EU Comenius and Grundtvig funding for our teacher training courses
Jim Wright, Director of Teacher Training
[Editorial comment: in addition to the 25 member states of the European Union, which Jim's piece is about, five " EU candidate countries" also receive funding and have national agencies that give out scholarship monies to language teachers.
These countries are:
Nearly 80% of the participants on our Easter and Summer Courses come funded by either an EU Comenius or Grundtvig grant. Though the application process may seem complicated, it's well worth exploring as the grant covers your course and accommodation costs and in the era of cheap European flights, almost all your travel costs.
So how do you get EU funding to come on a Pilgrims course?
Getting funding for your course can seem a laborious task, and requires determination, but if you consider you can get a Comenius grant for up to €1500 and the average two week Pilgrims course next year is €1400 including accommodation, I think you'll agree, it's worth your perseverance!
Here's some quick Q & A's that should help you through the 'funding maze'!
Comenius or Grundtvig? Which one is for me?
Comenius 2.2 Grant
To be eligible for a Comenius 2.2 grant you must be one of the following:
- A qualified and practising teacher of an official language of the EU as a foreign language
- A trainer of foreign language teachers
- A teacher re-training as a foreign language teacher
- A primary or pre-primary teacher whose responsibilities include or will in the future include teaching foreign languages
- A teacher of other subjects through the medium of a foreign language
- A language teacher re-entering the profession after a period away from teaching
- An inspector or advisor in the field of language teaching
Grundtvig 3 grants are available to teachers in the field of Adult Education.
What financial support is on offer?
The grant awarded will be calculated to help cover:
- Travel costs to and from the country where the course is organised
- Subsistence costs
- Preparation costs (including language preparation)
- Course fees where appropriate
What criteria will I need to show in my application?
When you complete your application form, priority will be given to you if you can show:
- how you will use the skills and knowledge gained on the in-service course to the benefit of your school or institution
- how the experience could help you to set up school partnerships with other schools in Europe
- how the course will give you a better understanding of school education in Europe and increase the European dimension of your work
Remember to mention that all Pilgrims courses are multinational and that you will be meeting and working with teachers from all over Europe and the rest of the world. Also mention that Pilgrims courses include a full programme of afternoon and evening sessions and activities giving you many more hours of training than other UK providers.
So, how and where do I apply?
Each EU country has its own National Agency responsible for awarding the grants. The Pilgrims web site provides links to every national agency in the 25 countries of the Union
Follow this link to start the ball rolling:
When do I apply?
Check with your National Agency the exact deadline for applications. Dates differ in different EU countries but are usually in February or March.
In all circumstances it is best to apply as early as possible. If you apply NOW your chances of success will be much higher than if you leave it until nearer the deadline.
There are no Pilgrims courses in the Comenius Course Database - Surely they are not eligible for funding?
Since 2003 our courses have not appeared in the database with a Comenius Code. That is because the criteria for inclusion in the database changed - it only includes courses that were set up under a Socrates programme. However, all Pilgrims courses (and indeed those of our competitors) are eligible and grants are awarded under the discretion of the National Agency.
Now I'm confused, I've contacted my national agency and have downloaded this huge application form and I don't know how to complete it - can you help?
Though Pilgrims can't help you directly we have agents and representatives in most EU countries who have helped many teachers apply successfully and will be pleased to help you through the process - and in your own language!
Send me an email stating the country and town where you come from and I will put you in touch with an agent in your region: firstname.lastname@example.org
Best of luck and see you in 2006!