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TCAs? For me?

02/12/2019
by Lucia Iacovone
Language: EN

Mailiis Komissarov joined Léargas on a placement earlier this year.  In this post she explains how Transnational Cooperation Activities (TCAs) can provide great opportunities for personal and professional development. Mailiis worked directly on coordinating activities hosted in Ireland and shares her observations on the positive benefits for participants engaging in these activities.

Mailiis with young people during Youth Week

TCAs for me? Yes, for you! If you are looking for an awesome experience that will develop you both personally and professionally, then you are in luck as there are plenty of invaluable opportunities for you within TCAs.

What are TCAs?

Transnational Cooperation Activities (TCAs) aim to encourage collaboration and sharing of best practice within Erasmus+.  There are three different types of TCAS:

  • Training
  • Thematic
  • Partner-Finding seminars.

The benefits of each type vary but while they depend on the main objective of the TCA–as well as the personal goals of those who take part–most participants walk away feeling that they’ve had a worthwhile experience.

Training

Training events have a distinct aim: to improve participants’ knowledge and skills. Examples include how to develop an Erasmus+ project, which is incredibly beneficial to newcomers of Erasmus+. If you have a desire to create an Erasmus+ project and are lacking the know-how, or wish to learn about the opportunities the program has, these types of trainings will be an ideal place to start. Look for trainings like BiTriMulti, Appetisers and others that specifically cater for newbies. These trainings will provide you with the necessary skills and knowledge to create your own project.

Thematic

Thematic seminars, on the other hand, offer opportunities for those who have a basic knowledge of Erasmus+ and want to develop their skills further. Thematic workshops are dynamic and enjoyable because they bring together like-minded individuals. Many participants find that, whether they have only the seeds of an idea or a fully sketched out plan, these workshops provide them with all the tools necessary to develop their project further. Additionally, with many thematic seminars, finding project partners is a common side-effect, making them all the more advantageous!  So if you have knowledge of Erasmus+ and have already done a project, are interested in the theme of the TCA and want to enhance your expertise in that field, this type of seminar is for you!

Partner-finding

Lastly, partner-finding seminars (which may also be based around particular themes) aim to bring individuals with project ideas together, and give them the space to develop partnerships while sharing and cultivating their ideas. If you have previous experience and a project idea but are lacking partners or wish to develop new partnerships, these seminars will be right up your alley.

Erasmus+ TCAs

Benefits for participants

Participating in a TCA will broaden your horizons and help you develop new ideas, all while enabling you to have interesting and eye-opening discussions with people from other countries. Involving yourself in any TCA will improve language and communication skills, and a bonus is that participants often gain an incredible depth of knowledge of who they are as a person; unlocking magnificent parts of themselves that might otherwise have remained hidden.

On a professional level you will gain knowledge on the topic at hand, giving you the ability and opportunity to apply it in a professional setting. You will meet colleagues from many places around the world. Learning from other professionals is a vital way to achieve professional growth, and collaborating with individuals from a range of countries will give you an edge and very unique brand of professional development.

Benefits for organisations

People returning from a TCA come back motivated and with fresh ideas to share with their organisation. TCAs encourage a type of openness that creates the perfect kind of soil for fresh idea seeds to not only grow but flourish. Through international projects your organisation’s visibility will rise and as a result its profile will also advance.  Through this kind of collaboration, possibilities for your organisation are limitless! The potential to develop partnerships beyond one project and to get national and international recognition will continuously expand. When organisations support their returning representatives by giving them what they need to share and implement their training, the organisation becomes that much more solid and capable.

Erasmus+ TCAs

Things to remember when attending a TCA

  • Remember your target group:
    Write down the characteristics of the people you work with: their age, the difficulties they face, and their interests. When developing your ideas in the TCA and during the discussions it is a great idea to come back to your target group and determine if what you are developing matches that profile.
  • Be ready to let go of your original idea:
    Don’t be afraid to let it develop. If you have already decided upon a project idea, try not to get too attached to it! Be open to new ideas, alternate viewpoints, and suggestions. This will help unlock your idea’s true potential. Do this all while keeping your target group in mind.
  • Pay attention to yourself when having discussions:
    If a disagreement occurs take a step back and evaluate the situation. Are you communicating your ideas and needs in the best way possible? Are you taking care to hear what the other side’s position is? Be sure to ask for help and advice at any point that you require; trainers are there for you!
  • Be open:
    to new people, new ideas, new experiences! It is an amazing opportunity, take the most out of it and make the most out of it. Be in the moment and enjoy!

Last thoughts

It is important to always keep growing professionally and personally. Luckily, there are incredible opportunities within TCAs that will help you release your true potential in both areas. So, take an honest look at where your skill set lies and choose the right TCA that will enhance your personal and professional growth.  Be thirsty for knowledge and new experiences, water your idea-seeds and give them everything they need to flourish!

Find out more

The above blog was originally posted on Léargas ‘Insights’ blog series. For more info visit Léargas ‘Insights’ blog

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