Coleg y Cymoedd learners travel overseas to get a fresh take on studies and enhance personal development

Over 80 Coleg y Cymoedd students from courses including Childcare, Catering, and Hairdressing will get to experience a new way of learning by teaming up with education and business institutions across Europe this year.

The opportunity comes courtesy of Erasmus+, the EU’s exchange programme to support education, training, youth and sport development amongst European students.

Coleg y Cymoedd learners have been invited to locations across Italy, Spain and Portugal to develop their skills, knowledge and understanding by participating in foreign work placements in partnerships with receiving educational organisations, whilst experiencing the culture and language of a different country. The work placements were decided according to their relevance to the student’s curriculum and personal development needs.

In February 2023, Business teacher, Samantha James chaperoned a trip to Italy with her Level 3 learners. Some of her students shared their highlights: “I was able to gain excellent knowledge of how businesses run in another country and learnt new skills, being able to put what we’ve learnt into practice,” said Elle Thomas.

Dylan Thomas also spoke about the opportunities available through overseas study: “The experience was brilliant, something that very few people will have chance to take part in. I was able to enter a totally business new industry that I had not thought of before. It surprised me how important the business side of things is to running an archaeological site”.

Speaking of a recent trip to Benfica FC Training Centre, Lisbon, with Cymoedd’s Girls’ Football Academy, Coach Kathryn Morgan said: “It was one that learners will remember with a smile on their face. The precision of coaching, the cultural experience and the warm welcome we received made it a very successful trip.

The learners experienced how it would be to train and live as a professional footballer and the hard work and dedication that is required. And, being in Portugal, the sun shining every day no doubt improved peoples’ wellbeing. Many didn’t want to return home!”

Events & International Coordinator for Coleg y Cymoedd, Natalie Goodger, commented on the benefits of Cymoedd being an Erasmus+ institution: “Erasmus+ has been an extremely beneficial funding stream for the college over the years, not only providing once in a lifetime work-placement opportunities to learners but also by providing CPD for staff members and allowing our college to collaborate with other European institution, this in turn supports innovation, passion for learner and broadens future aspirations.”

International mobility programmes are recommended to enhance the communication, language, inter-cultural skills of students, and the soft-skills that are highly valued by future employers.

To find out more about opportunities for learners at Coleg y Cymoedd, visit: www.cymoedd.ac.uk

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