It is now difficult to go to the UK – something that affects many young people in Finland. You were the one who was in exchange – what did the studies give you? Comment and share your experiences.
With Britain leaving the European Union, the UK is now leaving the Erasmus + program, which gives young people in Europe the opportunity to study in countries other than their home country.
According to Mika Saarinen, Head of the European Union Program Coordination Unit at the Education Council, the program is one of the most important forms of cooperation in Europe.
It connects young people and gives them a chance to experience the cultures and languages of other countries, but also a chance to see how they live and work in other countries of Europe, he says.
The program provides opportunities for young people – both in higher education, vocational and secondary education, but also in youth activities, to collaborate in Europe.
1,000 Finns go to the UK to study
Saarinen says about 1,000 young people go to the UK every year to exchange.
Now that the UK has left the collaboration, they need to find another destination for their studies.
Hundreds of teachers and experts participate in exchanges with the country.
“It is also very big for young people from the UK that they can no longer come to Finland and experience the Finnish education system,” says Saarinen.
Replacement programs are likely to come
Saarinen says cooperation with the UK will continue, but it will be more difficult when countries cannot use the Erasmus + program.
It is also believed that some type of replacement program will be developed.
We have time to do that because the agreements that have now been entered into and the current funding will be in effect until May 2022, and some of them until 2023. The UK will certainly take the lead on its own and Finland will likely also consider entering into some form of agreement. , He says.
We still do not know what the new agreements will look like and when they will enter into force. The only thing we know is that many young people are now missing out on the opportunity to study in the UK.
Those who are now abroad could complete their studies as planned, but then there might be a few years where the exchange is not easy and where there aren’t many opportunities to go to the UK, says Saarinen.
Many people remember years of exchange as a nice and helpful thing – and maybe even a time when important connections were made. What did you get from your exchange studies? Feel free to comment!