule für Informationstechnik, Munich, Germany
  • Institut Puig Castellar in Santa Coloma de Gramenet, Barcelona, Spain

The project sent students in 2017 and will send students in 2018 for work placements in Germany, Italy and Spain. In return, we will receive students from the partners.

Project Objectives

  • To secure Halesowen College offer of high quality international work experience
  • To raise awareness among students of the benefits of participating in European mobility project
  • To develop sector awareness in areas of economic group or high replacement-demand has indicated by the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership
  • For its participants to disseminate what they have learned to other students, staff, and organisations
  • To develop and embed the College’s International Policy as it relates to College staff with the objective of improving educational practice and vocational training through partnership project and staff training abroad exchanges and visits

Project Overview

The project runs from 2016-18 and will send students for work placements in Germany, Italy and Spain. We have funding to send 24 students over 2 years. And we are applying for funding to repeat the project from 2018-2020.

Placements are 4 weeks and our partners will help to find students placements related to their course of study. They will also assist in finding suitable accommodation, usually with families.

Partners will be in contact regularly and visits, at least, each week to monitor participant progress. Halesowen College staff will also visit each student to help tem settle in and see how they are getting on and all participants will keep in regular contact with each other and with partner staff.

Students will attend sessions introducing them to the project and what to expect whist they are away. They will also have the opportunity to undertake up to 60 hours of language learning.

All vocational areas are eligible for this project. Halesowen College is the lead partner and will select those areas that are best placed to meet the desired outcomes. It is our intention to involve as many curriculum areas as possible. For 2016-18 these are Business, Childcare, IT and Sport.

Following student and staff mobilities, participants will feedback, highlighting the learning and skills they have gained, enabling the College to look to extend the network of partners. Participants also receive a Europass certificate which provides a record of the skills and knowledge acquired in another European country.

Selection Process

In September staff visit classes to explain the project and answer any initial questions, returning to classes over the next two weeks to answer any further questions

Interested students are then invited to apply by creating a CV and cover letter using the europass online templates

These are then read by the selection panel and students are invited to an interview.

The interviews take place in October/November and give students the opportunity to talk about why they want to be part of the project, what they can offer and what sort of work experience they would like participate in. Following this, the participants are selected.

Participants then complete a personal profile which is sent along with their application to the partners. We then work with the partners to match the students with a suitable employer and place to live whilst on the mobility.

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