Erasmus students should have the opportunity to experience and learn from their host culture and extend their academic exchange by engaging with the local community. The programme should facilitate and encourage Erasmus students to impact this local environment by offering volunteer opportunities and a learning environment that transcends the traditional academic setting. As a result, students will have a better intercultural understanding, greater learning outcomes and showcase the importance of internationalisation to the host society.
To this extent, a consortium composed of student and youth organisations, universities and schools has conducted an Erasmus+ co-funded project: SocialErasmus+, which builds upon more than a decade of experience with offering volunteer opportunities to international students. Allowing international students to volunteer in local schools and engage with pupils and teachers has a far-reaching positive impact on all involved parties.
It is crucial to build upon this experience and utilise the outcomes of the project to systematise the access and recognition of volunteer opportunities, as well as to maximising the learning outcome of students and the impact they can have on the local community.