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How to Overcome Erasmus+ KA1 Problems in 2024

Dear teachers,


as someone who's helped many educators embark on amazing Erasmus+ KA1 adventures, I can tell you for sure: it changes classrooms for the better. But, like anything good in life, there can be bumps along the road. In this blog post, I want to talk openly about some of the biggest Erasmus+ KA1 problems in 2024, and how we can work together to solve them.



a worried woman holding her head with her hand


1. Erasmus+ KA1 Course Content Concerns


Not all courses are created equal, and with Erasmus+ KA1, the course content is king. Your National Agency wants you to follow your project proposal, so don't let the course content become one of your Erasmus+ KA1 problems in 2024. Here's why you need to be choosy:


  • Relevance to Your Needs: Is the course directly applicable to your teaching situation and the challenges you face in your classroom? Does it focus on the age group and subject you teach? Don't settle for a generic course – find one that tackles your specific needs and make sure it is aligned with your project objectives.

  • Depth and Practicality: Will the course offer a deep dive into the chosen topic, or is it a superficial overview? Look for courses that provide practical takeaways and strategies you can implement right away in your classroom.

  • Trainer Expertise: Who are the trainers? Do they have a proven track record and relevant experience in the field?

Solution: Do Your Research!


Here's the key: dig into the details before you commit. Read reviews from past participants to get a feel for the course content and delivery style. Don't be shy – contact the organization directly and ask questions! Find out about the curriculum, the trainers' backgrounds, and the learning outcomes you can expect. By investing some time in research, you can ensure you choose a high-quality course that truly meets your needs and helps you develop the skills you're looking for.


Our reviews on Google and Facebook can give you a clear picture of how satisfied the teachers are with the courses at OPAL. You can always contact us at erasmus@opalteachertraining.com to ask us more questions.



Teachers using their phones in one of our AugmentED: AI/AR Tools courses to discover the power of AR in the classroom

Teachers using their phones in one of our AugmentED: AI/AR Tools courses to discover the power of AR in the classroom. Keyword? Practical!



2. Teacher Autonomy and Course Choice


Imagine this: you're a passionate history teacher who longs to learn innovative ways to integrate technology into your lessons. But your school's Erasmus+ coordinator assigns you to a course on classroom management – a topic you've already mastered. Disappointing, right?


This scenario, where teachers are assigned Erasmus+ KA1 courses that don't align with their specific needs, is a common frustration. Here's why it's a problem:


  • Misdirected Investment: Erasmus+ KA1 funding is meant to support your professional growth and ultimately improve your teaching. Attending a course that doesn't address your current challenges is a missed opportunity for impactful development.

  • Demotivation and Disengagement: Let's be honest, sitting through a course that holds little relevance to your daily struggles can be demotivating. This can lead to disengagement and a feeling of wasted time.

  • Missed Opportunities for Students: When teachers attend Erasmus+ KA1 courses that directly address their needs, they return to the classroom with fresh ideas and strategies. Students are the ultimate beneficiaries of this professional development.


Solution: Communication is Key!


So, how can we break this cycle and ensure teachers get the most out of Erasmus+ KA1?

Here's a two-way approach:


Teachers: Take Charge of Your Professional Development!

  • Self-Reflection: Before approaching your Erasmus+ coordinator, take some time to reflect on your teaching goals. What areas do you feel need the most development? Are there specific teaching methods you'd like to explore?

  • Open Communication: Don't wait for course assignments! Initiate a conversation with your Erasmus+ coordinator. Express your interest in Erasmus+ KA1 and your desire to choose a course that aligns with your professional development goals.

  • Be Proactive: Research Erasmus+ KA1 course options online. There are many amazing programs available – come prepared to discuss your findings with your coordinator.

Erasmus+ Coordinators: Supporting Teacher Choice

  • Needs Assessment: Consider starting the conversation with teachers by having them complete a brief needs assessment. This will help you understand their specific areas of interest and tailor your recommendations accordingly.

  • Open Dialogue: Encourage teachers to come forward with their Erasmus+ KA1 aspirations. Be available to discuss course options and answer any questions they might have.

  • Embrace Teacher Autonomy: Remember, teachers are the ones who will be implementing the new skills and knowledge gained through Erasmus+ KA1. Empowering them to choose relevant courses leads to a more engaged and motivated learning experience.


If you have problems choosing the right course, why not invite an expert from OPAL to come to your school and train your teachers on location, like this school in Malaga who welcomed me to train their teachers (who were interested in this topic!) on game-based learning?



3. The Inflation Problems with Erasmus+ KA1


The biggest problem of them all - increasing costs. Everything is getting more expensive, yet Erasmus+ funding feels stuck in the past, while flights and hotels are skyrocketing. This makes things tough. Established organizations, the ones with tons of experience, often miss out because their funding hasn't kept up and some teachers report that having accreditation feels like punishment because of the limited funding. Also, from the time of project application for newcomers by the time the project takes place, prices can change drastically and teachers are stuck with a specific budget.


Solution: Explore Hidden Gems!


I know most of us would like to visit faraway places through Erasmus+, but sometimes that just isn't possible. So, schools, instead of going to the "big" places, think about locations with a lower cost of living, which might be just as exotic and show you a new way of life in Europe.


Here at OPAL, we cannot recommend cities like Osijek, Croatia enough. This place offers fantastic Erasmus+ KA1 experiences without breaking the bank and we think it's a winner for many reasons:


  • Easy on the Wallet: Compared to popular European destinations, Osijek boasts significantly lower prices for things like hotels and activities. This means you can stretch your budget further and get the most out of your experience. For less than 300 EUR per week in the peak tourist season, you can stay at great accommodation options in the city center. I'm not sure Paris, Berlin, or Madrid could offer such a deal.

  • Central European Hub: Osijek's location is fantastic. We like to say it sits in the middle of a triangle between Budapest, Belgrade and Zagreb, so if you are coming by plane from any location in Europe, it is so easy to reach. Osijek also has an airport, albeit smaller than the big ones mentioned, a train, and a bus station. Since we are the locals, we can organize the airport transfer for you. What's more, it's so easy to travel from Osijek to neighboring countries and other parts of Croatia. This adds another layer of cultural richness to your training course.

  • Culture Immersion: Croatia's fascinating history and stunning natural beauty provide a unique backdrop for your learning experience. Imagine soaking up knowledge in the morning while experiencing traditional Croatian cuisine and participating in cultural activities, checking out the lively pub-quiz scene of Slavonia, and doing a wine marathon or wildlife safari the Croatian way in the afternoons, for just a fraction of the price – pretty inspiring, right?

  • Warm Welcome: Osijek is known for its friendly locals and delicious food. You will meet the best of Croatian hospitality here, often with a glass of wine or homemade rakija - a perfect recipe for a memorable and enjoyable stay.


Check out our teacher training Erasmus+ courses in Osijek: https://www.opalteachertraining.com/destinations/osijek



Some views from Osijek



4. Finding the Perfect Erasmus+ KA1 Course Date


Finding a course that aligns with your professional development goals is fantastic, but what if the dates clash with your school schedule or personal commitments? Here's where a little flexibility can go a long way:


  • Communicate Early: Once you find a course that interests you, don't wait! Contact the course provider as soon as possible and explain your needs.

  • Openness to Options: Be open to alternative dates offered by the organization. Some might have multiple course sessions throughout the year or might be willing to adjust the schedule slightly to accommodate a group of interested teachers.

  • Group Power: If your school is sending a group of teachers to do the same mobility - this might work great with scheduling options. Presenting a potential group enrollment can make the organization more open to working with you on finding suitable dates.

Solution: Be Flexible and Proactive!


By being proactive and open to communication, you might be surprised at the possibilities. Remember, many organizations want to fill their courses, so they might be more flexible than you think. Don't give up on your dream course because of a scheduling hurdle – a little effort on your part could unlock a fantastic Erasmus+ KA1 experience. Get in touch with the course provider and explain your situation. Here at OPAL, we are always ready to accommodate your needs if we can, so even if you can't find course dates that work for you for one of our courses, send us an email and we'll do our best to find some placements for you.



group of teachers at Eramsus+ KA1 course by OPAL teacher training holding their certificates

A group of teachers from Turkey requested special dates for their course, so we made it happen in Zagreb, Croatia.



5. Language Barriers in Erasmus+ KA1 Courses


Fear of not understanding the language can be a big obstacle for some teachers considering Erasmus+ KA1. Even if you can speak foreign languages, a lot of us have fears of making mistakes and expressing ourselves in another language. When it comes to language and Erasmus+, these are the things to keep in mind:


  • English Instruction is Common: Most Erasmus+ KA1 courses are offered with English instruction. Usually, the teacher trainers are not native speakers, so their language level might be at the same level as yours. This means that no one expects perfect English to communicate.

  • Group Work and Cooperating with Colleagues from Other Countries: Even if a course is offered in English, there's a good chance you'll be working with a group of fellow teachers from various countries. This is a fantastic opportunity to learn from different educational perspectives, but it can also pose a communication challenge.

Solution: Don't Let Language Be a Barrier!


With a little planning and the right resources, language shouldn't stop you from participating in an Erasmus+ KA1 program. By embracing this immersion program, you can overcome this challenge and gain valuable professional development while potentially picking up some new language skills along the way. Also, don't underestimate the power of technology. There are many translation apps and online dictionaries available to help you bridge the language gap. I've had quite a few experiences where the teachers couldn't speak a word of English, but they still did the mobility, used translation tools to communicate, or relied on their friend teachers who could speak both their language and English.



To sum up all of the points discussed:


Remember, Erasmus+ KA1 is an investment in you, the teacher, which ultimately benefits your students. Most of these problems can be solved by creative organization and direct communication, but some of them will have to be dealt with on a higher level. This means that you should also regularly inform your National Agency about the problems you are encountering during your project implementation so that they can relay the message further and hopefully some changes will be introduced in the future versions of Erasmus+.


By working together both at the school level and the international level and finding creative solutions, we can ensure this program keeps on empowering teachers across Europe and causing as little stress as possible during the mobility implementation.


What about you? Share your Erasmus+ KA1 experiences or any advice you have to solve Erasmus+ KA1 problems in 2024 in the comments below! Let's keep the conversation going!



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