ACTIVA students: a mobility success story

Within the framework of the Swedish TranS -Sam project supported by the European Commission,the Activa Foundation from Sweden and CSCS have made possible work placements in Italy for groups of young Swedes. The Activa foundation works with the reintegration to the labour market of disadvantaged people and youngsters with special needs, and the project TranS-Sam concerns the possibility for youngsters in need of  encouragement and motivation to face the labour market, recognizing work experiences abroad as a crucial tool in this process.


Italymobility, the mobility initiative of CSCS , received a group of 20year old youngsters from Activa in the beginning of 2012 for a work placement experience.The aim of an IMY mobility experiences is to enhance the self esteem, the cultural understanding and the social competences of the students. Offering the students support and guidance when necessary, but encourage them to find their own way towards the success.

The mobility experience, for this group was tailor made for their needs and expectations, and included a close and supportive tutoring during the entire stay both in English and their mother tongue, selected work placements able to manage their initial difficulties and special needs, and workshops to interiorize their on-going experiences.

The immediate feedback from the students while in Italy was through out positive and the challenges and new situations they faced resolved and turned into constructive lessons. But the true success of this story is the long term result this mobility experience has proven to be for the students.

By now more than 3 months have passed since the Activa group left Italy, and the Activa foundation has updated us about the students current situation;

One male student, that hardly dared to confront strangers before this experience, came back home with  his head held high and went to the employment office talking about working as a waiter. A female student found a job position at the Municipality, and is very appreciated. A male student that had no interest in doing anything before his experience has applied to the industrial high school programme for this autumn.

As one of their Swedish tutors explain:
What can be said about the project is that the participants got a well-aimed push in the back. They have been forced to take initiatives and many found out that they are actually capable of much more than themselves – and others around them – thought.

Even the students themselves have expressed their thoughts about this mobility experience, after having settled down back home, and their comments are the true evidence of the benefits of a mobility experience!

This adventure and travel have meant a lot for my personal development. I’ve never felt quite as me, my own person, previously. But now I have made contact with a part in myself that I haven´t had before. That part is my social side, which I haven´t been close to before and it has taught me a lot of myself.

I’ve learned to be among a lot of people staying calm, which I previously have had difficulties with. Much of the social phobia I had has been released and that in itself is a big change and it feels fantastic!

Now I have an understanding of how people coming to Sweden feel: you don´t know how things work and you don´t understand what people say.

I have come to know myself better and this was a real “boost” for my self-confidence!

This is an experience that I will think of throughout my whole life.

This work placement experience of the Activa students is a true example of the importance of mobility initiatives, the mission of Italymobility and the core values of CSCS.

About the Author: Giovanni Crisonà

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