European Youth Portal

Information and opportunities for young people across Europe.

Out of school learning in the UK

Education is part of everyone’s life, but it doesn’t all have to take place in the classroom. There are other ways to learn, often while you don't even realise you're doing it.

Youth Programmes


O2 Think Big

Setting up a local football team.  Painting a community centre.  Running a campaign to educate young people about knife crime.  Developing an allotment.  Organising a community event.  Arranging an open mic night for local talent. O2 Think Big is a social action programme aimed at young people aged 13-25 who want to make positive changes in their community.  If they’ve got a great project idea, we’ll help them get going.  Initially young people can apply for £300 (O2 Think Big), for their community project.  If they successfully complete their O2 Think Big project they will have the opportunity to apply for £2,500 (O2 Think Bigger).  Young people receive support, training and opportunities to network during their Think Big journey.


Youth in Action

Youth in Action offers a range of opportunities for young people and those working in the youth sector. It is funded by the European Union and administered by the British Council in the UK. It awards grants to groups of young people, individuals and youth workers who want to take advantage of one of the following options:

Youth Exchanges – get groups of young people from across Europe together to share experiences and learn about the world around them.

Youth Initiatives– offer young people a chance to develop their skills by running their own projects on topics that really matter to them.

Youth Democary Projects– develop young people’s understanding of the vital role they play in democratic society and get them actively involved.

Volunteering – encourage young people to offer their skills to serve a community as they learn about other cultures, develop language skills and improve their employability.

Training and Networking  - Youth in Action also offer training grants designed to support organizations as they prepare and develop their Youth in Action projects.

Meetings of youtn people and decision-makers - Youth in Action can also support dialogue between young people, youth workers and organisations and policy makers. The programme ensures that young people’s voices are heard and that they influence decisions made about them.



Erasmus is the European Union's flagship educational exchange programme for Higher Education students, teachers and institutions. It was introduced with the aim of increasing student mobility within Europe. Erasmus forms part of the EU Lifelong Learning Programme (2007-2013) .It encourages student and staff mobility for work and study, and promotes trans-national co-operation projects among universities across Europe. The scheme currently involves nine out of every ten European higher education establishments and supports co-operation between the universities of 33 countries.


National Citizen Service

The National Citizen Service is a scheme for 16 and 17 year olds in England to take part in social action projects and build skills for work and life. It runs in the spring, summer and autumn and you have the opportunity to spend  a short time away from home and take part in a team project that will help your locoal community.