The Erasmus+ Programme: A Step-by-Step Guide

The Erasmus+ programme has a budget of 26 billion euros (for 2021-2027) and opens doors for teachers and students from all school levels.  

Discover this life-changing opportunity through the features of this comprehensive guideto the Erasmus+ programme. 

The Erasmus+ programme

More than 4 million teachers and school staff have travelled across Europe between 2014 and 2020. They have met colleagues and peers from other countries, and have taken part in international activities, all funded by the Erasmus+ (plus) programme. 

Are you interested in participating?  

In this article, I have covered all you need to know about the new Erasmus+ programme. 

Why not start planning your next mobility project right away?

Enjoy the article, and remember, if you need assistance with an Erasmus+ project, Europass Teacher Academy is here to help you!

What is Erasmus+?

Are you already familiar with Erasmus+?

Then, you may skip to the next section.

Otherwise, you may like to know that Erasmus+ represents one of the active steps taken by the European Union to promote the internationalization and modernization of schools. 

Teachers have taken this opportunity to take part in training courses abroad and learn new teaching strategies, develop innovative teaching tools, meet people of different nationalities and cultures, and even practice a foreign language. 

By attending these classes, teachers have also developed school exchange programs. 

Within Erasmus+, networks of schools have also implemented international projects to promote innovation and share best practices of different school levels. 

For some teachers, joining the programme has given them the possibility of visiting another European country for the first time. Furthermore, it has also encouraged many schools to complete medium and long-term planning and achieve a dedicated European mission. 

The Erasmus+ Programme

At the end of every year, usually in November, the European Commission publishes the new Erasmus+ guide for the following year. The first deadlines usually expire by the end of February, check our Erasmus+ funding deadlines to stay up-to-date.

However, on a larger scale, the European Commission implements changes every seven years in which it decides on the priorities and the budget for the following scheme. In 2021, the programme expanded and facilitated the inclusion of disadvantaged groups. 

In order to involve in Erasmus+ “new-comer” organizations, the programme supports schools that have fewer or a lack of organizational resources. Schools entering the programme for the first time have access to more basic projects that are easier to implement.  

The goal for 2021-2027 is to fund 10 million mobility projects, not only higher education institutions, VET, primary and secondary schools, but also even pre-schools and kindergartens.  

The programme has been a great success since 1987, and now it aims to develop each school and organization’s European identity  

Most funding will reach those schools that demonstrate a clear intention to develop their international capacity and participate in European projects on a continuous basis. 

As inclusion is one of the main priorities of the programme, there are budget costs set aside for the needs of students who require additional support (e.g., mobility funding for an accompanying person, or for the rent of special vehicles for transportation). Concerning long-term mobility, some organizations may also use a part of their grant funding for the linguistic preparation of the participants. 

Moreover, schools can also organize blended mobility through a range of activities which makes these projects more flexible, attractive and engaging.  

The Structure of Erasmus+

The Erasmus+ programme is made up of four Key Actions (KA) for the education sectors (formal, non-formal and informal). 

Do you know what the main difference between them is? 

Let me tell you… 

Any school can apply for funding in KA1, even without foreign partnerships during the application, while KA2 projects are accessible only to international school networks and organizations, that have previously held a partnership. 

Let’s look at some more details. 

Key Action 1 – Individual Mobility

This chance of funding is created for individual schools or organizations. Schools can also create a consortium to share the efforts of managing a project and creating new synergies. 

Any new organization can enter a consortium at any given time. So, if your school has missed the deadline to apply for funding, you can still participate in the project by joining a national consortium whose proposal has already been approved. 

The calls for action in this category allow teachers and students from the funded school to travel abroad for several reasons. 

  • Professional training for teachers and school staff. These projects let participants take face-to face courses for professional development abroad. 
    International courses really represent an exceptional experience to acquire new professional skills while having a break from ordinary work, with colleagues from all over the Union. 
    Teachers are always very excited at the end. International training courses really are a good means to bring back motivation and satisfaction in a teacher’s daily work… 
    … we can say this with certainty as we mainly organize them! 
  • Sharing good teaching practices. These projects allow teachers to travel abroad to teach their subject in another school, or to assist teachers from a foreign school with their daily tasks. These opportunities are ideal for language teachers and educators at the beginning of their careers who can greatly benefit from job shadowing. Anyone can participate!  
  • Student mobility. These projects allow classes of students to travel across Europe, and visit foreign schools. 
    It implies that schools will not need to form an international partnership (KA2) to take part in these school exchange activities. 
    Due to this, a school will not risk losing its funding because a foreign partner withdrew from the project. Moreover, similarly to all other projects within Key Action 1, it is possible to plan school exchanges on a regular basis throughout the course of five years, benefiting from the Erasmus Accreditation.

>> Discover more about the Erasmus+ KA1

Key Action 2 – Cooperation partnerships

This chance of funding refers to transnational networks of schools and/or organizations (“partnerships”.) To be eligible for these actions, schools must first form an international network, and then apply under the guidance from the school coordinating the partnership. 

These actions have 3 objectives: 

  • Cooperation and exchange of good practices. They allow schools to create international networks, participate in project meetings, and reinforce the capacities of each participant organization through sharing their best practices in dealing with a certain topic or issue.
  • Innovation. Cooperation partnerships must create something new by sharing the expertise of the schools and the organizations participating in the network. 
    Here are some of the things you may consider creating; new teaching activities and modalities, guidelines and job-aids for teachers or school professionals, innovative assessment tools, taxonomies and procedures, digital platforms and learning systems
  • Research projects. These partnerships are open to cooperation with universities and other higher education institutions to produce new research. 

>> Discover more about the Erasmus+ KA2

Key Action 3 – Support for policy reform

This action refers to centralized Erasmus+ activities, that is, to high-level project actions with significant funding therefore, it is less important for educational institutions.
Usually, National Agencies do not deal with these activities. Instead, the Executive Agency (EACEA) manage them through specific calls for project applications.

Jean Monnet Actions

Jean Monnet Actions aim to promote excellence in teaching and research in the field of study in the European Union. In particular, they focus on the process of integration in both its internal and external features. 

They have been traditionally dedicated to higher education, but since 2021 they also include the participation of schools to develop active participation in the democratic life of the Union for all EU citizens. The Jean Monnet Actions are centralised, meaning they are managed directly by the European Education and Culture Executive Agency, so organisations should register via the Funding and Tenders Portal.

Jean Monnet Networks in Other Fields of Education and Training

Jean Monnet Networks in Other Fields of Education and Training aims to improve and share teaching practices on European Union subjects while also providing international insights for educators.

Teachers may take part in mobility experiences in other Programme countries to organize and deliver co-teaching / co-tutoring. Moreover, they should gather and discuss teaching methodologies for curricular and extracurricular activities about the EU through physical and online meetings and disseminate good practices by producing documents and guidelines.

Erasmus Accreditation for KA1 projects

Erasmus Accreditation is like a ‘loyalty card’, similar to those distributed by large chain shops or supermarkets, but in this case, it is specifically for schools of all types and levels. 

A school needs to receive the accreditation only once every seven years-programme. 

This is sufficient to make it recognized by the National Agency as an organization that deals with international mobility on a regular basis. Hence, the school that receives the Accreditation does not need to apply again for it within the 2021-2027 Programme.

To apply, educational institutions must outline their own strategy for medium- and long-term internationalization and modernization by presenting a European Development Plan (EDP) and an Erasmus+ Plan.

They must also commit to meeting Erasmus+ quality standards, which specify how the school will organize the international activity. 

Receiving the Erasmus accreditation has many advantages. 

Indeed, upon acceptance, the candidate school benefits from a stable source of funding for the whole duration of the Programme, simplified application procedures in response to Erasmus+ calls, as well as a quicker evaluation process

Participation in the Erasmus+ programme

The deadline for the Erasmus accreditation usually expires in October. 

However, if you missed the deadline, don’t worry! 

Your school still has many opportunities to participate in the Erasmus Programme. 

First, Key Actions 1 proposes one particular action, i.e., short-term projects dedicated specifically to non-accredited organizations

Short-term projects allow a smaller number of participants to take part in shorter international mobility. 

These restrictions, however, make preparing an application simpler, in which short-term projects constitute a perfect entry point for schools with no prior similar experience. 

A second possibility is to join a consortium that has already been accredited. 

You can also consider making your school act as a hosting organization for another accredited foreign school. 

Finally, don’t forget that the call for accreditation reopens every year

How to participate in the Erasmus+ programme

If you’ve made it this far, you have already discovered many of the opportunities offered by the Erasmus+ Program.

Would you like to participate?

I have prepared a self-paced online course, The New Erasmus+ Programme Made Easy, that shows you how to apply (you can try the first module for free).

The course explains step-by-step what you need to do to prepare an effective project with a high chance of being funded.

Below are some quick tips for maximizing your chance of success.

Prepare your application for the Erasmus+ Programme

Preparing an application is not an immediate process, and it requires careful planning. 

It is useful to assign a small group of people to manage the more technical aspects, but also remember to get your institution’s governing bodies and school community involved in the process. 

This is the only way an Erasmus+ project can receive the approval and support of the entire school community necessary to complete it. 

If you wish to know more about how to increase the chance of approval for your Erasmus+ project, have a look at our web page dedicated to The Four Erasmus+ Horizontal Priorities.

Link financing requests to your school needs

The first aspect to understand before completing an effective application is that the financing requests must connectto the current needs of the school applying for the project

In fact, European funding within education is increasingly linked to the implementation of whole-school projects to meet the needs of participating institutions. 

Such needs must be expressed in a document known as the European Development Plan (EDP).

Make your School International: The European Development Plan

The European Development Plan does not specifically concern the project you’re making an application for. Instead, it refers to the general internationalization strategy of the school that connects to other school planning documents. 

This European Development Plan should hold a harmonious vision for European strategy, with its final goal being the comprehension of school internationalization and progression in the medium and long run. 

A tip: making a reference to the European Education Area can also help.

Once the school has expressed its needs and requirements in the European Development Plan, preparing an application then requires you to develop a design idea that you will fully elaborate later.

Find partner organizations & create a partnership

With the draft of the project idea in hand, you will be able to identify an open Erasmus+ call that is consistent with your own objectives and find partner organizations with which you can create a rapport that facilitates the application process. 

This last step isn’t mandatory because lots of application calls also allow schools to participate as individuals. It is essential to participate in more complex calls such as they relate to Key Action 2. 

Write Your Project for the Erasmus+ Programme

Having established your working group and the partner organization, you will now be in the best position to write an actual project. 

This part is not difficult, but it will be easier if both parties master the specific vocabulary, and know the basic principles of project management and euro-planning. 

Are you interested in how to plan and write a successful European Project (KA1 and KA2) for the new Erasmus+ Programme (2021-2027)? Check out our face-to-face course to be thoroughly prepared!

Apply Online for the Erasmus+ Programme

Once the various members of the partnership have approved the project, you will be ready to upload it on the Erasmus+ and European Solidarity Corps platform.

To this aim, you must accredit and register your school on the platform by obtaining its OID code (Organization Identification Code, the old PIC code!). 

The more carefully you plan your work in previous phases, the easier this step will be. 

If you have thought in advance about the details of the project implementation (such as the budget, management aspects, identification and communication of results), now you do not need to do any more than copy and paste the individual sections of the project that you have already written! 


Do you want to join the Erasmus+ programme? Are you ready to go?

If you would like some support, consider taking the online course The New Erasmus+ Programme Made Easy (the first module is available for free).

If your school already has some Erasmus+ funding (e.g., for short-term mobility), you can also consider taking our face-to-face course in one of our European locations:

What kind of mobility activities would you like to organize for your school?

Remember that Europass Teacher Academy can assist your school or institution in managing your Erasmus + Project!

Tell us more in the comments!

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21 thoughts on “The Erasmus+ Programme: A Step-by-Step Guide

  1. AvatarKristina says:

    Hello, I have a question and I hope I will get the answer from you.

    I am an English teacher in a primary school and I have been a Project Coordinator of 4 Erasmus+ projects in my school.
    We have learnt a lot from our Erasmus+ involvement and we would like to apply for new projects this year.
    This is my question: We would like to do a new project with one of our partner schools, but they informed us that recently they have been granted the Erasmus accreditation. Our school hasn`t got the accreditation though. So, what should we do now? How do we apply for a project together?
    I look forward to hearing from you

    1. Marco FeniciMarco Fenici says:

      Hi Kristina,

      I guess I can understand what is going on here, please tell me if I am wrong.

      1) You formerly had a School Exchange project with a foreign school funded with KA2 Erasmus+ funding.

      2) The foreign school is now telling you that they are founding the project otherwise.

      Is this the case?

      The point is that, with the new program, School Exchange has been moved from KA2 to KA1 funding. Thus, schools do not apply anymore with strategic partnerships for it. Each school applies separately.

      What your partner school is telling you that they applied to fund their mobilities to come at your school. In the new program, you have no other way than doing the same, if you want to keep sending students to their school.

      How to do that?

      Either you apply for the accreditation (deadline October 2022) or for short term mobility projects (deadline now, end of february).

      You can find more details at your National Agency.

      At Europass, we also created this online course explaining how to write the request for Accreditation (KA120):

      Finally, if you still have training funding for teachers, you can also visit us in Florence, where I provide the same course live:

      I hope this will help you keep travelling across Europe!



  2. AvatarRaluca Nitescu says:

    Good evening! I am a teacher of English in a secondary school în Romania and I deeply want to participate in a course on environment and climate changes issues but I don t know where to start from. Which is the first step for ME to do in order to participate at such an event?

    1. Ambra FalabellaAmbra Falabella says:

      Hello Raluca,

      if your question is about which courses on environment and climate change you can take, please explore them at this link:

      If you question is how you can get Erasmus+ funding for the first time in order to take a course, my recommendation is to apply with your school for a short-term project (KA1). The deadline for the next call should be in October. Please check with your national agency what are the requests and possibilities.

      If your school has additional funding, you can always enroll in this course ( to learn how to involve more your school in the programme!

      Finally, please also find more information at this link:

      Hope this helps answer your request!



  3. AvatarNEHAL FAISAL says:

    Cant individuals with social projects apply for Erasmus + Grant? Is it mandatory to apply through a school?

    1. Marco FeniciMarco Fenici says:

      Hi Nehal Faisal,

      what you write is mandatory. Erasmus+ is only for organizations, not individuals. If you want to apply with a project, it must be submitted through an organization — although not necessarily a school: it may be any institution in school or higher education, vocational education, adult education, youth and sports.

      Good luck with your projects!

  4. AvatarDeepak kumar says:

    Sir , i would like to apply for Phd research project and want to get erasmus funding . So could you tell me the deadline for submitting my research proposal for the above . Is the deadline 31st July or 4th october ?

    1. Marco FeniciMarco Fenici says:

      Dear Deepak Kumar,

      Erasmus+ does not found individual research of Doctoral Students directly.

      Please refer to your University if you want to profit of an Erasmus+ opportunity within the field of higher education.



  5. AvatarAnneke Drost says:

    Are all courses intended voor primary and secondary teachers together? Or are some courses more intended for either primary or secundary education?

    1. Andrea MerloAndrea Merlo says:

      Dear Anneke, most of the courses you will find in our catalogue are open both for primary and secondary teachers together, but some are only for primary or secondary. When they are only for a specific audience, it is usually indicated directly in the course title (e.g. “Choice, Competence and Creative-Thinking in the Primary Classroom“). Though, even for other courses if there are only teachers of a specific background, we adapt the schedule of the course to cover the most desired topics.

  6. AvatarGerard joyce says:

    Can someone tell me what the host family receive for accommodation and feed. Thank you

    1. Ambra FalabellaAmbra Falabella says:

      The costs are indicated in the Erasmus+ guide. There is no indication for host families but schools receive about 55€ per day per student in mobility. With this money, they can pay food, and hotels or other sorts of accomodation. If they create an agreement with families, they can also use that money to fund more mobilities.

  7. AvatarRuya Ozcan says:


    I’m an English teacher in a public secondary school in Turkey and we want to attend your courses through an Erasmus+ project. Is it possible to do so? I mean if we write a project about the inclusive education, can we get a fund to attend your courses? We have no Erasmus+ experience and so we’re not sure how to apply and take part. Can we choose your organisation as a partner or host organisation for our project?

    1. Marco FeniciMarco Fenici says:

      > we want to attend your courses through an Erasmus+ project. Is it possible to do so?

      Certainly. Most participants to our courses come with Erasmus+ funding.

      To do so, the easiest way is to write a short-term project KA122 on any topic of your choice (e.g., inclusive education) or to prepare the Accreditation KA120 for your school.

      You need no partners for these projects, but certainly you need to better understand the mechanisms of Erasmus+.

      I hope the information in this page will help you learn about the project.

      See you in Europe!

  8. AvatarJamoliddin Niyozov says:

    I’m interested in your program also im head of the department management and marketing institute of economy and trade Tajik state University of commerce in Tajikistan and can I participate

    1. Marco FeniciMarco Fenici says:

      Dear Jamoliddin Niyozov,

      Erasmus+ is run by the European Commission (not by us!). In our courses, we accept many participants, most of which come funded through the Programme.

      Unfortunately, Erasmus+ is mostly focused on participants from the countries affiliated to the Programme (the 27 EU countries plus 6 more countries actively supporting the Programme such as Turkey) and Tajikistan is not amongst them.

      We are still happy to host you in our courses, although it will be your decision which funding to use to take part in them.



  9. AvatarAmcy M. Esteban says:

    Hi, I am an Education Program Supervisor from the Department of Education,Manila. I would like to know if there are short term projects or exchange programs on Inclusive Education and Kindergarten Education which is fully funded by Erasmus for Asian countries like the Philippines? Thanks.

    1. Marco FeniciMarco Fenici says:

      Dear Amcy M. Esteban,

      Unfortunately, Erasmus+ is mostly focused on participants from the countries affiliated to the Programme (the 27 EU countries plus 6 more countries actively supporting the Programme such as Turkey). Asian countries can be considered by the Programme only as third-party countries.

      If you are interested in participating in Erasmus+ from the Philippines, it is up to you finding a network of European organization willing to write a project including your country. The project must clearly motivate why a third-country organization needs to be involved.

      Good luck wuth your application!



    2. AvatarTracey says:

      Hi. We are looking for a great conference on mindfulness. We have our own funding. If we don’t have any affiliation with Erasmus or KA1, are we still able to attend.

  10. AvatarEllen Chan says:

    Dear Marco,

    I am an English teacher in a vocational institute in Amsterdam and I have received funding from Erasmus+ and would like to get in touch with IT (vocational) schools and companies. I have received funds for job shadowing and I’m also looking to establish internship positions in Dublin. Can you please point me to some schools for me to job shadow and companies or organisations that are open to internships?

    I appreciate your attention.


  11. Marco FeniciMarco Fenici says:

    Hi Ellen,

    congratulations for securing the Erasmus+ funding!

    We have no direct connections with VET schools, although many of them take our courses. However, we are creating a freely accessible database of schools to support your and similar requests.

    Please enroll in our mailing list if you want to be updated on this service!



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