Youth (in) Europe – Esperienza di mobilità in FranciaIn this article I would like to talk about my life and work experience in Pau (France) at Pistes Solidaires, a no-profit association which deals with non-formal education, educational mobility, socio-cultural development and European cooperation, within the project “Youth (in) Europe” (Youth in Action – 4.3 Action – Youth Support Systems, Support to Youth Workers’ Mobility), which aims at encourage mobility and exchanges among youth workers, for stimulating the acquisition of new abilities and competences, fundamental for the improvement of their professional profile.

Thanks to CESIE I got to know about the opportunities offered by the European Union in the field of educational and vocational exchanges and youth mobility. In fact during the long collaboration time at CESIE in Palermo I had the possibility to deepen all the aspects of the Project management in these fields: writing & design, relationships with partners, local implementation.

Finally CESIE gave me also the possibility of being involved in a project of staff exchange in south-west of France: I had the possibility of working abroad for six months, in a multicultural and stimulating context which gave me the chance of learning new skills and competences, by improving my working profile and by enriching my life with new experiences.

The 3rd of March, 2014 I started my experience in Pau, wonderful town with a population of more than 80,000 habitants, known as “the door of Pyrenees”. The staff of Pistes Solidaires, hosting and coordinating association, welcomed me in a fantastic way, by involving me in all their activities. I worked in the European Cooperation department, with the main tasks of writing new projects under the framework of EU programme Erasmus Plus, and managing & implementing projects already approved: Leonardo “Transfer of Innovation”, Grundtvig Multilateral, Europe for Citizens.

I was involved, anyway, in a wider range of activities: the welcoming of senior volunteers (over 50) living in France during a three-weeks period for the project “Intergenerational Volunteering”; the cooperation with the Europe Direct Information Centre for the events organized in May, related to the elections for the European Parliament. With the staff of Pistes Solidaires I visited some schools and the local university, with the aim at giving students all the information about the opportunities of mobility and volunteering offered by the EU. Then, I participated to the simulation of European Parliament session, with a interested and large audience, under the fundamental supervision of Françoise Castex, former European deputy.

The project “Youth (in) Europe” gave me the possibility of travelling, living in a wonderful part of France and knowing fantastic friends and colleagues; the six-months mobility strengthened my awareness and consciousness of working in the field of Project Management, by involving young people to take advantage of the opportunities of exchange, work and volunteering promoted by the European Union with the programme Erasmus Plus. Life and work experience abroad is fundamental to grow up and learn, by broadening their own horizons and carrying out self-reflection: the best way, in my view, to build the Europe of the future.

The project “Youth (in) Europe” is supported by Youth in Action Programme, Action 4.3 Youth Support Systems, Support to Youth Workers’ Mobility.

For more information please contact stefania.giambelluca@cesie.org