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Beyond Erasmus Hybrid Training and Lecture Programme (2021-2022)

The European Neighbourhood Council (ENC), in cooperation with the Friedrich Naumann Foundation (FNF) office in Turkey has recently concluded a hybrid educational programme titled “Beyond Erasmus: Education, Exchanges and Employment opportunities for youth in the EU and Turkey”. The project promotes Erasmus+ student mobility, youth exchanges, internships, training courses, networking, access to funding for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), free market entrepreneurship and Civil Society Organisations (CSO).

The project created exchanges with a focus on entrepreneurship, innovation, further training and career prospects for youth in EU and Turkey. Participants from Belgium, Germany, France, the Netherlands and Turkey gained skills in the private, civil society and public sector, while staying anchored to EU legislation, strategies and new priority topics. Throughout the programme, participants were encouraged to support each other and develop their professional networks. Against the current context of Turkish isolation, the project had a strong focus on establishing lasting friendships and exchanging ties as well as instilling skills, instruments and future financial options within the participants to support liberal universal values and cementing ties between the EU and Turkey.

The Beyond Erasmus was divided in three phases:
I) October-November 2021: 40 participants – mainly young graduates – from Turkey, Belgium, France, Germany and the Netherlands – attended a series of six online training sessions engaging with inspiring and talented professionals from Europe and Turkey working in media, audiovisual, think tank, Civil Society, European Commission, Academia and private sector.

II) February 2022: Seven finalists from the 1st phase participated in a networking fellowship trip in Brussels during which they had the opportunity to meet with diverse people, among others, the liberal VP of the Renew Europe party, MEP Ilhan Kyuchyuk, the MP from Brussels citizen’s assembly, Pepijn Kennis, and the senior European Commission officer Bernard Brunet (DG NEAR). The group also had the chance to exchange ideas and engage with cultural institutions, journalists and entrepreneurs while bonding with one another.

III) March-April 2022: The seven Beyond Erasmus fellows were called to share their views and experiences during three lectures in public academic institutions across Turkey. They shared their Erasmus exchange experience, explained the benefits of such programmes – including networking opportunities – and the rationale behind their participation in the Beyond Erasmus project with students from Çukurova University (Adana), Eskisehir Osmangazi and Anadolu Universities (Eskisehir) and Ondokuz Mayıs University (Samsun).

The continuous support by local academic institutions in Turkey coupled with high volume formal and informal exchanges among student, our experts and our fellows, showcases the importance of exchange programmes and the need to stay connected, to work together, to share knowledge and ideas at the academic, political, economic and societal level.

Learn more about our hybrid training and lecture programme by watching the short video below in which ENC Managing Director, Samuel Doveri Vesterbye and the Head of the FNF office in Turkey, Beate Apelt share the key features and the rationale behind the Beyond Erasmus programme:

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