The goal of this activity was to gather qualitative information from young people about the barriers that young people face to accessing international opportunities and exercising their rights as European citizens.
18 young people took part in this activity: ESN volunteers, international students and young people from different backgrounds. The facilitator of the sessions was guiding the discussion, asking them questions to generate a debate about the topics mentioned to collect the results presented below.
The main outcomes of this activity were:
- The main reasons mentioned for going on mobility were cultural and diversity reasons, learning other languages, breaking stereotypes, meeting other young people not only locals but also other international students, feasibility of recognition of studies…
- While Erasmus+ is known by all the participants, some of them can't name any more. However, programmes such as ESC, DiscoverEU, Erasmus+ Traineeships and Youth come up during the conversation. They can't name clearly non-EU-funded opportunities either.
- When asked about their rights and freedom as European citizens, the participants mentioned: freedom of movement within the EU, healthcare access, election of representatives, visas, human rights, European Youth Card. Then they discussed other things such as education, security, recognition of studies, Schengen Area, Eurozone, etc.
- Regarding the barriers to participate in international opportunities, they mentioned financial ones, lack of information about funding, academic recognition, grants arriving late, language requirements. However, all of them think it is a unique opportunity to empower young people and that it has a lot of extra academic benefits in future career prospects.