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AmerXchange: more than learning a trade
Start date: Jun 1, 2016, End date: May 31, 2018 PROJECT  FINISHED 

MBO Amersfoort is a regional vocational education centre (ROC) in the Amersfoort region (The Netherlands), with seven schools in Amersfoort, Leusden and Barneveld and 7.000 students. Together with schools in Finland, the United Kingdom and France we have set up this project, called Journey that will offer 34 students and 18 teachers to study and learn abroad.During the project work on knowledge, skills, and attitude. Education is central to this process. There is scope for students’ showing initiative and an entrepreneurial spirit, and we encourage and value these qualities. The starting point in our curriculum is ´learning a trade and learning on the trade´.From four different clusters of MBO Amersfoort (Tourism & Recreation, Hotelschool, Security and Economics & Business) students are offered the possibility to have a training and workprogramme abroad. Through this grant, covering a total period of two years, MBO Amersfoort is able to organise several mobility activities, allowing students to visit, study and work in another European country. In total 34 students will visit Finland (Hotelschool), United Kingdom (Hotelschool and Economics & Business)or France. For a short period (2 weeks) or longer (maximum of 4 months). They will follow (in English) lessons at a similar school as they are used to. They combine this educational programme with a work placement in the same country. The objectives of the project are to increase the capacities of the students and to improve their (vocational) skills, personal skills and competences by offering them educational training and work experience in a different environment. All in order to offer them a unique learning opportunity, to develop as a person and have a good starting point for employability at the (European) labour market, as employer or independent entrepreneur.The students will be selected by set criteria and supported by the teachers and the international managers of MBO Amersfoort. They will follow an educational programme at the partner school abroad and will fulfil an internship in that country via the school they are visiting. The partner school en the organisation of the work placement are responsible for good housing and the educational programme. The school and the work placements will be visited by teachers of MBO Amersfoort beforehand and during the stay of the students. The students all have to speak and write English and for many of them it will also be their first time they are “on their own and abroad”. They will be monitored and need to present their experiences in front of their colleagues at school. We use EUROPASS to recognize the foreign placement period, the Europass CV, Language Passport and Mobility. Apart from the Europass the students will also receive a certificate for their studies abroad, which they can use on their resume.For MBO Amersfoort and partners this project increases the capacity to operate at an EU level; it will improve the management skills of the staff involved and our internationalisation strategies. It will reinforce cooperation with partners from other countries. It will contribute to the innovative and improved way of operating towards our target group, by providing more and attractive programmes for our students in line with their needs and expectations. It will improve the qualifications of our involved staff and improve processes of recognition and validation of competences gained during the learning periods abroad. It will result in a more modern, dynamic, committed and professional environment inside the organisation. The programme will integrate good practices and new methods into educational programs and open to (international) synergies with other organisations active in different, social, educational and employment fields.

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