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Whether you are interested in vocational training, or you're a university student or recent graduate interested in gaining some work experience the Leonardo Da Vinci,  Erasmus, Comenius and Marie Curie programme can help you gain the skills and qualifications you need to improve your employability. Click on the links below to find out more about the programmes!


Educational staff, teachers, trainees


What is Comenius?

Comenius offers exchanges and cooperation between schools in different countries. It aims to boost the quality of school education, strengthen its European dimension and promote mobility, language learning and greater inclusion.

Mobility of individuals

  • Comenius in-service training in another country allows teachers and other school education staff to improve their practical skills and gain a broader understanding of school education in Europe through, for instance, professional development courses, conferences and job shadowing.
  • Comenius assistantships allow future teachers to spend between 3 and 10 months in a school abroad, where they assist in teaching in the host school.


  • Multilateral school partnerships allow pupils and their teachers to take part in joint learning activities with schools from different European countries. This helps to foster intercultural awareness and improve skills in the chosen areas.
  • Language-oriented bilateral school partnerships encourage the use of European languages by giving pupils the chance to practice them abroad through class exchanges, with pupils working together at school and hosted in each other’s families.
  • Comenius regio partnerships help local and regional stakeholders in school education (— teachers, pupils and those responsible for education systems) — to exchange good practices.
  • eTwinning takes advantage of the possibilities of the Internet to help teachers across Europe to meet each other, exchange ideas and resources, and set up collaborative projects with their pupils. Rather than funding, it offers them support, training, tools and examples of good practice.

Multilateral projects and networks

  • Comenius multilateral projects bring together schools, educational staff, training institutions and other organisations active in school education, as well as schools, to improve the quality of teaching and learning in the classroom and to help student teachers to get teaching experience abroad.
  • Comenius multilateral networks, bringing together consortia active in school education, are forums for joint reflection to promote innovation and good practice in a thematic area.

Accompanying measures

  • Comenius accompanying measures help the Comenius programme reach its objectives, for instance by raising awareness of the importance of school cooperation at European level.
  • Preparatory visits allow potential partners in Comenius projects to meet and define the objectives and work plan of their future project.

Who can take part?

Participation is open to all active members of the school education community: pupils, teachers, local authorities, parents’ associations, not-for-profit organisations, non-governmental organisations involved in school education, teacher training institutes, universities, research centres and all other educational staff.

Eligible countries are the 27 EU Member States, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Turkey, Croatia and Switzerland.

How do I apply?

Schoolchildren should approach their teacher.

Teachers, schools and other organisations interested in:

Mobility, partnerships or preparatory visits should approach the national agency in their country: doc1208_en.htm

Multilateral projects, networks or accompanyingmeasures should approach the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency:

Leonardo da Vinci - Study visits and exchanges

What are Study Visits and Exchanges?

The programme supports the exchange of individual trainers, teachers or other persons responsible for vocational training issues to exchange experiences with their counterparts in other countries, with the aim of mutual learning. It can also cover vocational language learning of professionals. It focuses on the transfer, improvement and update of competences and/or of innovative methods and practices in the field of vocational training.

Who can take part?

The Leonardo da Vinci programme is for people in initial vocational education and training:

  • Apprentices and people in secondary school-based learning;
  • People in the labour market (with a vocational or higher education background);
  • Teachers, trainers and other staff responsible for vocational training;
  • Institutions and bodies such as associations and representatives of those involved in vocational education and training, including associations of trainees, parents and teachers’ associations;
  • Enterprises, social partners and other representatives of working life, including chambers of commerce and other trade organisations;
  • Research centres and bodies concerned with lifelong learning issues and any aspect of vocational education and training at local, regional and national levels.
  • Non-profit organisations, voluntary bodies and non-governmental organisations.

Eligible countries are the 27 EU Member States, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Turkey, Croatia and Switzerland.

How do I apply?

Interested individuals should apply via an organisation managing Leonardo funds (their training institution, employer or labour office, for instance).

The national agencies’ websites contain more detailed information.

Training institutions and other organisations should approach the national agency in their country. Their addresses can be found on the website:

Centralised actions such as multilateral networks or ‘Development of innovation’ projects are managed by the Executive Agency for Education, Audiovisual and Culture, based in Brussels. See


What is Erasmus?

Erasmus enables non-academic and teaching staff to work or study abroad in another participating European country. The aim is to foster a Europe-wide approach to higher education through European cross-border mobility.

Eligible staff can receive a grant to spend up to six weeks at a partner higher education institution abroad, both enhancing their career prospects and promoting cooperation.

People working in the business sector can also qualify for Erasmus as visiting lecturers at a partner institution abroad, where they can provide students with fresh insights into the world of business and set up exchanges for student placements and staff training.

Non-teaching staff of institutions — such as managers or librarians — can go abroad under Erasmus to receive training in other institutions or businesses.

These intensive short-term study programmes for students and teachers last between two and six weeks, and are organised by at least three higher education institutions from three different countries.

Erasmus also supports modernisation and innovation projects in the higher education sector. Staff can get involved in:

  • Multilateral projects on curriculum development, higher education modernisation, cooperation between higher education institutions and enterprises, and virtual campuses .These projects run for up to three years and involve a minimum of three countries.
  • Academic and structural networks of institutions and other partner organisations. These networks are designed to innovate in specific academic disciplines or in management issues and provide forums for the exchange of best practice.

The charter sets out principles to be followed by higher education institutions. Some 4,000 institutions in 33 countries currently hold the charter, which is a precondition for institutions to participate in Erasmus activities.


Who can take part?

Erasmus is open to:

  • Students in formal higher education, advanced vocational education and training at post-secondary level, including doctoral studies;
  • Teachers, trainers and education staff, including relevant associations, research centres, counselling organisations and others involved in lifelong learning;
  • Enterprises, social partners and other stakeholders, as well as public and private bodies providing education and training at local, regional and national levels.

Eligible countries are the 27 EU Member States, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Turkey, Croatia and Switzerland.

How do I apply?

Students should initially approach the international office of their university or college.

Universities and other organisations should approach the national agency in their country.

The addresses for national agencies can be found via the website:

Centralised actions such as networks, multilateral projects and the award of the Erasmus University Charter are managed by the Executive Agency for Education, Audiovisual and Culture, based in Brussels.


Where do I get more information?


Alar Albrecht, Estonia, went to Italy to train as a chef

The name of the restaurant where I worked was "Il Casale". My work placement was so successful that I'm now able to open my own pasta restaurant. It gave me such a remarkable experience ...

Last update: 31/07/2012 | Top