As a step towards its long-term goal of an integrated and cohesive Europe, the EU has introduced separate language programmes for school learners, each based on a system of partnership and exchange. These include Comenius school projects, eTwinning and Leonardo da Vinci.
School partnerships encourage students to spend one year at a foreign school. While continuing with the same subjects, students will have a number of added benefits.
- explore European cultural diversity
- exchange experiences with like-minded students from abroad
- increase their general knowledge about a new country
- learn to appreciate each other’s views
During their time abroad, there will be no detrimental effect to their studies, as the programme ensures both schools recognise each other’s qualifications.
These build students’ motivation, capacity and confidence in other European languages. Often, the projects are not focused on formal tuition, but are built around students working together on subjects of mutual interest.
School development projects
At a time when the autonomy of schools in many European countries is increasing, co-operation on specific programmes gives school managers and teachers an opportunity to exchange experience and information.
eTwinning is aimed at students from 3 to 19 years old. It supports collaborative projects between at least two schools from two or more different countries, and makes good use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). Having been implemented in over 19,000 schools, the eTwinning programme has already helped students achieve a greater awareness of other countries and has created the potential for new career opportunities.
Leonardo da Vinci
This programme is aimed at older students, in secondary education, and is designed to prepare them for a competitive and skills-based work environment.