Erasmus+ Report by Anja Werle and Karin Siebenförcher (Valencia)

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When planning an Erasmus+ internship abroad project for a large group it’s best to provide the students with one accompanying person (or more) to look after them on-site. This is of great help to young learners that are perhaps experiencing an Erasmus+ internship for the first time and are also away from home, alone for the first time

As an example, there might be incidents that occur that can’t be foreseen! This is just one reason why it’s always a good idea to have an adult available to support the students by solving any problems or simply to share experiences with. 


We provide a person that supports the students at their Erasmus+ destination but if you wish to, you can also send someone from your institution to accompany the students during their trip.

The following article details the experience report written by our clients Anja Werle and Karin Siebenförcher from the Vocational School for Constructional Engineering and Painting in Absam, Austria.  They offered Erasmus+ support and accompanied their students during their Erasmus+ mobility project in Valencia.


Give a Detailed Description of Your Stay: How did You Take Care of the Erasmus+ Participants on-site?

We departed for the Erasmus+ experience on Friday, 2nd November 2018 at 12:00 pm by bus towards Bergamo where we took the plane to Valencia. We arrived on Saturday, 3rd November 2018 at approximately 2:00 am in Valencia.  Then we made our way to our accommodation. In the afternoon, we went for a city walk through Valencia and visited the companies where the students were to complete their Erasmus+ project management internship for the following 14 days.

On Sunday, we took the Metro to the beach and soaked up the sun, talking about plans for the upcoming days.

On the morning of Monday, 4th November 2018, we accompanied the students to the construction site and discussed individual work tasks with their supervisors or translated their tasks and then they began their Erasmus+ internship. Highly motivated, all of the students tried their best to complete their tasks properly.

In the meantime, we did administrative work or prepared all the necessary documents required for the company placing the Erasmus+ students.

From Tuesday (5th November, 2018) to Friday (8th November, 2018), we accompanied the students to the construction site in the morning and then prepared their lessons for the afternoon. Every day between 12:00 and 14:00 we visited the construction site to check work progress. After the students finished work, we had lunch and then they had afternoon lessons lasting three to four hours.

On Saturday (9th November, 2018) and Sunday (10th November, 2018) we visited the Bioparc and the Oceanogràfic.

From Monday (11th November, 2018) until Thursday (14th November, 2018) the students worked on two construction sites so we visited both sites every day – sometimes several times. During the day we prepared all the necessary materials for their daily lessons. From Tuesday onwards, we made preparations for our departure (e.g. organisation of transport etc.).

On Friday 16th November, 2018, the bus collected us at 03:50 in the morning at the front of our apartments and we began the journey back home. At 06:30 the plane departed and at 09:15 we took the bus from Bergamo to Absam. At 15:00 we handed over the certificates for successful completion of the students’ Erasmus+ internship to them and they were free to leave.


From Your Point of View, Were the Objectives of the Erasmus+ Project Achieved? To What Extent did Your Personal Presence on-site Support the Success of the Erasmus+ Project?

In our opinion, the goals of the Erasmus+ project were fully achieved. The Spanish employer was completely satisfied with the students. He told us every day how tidily, efficiently and well the whole group worked.

We believe that personal presence at the Erasmus+ mobility was absolutely necessary - on the one hand to clear up anything that was unclear and on the other hand to observe the students’ progress so that improvements could be discussed with the group afterwards.

It was also an excellent opportunity to supplement the practical part of the project with the theoretical part (documentation, guided material comparison, critical questioning of all work situations). The individual situations could be discussed in a timely manner and therefore be evaluated more effectively.


In Retrospect, Which Measures from Your Side During the Erasmus+ Stay Do You Consider Particularly Important?

The daily visits to the two construction sites were particularly favourable. The Spanish employer was very pleased with our daily presence and that we could talk in person. The students were also always happy when they saw us and told us about the different work processes they experienced during their Erasmus+ internship, compared to Austria.

The students experienced an exceptional situation during their Erasmus+ internship. They were checked by the police for illegal employment and they were obviously very worried. They were very happy that we were able to clarify everything with the construction manager on site, because the language barrier with the police officer (he only spoke Spanish and not a word of English) was difficult.

With a group size of twelve students, we feel it is important that they are accompanied by at least two people. We would never recommend an Erasmus+ internship of this amount of students or more without accompanying people. While some young people were very independent and well-organised, others were not. 

Additionally, for the dynamics of the group, it was beneficial to have adults as contacts available on-site.


Have You Received New Ideas for Your Function as Erasmus+ Supervisor on-site? If So, What Are They?

We had already prepared ourselves well before the Erasmus+ project started and adequately split the tasks. This made things very easy for us but there were new challenges almost every day, which we were able to solve very quickly, thanks to good cooperation. The digitally designed lessons especially had to be well structured and required careful planning and acquiring necessary specialist knowledge.


What Problems Occurred During the Erasmus+ Stay and What Solutions Did You Find?

We had problems with the apartments, because they were supposed to be the same, which unfortunately was not the case at all. One apartment was suitable, but the boys' apartment had many deficiencies:

  • The windows could not be opened.
  • The shower head was defective.
  • There was no hot water.
  • We only had one key for the apartment.
  • The internet did not work for ten days.

After several consultations with the owner, we were able to improve all defects over time.

On the fourth day of work, the police suddenly showed up at the construction site because a neighbor had reported the youths for illegal employment. After showing the students’ papers, everything was soon cleared up. Always check whether the host company has copies of the documents at the construction site. (Erasmus+ Learning Agreements, passport or identity card)


Are There Any Suggestions for Improvement That You Would Like to Pass On to Future Accompanying Persons at an Erasmus+ Project?

Prior to Erasmus+, it is absolutely imperative to check the apartments’ facilities advance. The tour operator of "Travelmania/Traveledventures" was a big help for planning the Erasmus+ project.  They organised a lot of things for us on-site. The support was also very helpful for the cultural offering. Fine details must always be critically examined and are highly recommended.

We also discovered that the best choice was to accommodate students in apartments. This strengthened their independence and team spirit and they could cook their own food (tastes are very different). After the Erasmus+ stay they appreciated the comfort they had living at their parents’ homes even more!

You can also read an experience report from an employee at Travelmania/Traveledventures who also supported the students on-site. We provide you with our guide for Erasmus+ funding applicants  and our Handbook for Erasmus+ Project Management & Execution to help you with your Erasmus+ application. If you are interested in an Erasmus+ application or already planning your Erasmus+ project we are happy to assist you with our expert knowledge. 

If you are from the UK and interested in the newly established Turing Scheme, you are welcome to contact us. OR read our blogs concerning the Turing Scheme.