This year’s Youth in Action exchange on exchange was a resounding success. Participants embarked on an imaginary boat trip to discuss the opportunities and possibilities of international youth work. The initial results of the analysis conducted by the Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW) on exchange and mobility were also presented.


Numerous representatives of youth organisations set sail from the “Heitere Fahne” in Bern on 13 November with Movetia’s Youth work team at the helm. They were headed for eleven islands featuring various discussion topics, each hosted by different youth organisations, youth workers and researchers from the ZHAW. Each island featured lively discussions about a different topic. The aim of the interactive journey of discovery was to gather ideas and inspiration for international youth work and to discuss possible solutions to challenges. 

Three of the eleven islands presented the provisional results of the analysis conducted by the ZHAW on exchange and mobility:

  • Island 1: On the first ZHAW island, participants discussed whether mixed projects (e.g. extracurricular exchanges arranged during school or an apprenticeship) would enable more young people to access exchange and mobility projects.
  • Island 2: At this station participants talked about the clarity of Movetia’s roles and tasks. Some believed that Movetia should position itself more clearly in certain areas.
  • Island 3: The third ZHAW island looked at the federal government’s vision regarding the significance of intercultural exchange in extracurricular youth work. Politically and socially this is still not adequately recognised or promoted. The necessary resources are therefore often lacking – particularly in local youth work. Some participants expressed a wish for intercultural exchange to be established as an objective at municipal level. 

Movetia sees these preliminary yet very enlightening results as an opportunity to constantly develop and thus to improve the possibilities of exchange and mobility projects in youth work. “We will continue to monitor the ZHAW analysis and we will be able to use these initial results to define measures and priorities for action. This is good news for the future of youth work and for the implementation of the exchange and mobility strategy by the federal government and the cantons,” says Christophe Bettin, Head of Division, Vocational education and training and Youth work at Movetia.  

Various topics were discussed on the other eight islands: e.g. exchange and mobility in local youth work, insights into the exchange projects of child and youth work in Moutier, NOW and Cevi Zurich, Professional Open Youth Work in Europe (POYWE), an introduction to the existing opportunities available with Eurodesk Switzerland and Movetia, and a presentation of the European training courses.

The event ended with artistic performances by two young people who had taken part in the international youth exchange “Axé Cirque” by the association PlayTime, which was supported by Movetia.