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Intercultural language programme 2007

Language and intercultural learning – Empowering youth workers in Europe

Table of contents

Programme 2007
The Council of Europe Intercultural Language Programme
Why does the Council of Europe organise intercultural language courses?
Who are these courses for?
Profile of candidates
How to apply
Selection criteria
Conditions of participation
Enrolment fees
Time schedule for the selection of participants
Intercultural language programme 2007
Selection procedure
Application form

Programme 2007 

Consult the activities database

The Council of Europe Intercultural Language Programme 

If the Intercultural Language Programme has been a part of the Directorate of Youth and Sport’s (DYS) programme of activities since the beginning, it is without doubt because foreign language skills and intercultural competence are essential preconditions for youth mobility and for the development of international activities. The absence of intercultural experiences and of language skills can be a barrier not only to youth mobility but also to the participation of young people, one of the key priorities of the DYS’ activities.

Over the years, our intercultural language courses have developed to include language learning, intercultural learning and the discovery of European youth work. The Intercultural Language Programme has become an essential instrument in promoting intercultural dialogue and youth policy development at European level and responds to the specific needs of youth organisations wishing to develop their youth activities at European level.

The Intercultural Language Programme helps to promote intercultural dialogue, as well as international understanding and co-operation by bringing together young people from different backgrounds and countries. It contributes to the diversity of languages spoken in international youth work and encourages youth mobility in Europe which provides young people and youth workers with the opportunity to discover the diversity of youth actions in different countries.

Why does the Council of Europe organise intercultural language courses? 

In order to be able to take part in intercultural and inter-faith dialogue, to promote international understanding, and to fight against all forms of racism and xenophobia, young people today must develop their linguistic competencies, in particular those needed for youth work and international co-operation. If genuine communication and co-operation are to exist, language teaching should also contribute to an active, critical understanding of each person’s own culture and of others’ culture.

The DYS intercultural language courses, as well as providing for the development of language and intercultural competences adapted to youth work, encourage an interest in areas other than just language and combine also history, politics, culture, ideology, geography, religion and everyday life in another country. This is the intercultural side of the courses. These courses therefore allow participants to undertake multicultural and multiracial exchanges and to attempt to develop this international understanding and co-operation.

This is achieved through:

The various course elements aim to provide participants with an understanding of interculturality and communication skills in the target language adapted to youth work activities, as well as with the skills to continue developing intercultural attitudes and language learning afterwards. The success of the course depends on participants’ initiative and the responsibility they take for their learning. The course educational teams are consultants for learning.

The aim of the Intercultural Language Programme is to enable members of youth organisations to become more active in international youth work by promoting intercultural dialogue, international understanding and improving their language and communication skills in the context of European youth work.

The main objectives are:

Who are these courses for? 

The intercultural language courses should be seen as an opportunity for youth organisations to provide training in intercultural and language learning, as well as in youth work to their members for the development of international youth work. For this reason, candidates must be nominated by their organisation, which must justify its choice based on the importance of the candidate’s participation in the intercultural language course for the projects or activities s/he is implementing within the organisation or for the organisation’s development at European/international level. The nominating organisations must make an initial selection from the applications they receive from their member organisations and propose only two candidates in order of priority per course.

The participants chosen should be aware of the importance of their participation in the intercultural language course for the development of her/his organisation and provide the nominating organisation with a report within two months of the end of the course.

Profile of candidates 

Applicants must be:

All these conditions are strictly applied.

The applicants’ motivation and learning needs for their youth work activities are considered as the most important criteria for the selection.

These courses require commitment, initiative and active participation.

Those who have already participated in the DYS Intercultural Language Programme are not eligible to re-apply.

How to apply 

The youth organisation/structure in which the applicant is active must be connected to one of the following youth organisations/structures:

ONLY these organisations/structures are able to propose applications.

Applications not presented by such an organisation/structure are not eligible.

The applicant must return her/his completed application form to the organisation/ structure nominating her/him in time for it to make a selection and propose 2 candidates per course by order of priority.

The organisation’s/structure’s priority proposals must reach the Secretariat, along with a recommendation letter for each applicant, by 18 March at the latest.

Selection criteria 

On receipt of the applications put forward by the youth organisations/structures, the DYS will make a selection based on the following criteria:

Priority will be given to disadvantaged applicants or those who would not otherwise have the opportunity to study a foreign language.

Conditions of participation 

Travel expenses: travel expenses must be covered by the participant and/or her/his organisation/structure.

In order to encourage the participation of disadvantaged young people, the DYS has created a special fund to partly cover travel expenses of young people who cannot afford to pay the costs of the journey. This fund is limited and can only assist a small number of participants. If participants think they may be eligible for help, on receipt of confirmation of her/his acceptance for the course, participants must submit a request to the Secretariat, justifying why s/he should be considered for the grant. This request must be accompanied by a letter of support from the sending organisation.

Applicants must first ask their nominating organisation/structure for help to cover travel costs.

Enrolment fees 

Board, lodging and tuition fees are covered by the Council of Europe and its partners in the host country. Participants must be aware that they will have to cover these costs themselves if they are absent from any part of the course without good reason, approved in advance by the course team.

Participants must pay an enrolment fee of 100 Euros at the beginning of the course.

While all expenses (board, lodging, educational costs) for full participation in the courses are covered by the Council of Europe and its partners, no pocket money for other activities is available. Participants should find out about local costs and make sure they have enough pocket money for their own expenses and extra curricular activities.

Your attention is drawn to the fact there are very few places for a high demand. Therefore, once selected to participate, the candidate must commit her/himself to attend for the whole duration of the course. If, for any reason, the candidate is unable to take up the offer of a place, s/he must immediately inform the DYS Secretariat and the sending organisation. This is also the case for applicants placed on the waiting list.

Time schedule for the selection of participants 

2 March

Dispatch of completed applications to the nominating organisation/structure for selection of 2 candidates per course.

18 March

Deadline for receipt from nominating organisation/ structure (maximum 2 priority applicants per course) which MUST be sent to DYS by e-mail: youth.language@coe.int*.

30 April

Information about selected participants to youth organisations and applicants.

21 May

Selected applicants to confirm their participation.

Deadline for applications for help with payment of travel costs.

Before the course

Participants should contact their headquarters for help with organising their journey/visa and to get information about their international/national organisations.


Intercultural language course

After the course

Participants to send written report on course to their sending organisation within two months.

Please address any correspondence to: youth.language@coe.int

Intercultural language programme 2007 

Intercultural English language course (TBC)

Ireland, Dublin
Dates: 1 – 28 July 2007
(20 participants)

Intercultural French language course

France, European Youth Centre Strasbourg
Dates: 5 August to 1 September 2007
(30 participants)

Intercultural German language course

Germany, Europa-Kolleg Kassel
Dates: 29 July - 25 August 2007
(26 participants)

Intercultural Italian language course

Italy, Levico Terme, Fondazione Bruno Kessler
Dates: 19 August to 8 September 2007
(20 participants)

Intercultural Russian language course

Russian Federation, Moscow, People’s Friendship University
Dates: 24 June to 21 July 2007
(20 participants)

Spanish language course

Spain, Molina, Instituto de la Juventud
Dates: 9 – 27 July 2007
(15 participants)

Selection procedure 


Selection procedure [PDF]
Selection procedure [word]

Application form 


Application Form [PDF]
Application Form [word]

* You are requested to send scanned copies of the forms in order that we have a signed copy of each one. However, please send also a Word version of each form to facilitate the registration of details. Please avoid sending faxes.