Aims of the International Office
• Information giving for students
• Make available literature and reading material
• Host foreign students and delegations
• Promote MCAST as an institution where foreign students can come to study
• Promote the EU-funded programmes:
- Comenius Language Project 2004
- The European Business Handbook for Young Entrepreneurs
- Leonardo da Vinci - Community Vocational Training Action Programme
- SOCRATES - the European Community Action Programme in the Field of Education
- YOUTH Programme
MCAST opened the doors of the International Office in November 2002. It is housed within the Main Campus in Paola however it is responsible for all the European projects within all 9 MCAST Institutes and the Gozo centre. The International Office is directly related to all EU programmes that promote the mobility of young people, students, teachers and trainers. These programmes include Leonardo da Vinci, Socrates and YOUTH.
The programme Leonardo da Vinci is aimed specifically at students, workers and teachers within vocational training. It promotes mobility projects and other projects that support innovation within vocational education. Students in vocational training, like MCAST students, are highly prioritised in the Leonardo da Vinci programme, as are any young person in initial vocational training. MCAST students are invited to take active interest in the setting up of a project, which needs to stem out of their study programmes. The main action of interest for MCAST students is the Mobility placement. This EU programme funds the travelling costs, insurance and part of the subsistence costs of the project.
Socrates, through its various actions, aims to promote the quality of education and the European dimension within education. Students in general are both the direct and the indirect beneficiaries of all the Socrates projects since they are anyway the recipients of any upgrade in tuition that teachers give as a result of a Socrates project. There are 2 ways how students can be the direct beneficiaries of the Socrates programme. They can either be a participant in a Comenius school or language project, often initiated through a teacher's initiative or else, Higher National Diploma (HND) students; can apply individually for an Erasmus placement. An Erasmus placement, involves spending between 3 to 12 months studying in a partner college. This will be possible due to the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).
On the other hand, the YOUTH programme promotes the non-formal education through youth exchanges, voluntary service and local projects. MCAST students, as young persons, can make good use of the YOUTH programme. Exchanges are an excellent way of travelling; making new friends outside your country and it's definitely an alternative activity to do if you're a member of a youth group. You need to be part of a youth group, culture group or sports group to apply for YOUTH activities. Those of you who are youth leaders can contact the YOUTH National Agency and inform themselves further on how to organise a YOUTH project.
MCAST already have several EU projects running, both Leonardo da Vinci and Socrates project. Several students have already participated in projects and many others will do so in the coming years. All these initiatives will help us reach our goal: "to provide universally accessible vocational and professional education and training with an international dimension".