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WYSE Travel Confederation and IAPA urge EU to support reciprocal UK Youth Mobility Scheme

Apr 7, 2021

Experiencing a different culture through an exchange programme allows young people to gain a deeper understanding of the world, themselves, and those around them. Participants of such cultural exchange programmes develop language and leadership skills, self-confidence and empathy, strengthening international relationships.

As a member of the EU for the last 25 years, the UK has actively been promoting and participating in the inbound and outbound mobility of students and young people. However, since 1 January 2021, EU citizens looking to embark on a cultural exchange programme in the UK must comply with domestic immigration laws, due to the curtailing of free movement following Brexit. This means that EU citizens keen to immerse themselves in British culture and learn English, through, for example, an au pair stay, do not have any visa route.

Despite the immense value of cultural exchange programmes, the UK Home Office has not provided a viable route for EU nationals to enter the UK.

WYSE Travel Confederation and its members, representing the global youth, student and educational travel industry, strongly believe in and support youth mobility and freedom of travel as a means to access vital exchange programmes and foster relationships between cultures.

Together with The International Au Pair Association (IAPA), and in support of all European au pair associations, WYSE Travel Confederation urges the EU to start negotiations with the UK regarding a reciprocal Youth Mobility Scheme (YMS). A mobility agreement would enable young Europeans between the ages of 18 and 30 to participate in au pair and other cultural exchange programmes in the UK, allowing them to obtain the same benefits as citizens in other parts of the world, such as Australia, Canada, Japan and New Zealand.

We request the support of the EU Commission and national governments in lobbying for a British visa option for young people in Europe to travel to the UK for an au pair experience or other cultural exchange programme.



NameJob titleOrganisation
Alain MabogeFinance DirectorWEP
Alessandro MartelloGeneral ManagerAnda Venice
Alex ThompsonCEOLegaroo.com
Alexander RiversManaging DirectorAstor Hostels
Andrew BarnettHead of Sales and DevelopmentYHA England and Wales
Andries BonneurCEOStage-Global
Anette Slot LarsenManaging DirectorInterStudies
Ann-Kristin CohrsManaging DirectorAuPairWorld
Anne DolanCo-founderClink Hostels
Anne MeijersProgram Director High School HollandTravel Active
Bastian WeinbergerBoard ChairSmaller Earth
Beth HamiltonCEOGlobal Secutive LLC
Carye DuffinVice President, External RelationsCIEE
Christine La Monica-LunnPresident & CEOInterExchange Inc
Corey KirkhamManaging DirectorMoose Travel Network
Daniel HernadezAdministrationAu Pair Global
Darryl NewbyCo-founderWelcome to Travel
Darya ModestovaDirectorGlobal Friends, Inc
Dave O'MalleyPartnerships ManagerWorld Nomads
Didier DestexheCo-founderWEP
Edward LaneVP SalesCompass Student Insurance
Emma EnglishExecutive DirectorBETA
Frank HoerlRegional Director & Managing DirectorAzure Hotels Ltd.
James CatterallManaging DirectorGapforce
Jimmy WongChief ExecutiveHong Kong Student Travel Limited
Joaquim CapdevilaManaging DirectorBracap Global Tours
Jorene LetofskyCEO/FounderCNL Global Access
Juan Pablo MorenoCFOSHE Herencia
Linda JamesSenior Vice PresidentAu Pair in America
Louise GarnerCommercial DirectorClink Hostels
Marco CoppolaCEOYellowsquare
Marina SeetManagerSpeedwing Training (Asia)
Mark MaasdamCEOTravel Active | Educational Exchange
Martin VogtSVP International OperationsAuPairCare Europe GmbH
Matthew BuczekCEOIENA
Melissa TorresPresident & CEOThe Forum on Education Abroad
Murray RobertsManaging DirectorBeds and Bars
Nick PoundStrategic PartnershipsWorld Nomads
Nick SteiertCEOInvasion
Olivier JorisCEOWEP
Patricia BrunnerManaging DirectorIAPA
Pranas BruzgaDirector/ CEOLithuanian World Center for Work Experience and Studies Abroad
Robyn WalkerExecutive DirectorCultural Exchange Network (Cenet)
Roger CharlesPresidentEBI Consulting
Rosana LippiProduct ManagerSTB Student Travel Bureau
Ross MorganReservations ManagerSmart Space (UK) Ltd
Sascha DimitriewiczCEOWombats City Hostels
Sheelagh DalyHead of Operations & Customer SuccessUSIT
Vivian BouwmansProgram ManagerTravel Active
Wendi AylwardManaging DirectorAIFS
Anna HoubenBusiness Development ManagerCareMed GmbH
Enrique Leon ColladosManaging DirectorSHE Herencia S.L.

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