Many students dream of gaining work experience in England either during or directly after completing a vocational training programme. gibb vocational school in Bern has demonstrated that there are alternatives to the UK. And that it’s worth it to start planning for these future foreign exchanges now.

Source: Information based on the linked NZZ Folio article from Renate Bühler

When students and recent graduates travel abroad for an internship, they prefer to do so in the United Kingdom: around 60 per cent of the mobilities in vocational training funded by Movetia take place there. However, as the result of Brexit, since the beginning of this year, anyone who wants to work in the UK needs a sponsor, which makes it more difficult to apply for an exchange. This also applies to short-term internships. Luckily, there are other countries in Europe where English is spoken. For example, in Scandinavian countries, courses at vocational schools are taught in English, and English is also the language used in the workplace. Movetia’s list of possible partners for an English-language vocational education exchange outside of the UK is a helpful resource.

gibb goes Finnish

gibb, a vocational school in Bern, was also looking for alternative English-speaking partners for a possible exchange. And they found it in the Finnish city of Jyväskylä. Their experiences demonstrate that, despite COVID-19, it makes sense start planning early on. gibb was able to organise a “hybrid” exchange in which the (teaching) personnel responsible for the exchange first met online before meeting in person. This helps to establish trust and therefore the basis for a long-term partnership with the goal of a three-week – and ideally mutual – exchange. In the words of project manager Tvrtko Brzović: “Due to COVID-19, everything is a bit unsure at the moment, but we wanted to lay a foundation now upon which we can build our project so that we can benefit from these contacts for many years in the future.”

In the Folio article, you can read about gibb’s other considerations when preparing for the mobilities.

Are you interested in a European exchange for students or persons responsible for vocational education? The Vocational Education team at Movetia is happy to advise you. The next deadline for mobility project submissions is 4 October.