Successfully Manage Your Own Erasmus+ Project With This Invaluable Handbook

 

This invaluable handbook is designed to deliver fantastic insights from the best and most experienced Erasmus+ project managers to enable you to learn everything you can about how to successfully manage your own Erasmus+ project. With a number of best practice examples, it will show you how to avoid problems and make sure that your Erasmus+ project is a success.  The book also shows you how some of Europe’s most experienced Erasmus+ project managers work.

While this guidebook was written especially with vocational learner projects in mind, it is also a great resource for any other type of Erasmus+ project.

 

Who is this Handbook For?

This guide has been written by experienced Erasmus+ project managers for novice or less experienced Erasmus+ project managers who have successfully gone through the Erasmus+ application process. Project managers (especially first time project managers) who have already applied for Erasmus+ funding will also gain great value from this guide.

If you are interested in applying for Erasmus+ funding or are still in the planning stages or you would like to learn more about how to improve your Erasmus+ application, this handbook will also help you through the process. 

 

Let´s Get Started!

If you’ve just successfully completing an Erasmus+ application then you’re in the right place to learn about how to successfully manage an Erasmus+ project. Once you receive your positive Erasmus+ funding result, it´s time to get started and actually execute your project!  To find out more about funding, check out this piece here.

Are you ready to dive into Erasmus+ project management? Then let’s continue your journey below.

Introduction

Executing your Erasmus+ project is not easy because there’s so much to take into account. It´s one thing to plan an Erasmus+ mobility (the official term used by Erasmus+) but a completely different thing to execute it!

This useful handbook will help you to learn from the best, in order to smoothly execute an Erasmus+ project and in the meantime avoid any Erasmus+ horror stories

You can execute your project either by using one or more of the best Erasmus+ agencies in Europe or it can be done entirely on your own. This guide is written for Erasmus+ applicants. So if you are managing an Erasmus+ project for your school, NGO or government institution then you have come to the right place.

You Have Received a Positive Erasmus+ Funding Decision, so What Happens Next?

Depending on the program and your Erasmus+ National Agency you will receive a funding decision approximately 3-4 months after the respective Erasmus+ program deadline. 

 

Keep the Feedback from Your Decision!

You will receive a funding decision together with feedback concerning your application.

Make sure you keep the feedback. It details the strengths and weaknesses of your Erasmus+ application. Years of experience and insight into hundreds of applications from different countries shows that the quality of Erasmus+ feedback varies depending on each Erasmus+ National Agency. 

Where some agencies only give brief feedback consisting of just a few sentences, other National Agencies take the time to give extensive feedback to help improve an Erasmus+ application for the next year.

Helpful feedback is a great way to further improve your Erasmus+ application over the coming years. The feedback is designed to help you further improve your Erasmus+ application. So, don´t hesitate to ask your National Agency for more detailed feedback, if you feel your feedback wasn’t helpful.

 

Check Your Budget

This is so important, always check your budget and make sure that you know exactly how much Erasmus+ funding you’ve received. This is an important step to know how many Erasmus+ mobilities you will be able to execute during your project. In some cases you might find that you receive a different budget than the amount you applied for, so make sure you understand how much money you have, before spending it and also check when you will receive the funding.

You will also receive details on when you will receive different parts of the Erasmus+ funding. It doesn’t all come at once!

If you are unclear about what you receive and when you’re due to receive it along with what documents to hand in, please get in touch with your National Agency.

Depending on your country you will be entitled to a different daily allowance for your students as well as costs for travel expenses and organisational fees. While funding for travel and organisation are the same for every country, the daily allowance for subsistence (which constitutes the biggest part of Erasmus+ funding) varies tremendously depending on your country of origin. As an example, this means that participants from Germany or Austria will receive a much lower amount per day than participants from Italy, Portugal, Greece, Romania or the UK.

Erasmus+ budgets for 2020 will also vary from Erasmus+ budgets in 2021-2028. We expect a 20% increase of allocated budgets per participant, taking into account inflation over the next Erasmus+ EU budget of 7 years. We also expect that a substantial amount of more participants per country will be able to travel, due to a proposed doubling of the Erasmus+ budget.

So once you have checked your budget and know when you will receive it, you should be ready to dive into executing your Erasmus+ project!

Let´s Get Started!

Executing Your Erasmus+ Project

In this section, you will learn from best practice examples about how to manage your Erasmus+ project successfully. You will also be able to draw from our experience as an organisation working with hundreds of Erasmus+ projects from all over Europe. 

Chapter 1: Revisiting Your Erasmus+ Project Plan

During the application stage, you’ve no doubt been busy creating a plan for your Erasmus+ project.

Now it´s time for you to revisit that plan and make sure that the project can go ahead as described.

This is just in case there are any obstacles, now is the best time to adjust your plans accordingly.

Sometimes, during this phase things can go wrong!  We’ve got a few Erasmus+ horror stories you might want to read that will give you an idea what to really pay attention to so you avoid any mishaps.

Here are some of the main reasons you might need to adjust your Erasmus+ plans:

  • Changes in participant numbers
  • Travel times proposed being unrealistic
  • The destination becomes unsafe (check out our blog on the safest Erasmus destinations if you need any inspiration for a new one) 
  • The project partner is no longer available
  • NEW: A Covid Outbreak Always find out if you’re able to receive a compensation/change dates for free for an Erasmus+ project if there’s a new Covid-19 outbreak.

Once any obstacles are out of the way, you can go ahead and organise your planned mobility.

Should You Use an Agency?

Depending on your time availability and budget, you have the option to organise the project your own, or you might want to get help through a professional agency. This handbook has been written specifically for project managers who intend to use the support of an agency, but even if you are planning to organise your Erasmus+ project on alone, it will still be a great guide for your project.  We do recommend using an agency, because then you know everything is covered and there’s no risk of problems.

Chapter 2: Preparing Your Erasmus+ Flow

Your Erasmus+ project may involve one or more groups of people that you send away for international training. These individual trips are called Erasmus+ Flows.

So once a Flow is created, as an Erasmus+ project manager you will typically go through the following stages:

Flow Outline:

During this stage, the Erasmus+ project manager will determine an Erasmus+ Flow outline.

This usually includes the price for the Erasmus+ stay and timing of payments (if required) as well as adding deadlines and tasks for project managers, supporting agencies and participants.  It also defines your overall costs.

You will include the expected number of participants, their desired profiles and field of education, as well as what the project goal is.

At this stage, you should also determine any inclusions for your Flow, such as activities, transport, accommodation, travel cards, and so on.

It also makes sense, at this point, to remind project members about their roles, such as who is the supervisor, who is responsible for insurance, who is the travel coordinator, who is the applicants’ main contact. There is lot´s to keep in mind, especially if you are planning to do everything by yourself.

Once your Flow outline is planned, the next steps is to inform participants and collect specific data from them.

This type of data could include parental permission (if a participant is under age), creating a learning agreement with the host organisation and having the participant sign it, creating participants’ CVs, collecting accommodation details, special (dietary) requests, passport details, collecting payments (if applicable), book insurance and collecting all the data for each Flow.

Chapter Three: Travelling to the Erasmus+ Destination

Keep in mind to always remind all participants to bring their travel documents and tickets and send a further reminder to ask them to arrive at the train station or airport early for a stress-free trip!

Please also remind them to take a picture on their phone of their travel documents (plane or train tickets). This will be used later on, when you hand in the documentation for Erasmus+.

It´s also important to make sure the participants know which documents to bring and when they should be signed.

Erasmus+ also requests completion of an intermittent report, which should include the participants’ progress.

As you can see, each Erasmus+ mobility project has lots to think about and remember! 

To help with the administration, people often choose Erasmus+ providers to professionally organise everything for them. Here is an unbiased list of best Erasmus+ organisations that can help with your Erasmus+ project. 

 

Arriving at the Erasmus+ Destination

Upon arrival, students and organisers are greeted at the destination airport by their representative in that city and taken to their accommodation where they are settled.  Once settled, students are given a mini-tour, collect their travel cards and visit their places of work to familiarise themselves with their journeys.  There are various sessions throughout the afternoon where students can ask questions and seek any further information they need and a representative is always available to help, when needed.  The first day is always a busy one and students enjoy a good night out before returning back to their accommodation where they’re usually absolutely exhausted and go to bed, to be ready for their first day at work the next day.

 

Things to Bear in Mind During Your Erasmus+ Flow 

There’s a lot to consider during the Flow stage:  

  • Collecting the documents
  • Reminding students and host organisations to get their documents signed.
  • Making sure your students know where to go on the first day 
  • Detailing who the students’ contact person is.

There are more too, just so many things to keep in mind!

Why not check out this case study written by one of our group leaders about what a typical trip to one of our most loved Erasmus+ destinations looks like?

Finally, we look forward to having you on-board!  The Erasmus+ mobilities are a truly invaluable, insightful and exciting experience for participants and leaders.  The students get so much out of every trip and it’s incredible to see their journey over the weeks unfold.  To make sure that your Erasmus+ mobility goes according to plan, always thoroughly check your Flow; make sure your documents are perfectly in order, check travel plans, tickets are correct, timings, accommodation and work placement information.  It is a lot of work for one person to take on alone which is why there are a number of agencies across Europe that specialise in Erasmus+ mobilities.  They are there to ensure everything runs smoothly, to deal with any problems and to make sure that every student has an outstanding experience.  We thoroughly recommend that you check out your agency in your area.  All that’s left to say is, have a fantastic Erasmus+ trip!

If you are ready to project manage your Erasmus+ project you can download a pdf copy of the Educator’s Handbook on Erasmus+ Project Management here.

What´s your experience with Erasmus+ project management? Do you have any tips you can share with our community?  We’d love to hear them!