European Youth Portal
Information and opportunities for young people across Europe.

The Youth Mobility Cycle

The cycle of international mobility: three moments of an international mobility experience.

During the last eight years, we have seen how the migration of spanish young people for working reasons was increased alarmingly. The global economic crisis,  particularly strong in southern countries, created a need to go abroad, searching for new emancipation opportunities. All kinds of Institutions started since then working to accompany young people who decide to choose that way. It's later on when the flow begins to reverse, and the efforts  focus on responding to the young people who come back, helping them to maximize their potential, with their new acquired capabilities,

The European Union promotes the mobility of EU persons, for reasons of:
- Employment, thanks to platforms like Eures, job mobility agreements and internship programs,
- Training, through exchange programs such as Erasmus+, the European Qualification Framwork or the Bologna plan.
- Volunteering and participation, thanks to European Voluntary Service (EVS) and youth exchanges of Erasmus+ program, among others.

Understanding international mobility as a cycle that includes prior preparation and going to the country, the stay itself and a possible return, we can identify three distinct steps: going, stay and come back.


To support young people who are preparing their stay abroad there are specialized services on  local, regional, national, European level, providing information and guidance on the opportunities and procedures to go abroad. It is the case of the Eurodesk network, the sending organisations of SVE or the specialized advice on international mobility as those of Barcelona: Consulting on International Mobility of Barcelona City Council or the ones of the County Council of Barcelones, both members of Eurodesk network.


At this important moment, support is key for the success of the experience. There are programs providing support to young people who are abroad as CEXT, el Portal de los Jóvenes Españoles en el Exterior, an active network of young people living abroad with different opportunities, providing useful information from different organizacions and institutions.


Desde la Dirección General de Migraciones de la Secretaría General de Inmigración y Emigración se han promovido diferentes proyectos dentro del Programa de Jóvenes con el objetivo de dar apoyo a la integración social y laboral de los jóvenes españoles residentes en el exterior menores de 35 años.

Los diferentes secciones se engloban en cuatro bloques: Asesoramiento (laboral, de emprendeduría), Aprendizaje de idiomas (curso o formaciones) Formación (prácticas, cursos de profesionalización), Retorno  (programas que faciliten el retorno de los jovenes como asesoria laboral, emprendedoria, entre otras)

From the Spanish Department of Immigration of the General Secretariat for Immigration and Emigration has promoted different projects within the Programa de Jóvenes in order to support social and professional integration of young Spaniards living abroad under 35 years.
The different sections fall into four blocks: Conselliorship (labor, entrepreneurship) Language Learning (course or training) Training (practical, vocational courses) Return (projects that facilitate the return of young people)



There are initiatives of the European Commission to facilitate this process, such as the ones for recognition of foreign qualifications through the network of information centers and educational recognition ENIC NARIC.  The Europass Curriculum and the  passport of linguistic competences in different languages ​​and the mobility support, a document certifying work experience or internship, volunteering or training with the developed functions and skills acquired abroad.

The Youthpass is a document that proves participation in programs of nonformal education Erasmus + such as EVS, youth exchanges and other mobilities youth or youth workers, and also helps to reflect on the impact of the experience and competences improvement.

At the state level, there are guides with important information and resources for persones returning from a mobility experience. How is the case of Guia del Retorno from Spanish Migration Board of the Ministry of Employment and Social Security, or guia A.P.O.Y.A.R. elaborated by the Community of Madrid.

Reports such as the one made by CECOT, study youth mobility and how to adress their return providing good practices of other countries, as well as tips and areas of improvement such as the collection of personal data of those who go abroad. The aim of this data is to maintain a positive relationship during their stay; while informing and identify needs to facilitate the return and provide employment and training opportunities of employment and entrepneruship in their home country.


Following this line there are initiatives such as the one from Barcelona City Council, with the aim of giving positive value to the experience of young people who have lived or are still living an experience aborad, with the “Jo al Món”. (Me in the world) contest. Thanks to this contest it’s easy to connect with young people living abroad and with the ones who have already returned and that will help create a “Return Plan" as their needs will be defined.

It is important that youth information services we take into account the cycle of mobility to help young people throughout the process. Thanks to networks such as Eurodesk, we can communicate with youth services throughout Europe and provide a more comprehensive service for the adventure of international mobility of young Europeans.


Written by Eurodesk Qualified Multiplier, Barcelona.

Published: Fri, 04/11/2016 - 12:01

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