The aim of the local dialogue was to gather qualitative information from participating youth about the barriers that young people face to accessing international opportunities and exercising their rights as mobile young people.
We had 6 participants including (students, interns and alumni).
Through an open discussions (facilitated by 2 ESN volunteers) we were trying to gather information from young people who are living in Austria about these key topics:
• Main motivations to go abroad for learning purposes (study, traineeship,
• Awareness about EU opportunities such as Erasmus, European Solidarity Corps and
• Challenges and barriers to participating in these opportunities: Why so many young
people do not access them? How can these barriers be overcome?
• Awareness about the rights of mobile and non-mobile young people as EU citizens.
• Impact of mobility and civic engagement: does mobility make more active citizens?
All of the participants agreed that international mobility programs are a great opportunity to get to know other cultures and new people, practice languages, gain valuable experience and broaden the perspective. Also, they described the time which young people spend abroad as adult life trial period, where people learn to get more independent. Furthermore, all of the participants saw a benefit for people who get in contact with exchange students, for example because it can come to cultural and language exchanges
• Regarding the mobility opportunities offered by the EU, all people knew Erasmus+. Some mentioned ESC and Erasmus Mundus.
• As for non-EU funded exchange programs scholarships from universities and governments were mentioned, but no specific name of a programe was mentioned.
• Regarding biggest obstacles for participating in an international mobilty the participants of the focus group talked about the financial aspect and difficult bureaucracy. Furthermore, it can be difficult to find accommodation, especially for short-term stays such as internships which only last some months. Regarding to the answers of the participants, mobility programes would also be more popular if there would be a higher awareness about the different offers and better guidance (at the main university etc as well as in the country of exchange).
• One thing that came to the mind of the participants regarding their rights as EU citizens was the freedom of movement and work, freedom of speech and right of non-discrimination.
• There was awareness about the European democratic system, but a low/medium knowledge about how it works exactly.