Wednesday 23 November 2016


Carrickfergus College is learning lessons in love through a collaboration project with five European countries.

The project, entitled ‘Europe in Love’, is funded through the European Funding Programme, Erasmus+, the EU’s flagship programme for education, training, youth and sport, and sees Carrick’s sixth form pupils join up with schools in Italy, Germany, Spain, Slovakia and Finland to emphasis the idea of being European and how to reconnect as neighbouring countries.

Eramsus+, which is managed by the British Council and Ecorys UK, is helping the Co Antrim school explore the Ancient Greek’s six types of love through developing a short film in each of the countries – with students getting involved in an exchange programme. The two-year project will culminate this April in Valencia, Spain, when the final film will be premiered alongside online streaming.

Last week, the group met for the fourth time at Carrickfergus College to focus on the Greek love of Pragma — an enduring love — welcoming 25 students and 10 teachers from the other five respective countries. Aside from filming, the European partners also had the chance to do a bit of sight-seeing — taking in the Giant’s Causeway, The Titanic Museum and closer to home, Carrickfergus Castle.

Speaking about the project was Jonathon McCready, International Co-ordinator at Carrickfergus College.

He said: “For us this project is great in so many ways. Our pupils get to not only develop their skills in the creative industries by learning script writing and filming techniques, but they also get to host and interact with other teenagers from across Europe. 

This for Jonathon, is now more important than ever.

He said: “Throughout the project the pupils are building friendships and learning about tolerance, and through the British Council’s online portal eTwinning,  the pupils have a platform to debate on topical issues facing Europe today, such as the rise of nationalism and how we can all get to know each other better.

“It’s very important for our school to have an international outlook and encourage our pupils to learn languages. By hosting other pupils they can immerse themselves in new cultures and it is an experience that they will always remember. Not only that, but they will develop the skills needed for the global workplace”.

Carrickfergus College is no stranger to working on an international level having a long history of working with the British Council — recently they were awarded the International Schools Award for the second time and have taken part in programmes including Connecting Classrooms and the Mock Council of the European Union.

Erasmus+, eTwinning and Connecting Classrooms are just a few of the programmes available to schools through British Council Northern Ireland. For more information visit, or follow on Twitter at @BCouncil_NI

For schools interested in finding out how to apply for funding through Erasmus+ visit 

Notes to Editor

For more information, please contact: Claire McAuley, Communications Manager: T +44 (0) 28 9019 2224 | M +44 (0) 7856524504 Twitter: @BCouncil_NI

About Erasmus+

Erasmus+ is the new European Union programme for education, training, youth and sport for 2014-2020. It significantly increases EU funding (+40%) with an overall budget of €14.7 billion (£12 billion) for the development of knowledge and skills and aims to increase the quality and relevance of qualifications and skills. Two-thirds of its funding will provide grants for more than 4 million people to study, train, gain work experience or volunteer abroad in 2014-2020 (compared with 2.7 million in 2007-2013). The period abroad can range from a few days up to a year. In the UK, it is expected that nearly 250,000 people will undertake activities abroad with the programme. Erasmus+ aims to modernise education, training and youth work across Europe. It is open to education, training, youth and sport organisations across all sectors of Lifelong Learning, including schools education, further and higher education, adult education and the youth sector. Erasmus+ provides funding for organisations to offer opportunities to students, teachers, apprentices, volunteers, youth leaders and people working in grassroots’ sport. It will also provide funding for partnerships between organisations such as educational institutions, youth organisations, enterprises, local and regional authorities and NGOs, as well as support for reforms in Member States to modernise education and training and to promote innovation, entrepreneurship and employability. Erasmus+ replaces the former Erasmus, Comenius, Youth in Action, Leonardo, Grundtvig and Transversal programmes which ran from 2007-2013.

When referring to Erasmus+, please use the phrase `The Erasmus+ UK National Agency is a partnership between the British Council and Ecorys UK`.

Further information from

About Ecorys UK

Ecorys UK, part of the international research, consulting and management services company Ecorys, provides high-quality communication, research and technical assistance services across education, economic and social policy areas. Ecorys employs over 150 staff in the UK specialising in education and culture, employment and labour markets, economic and international development, communications, public grant managed programmes and capacity building. Our mission is to add value to public service delivery through our experience of the entire policy cycle. 

Further information from


About the British Council

British Council Northern Ireland creates international opportunities for the people of Northern Ireland and other countries and builds trust between them worldwide. We are a Royal Charter charity, established as the UK’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations. Our 7000 staff in over 100 countries work with thousands of professionals and policy makers and millions of young people every year through English, arts, education and society programmes.  A quarter of our funding comes from a UK government grant, and we earn the rest from services which customers pay for, education and development contracts we bid for, and from partnerships. For more information, please visit: